Similarly, "cut spending" tracks the electoral fortunes of the Republican Party:
One explanation for these trends is that balancing the federal budget is not a genuine priority of conservative opinion-makers. Rather, it is a set of arguments trotted out while the opposing party is making budgetary decisions (presumably favoring Democratic constituencies), then shelved when Republicans are directing federal spending (including tax cuts) toward their constituents.
An alternate explanation is that Republicans are such effective custodians of the public purse that the National Review is satisfied with their fiscal probity while they hold power. This is not consistent with budgetary outcomes during this period: