But there are many financially irresponsible things that provide greater benefits than costs. For instance, let's say I'm a homeschooler dad and I'm contemplating getting a new car since the old one is broken down. However, I've bankrupted the family, I've maxed out the credit cards, I'm in danger of losing my property. Is this the time to make the purchase? No. I need to give up on the car even though I really need it. I just don't have the money. In other words, I have to lay down the principle - I'm not spending what I don't have. That's fiscal responsibility.
1. Yes, you should buy the car. IF the benefits outweigh the costs - in this hypothetical, possible benefits might include ability to get a job, which would more than pay off the investment in the car. Benefits > costs, so buy. On the other hand, if the benefits of the car don't outweigh the costs, you shouldn't get it. I.e. if you would foreclose your house if you bought the car, the cost of losing your house would outweigh the cost of buying the car. Costs > benefits, so don't buy. Point being: spending money to acquire a beneficial item is not inherently bad. It is bad if the cost outweighs the benefit, though.
2. The USFG is in a different situation than this hypothetical family, in that Congress has the ability to generate additional revenue through taxes. It's like saying "yes, the father should buy the car, because can just work to get the money."
Now, suppose I say: "instead of using central heating, we're all going to just cover up and use a ton of blankets. I now have 8000 dollars which, even though it could go to paying off the debt, could be used to get the car WITHOUT any additional cost to myself.
Then you get hit with extra-T funding.
not that I would run extra-T funding, but that's the cost of specifying funding...
The US needs to take a hard-line stance: We're not spending what we don't have. No matter what it is. Because if we just spend, we're accepting the idea that it's okay to spend wastefully. Instead, we need to clean up our mess and at least keep our plans budget-neutral.
Spending =/= spending wastefully. That's my whole point. You said that if we spend, we accept wasteful spending, but what you should be saying is that if we spend, we're accepting responsible, cost-beneficial spending. Which is a good idea. As for being budget-neutral, it's a. non-unique and b. not mutually exclusive in that spending out of GFR does not automatically lead to a budget deficit. Under fiat, Congress still works and they still can cut programs (as they do) to make room for new programs (such as the AFF plan).