https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-bu...s-flip-fiscal-script-205657527--business.html The head of a conservative Republican faction in the U.S. Congress, who voted this month for a huge expansion of the national debt to pay for tax cuts, called himself a "fiscal conservative" on Sunday and urged budget restraint in 2018. In keeping with a sharp pivot under way among Republicans, U.S. Representative Mark Meadows, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," drew a hard line on federal spending, which lawmakers are bracing to do battle over in January. President Donald Trump and his Republicans want a big budget increase in military spending, while Democrats also want proportional increases for non-defense "discretionary" spending on programs that support education, scientific research, infrastructure, public health and environmental protection. "The (Trump) administration has already been willing to say: 'We're going to increase non-defense discretionary spending ... by about 7 percent,'" Meadows, chairman of the small but influential House Freedom Caucus, said on the program. "Now, Democrats are saying that's not enough, we need to give the government a pay raise of 10 to 11 percent. For a fiscal conservative, I don't see where the rationale is. ... Eventually you run out of other people's money," he said. Meadows was among Republicans who voted in late December for their party's debt-financed tax overhaul, which is expected to balloon the federal budget deficit and add about $1.5 trillion over 10 years to the $20 trillion national debt. "It's interesting to hear Mark talk about fiscal responsibility," Democratic U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley said on CBS. Ah, the hypocrisy we all know and hate! House Speaker Paul Ryan, who also supported the tax bill, recently went further than Meadows, making clear in a radio interview that welfare or "entitlement reform," as the party often calls it, would be a top Republican priority in 2018. In Republican parlance, "entitlement" programs mean food stamps, housing assistance, Medicare and Medicaid health insurance for the elderly, poor and disabled, as well as other programs created by Washington to assist the needy. Democrats seized on Ryan's early December remarks, saying they showed Republicans would try to pay for their tax overhaul by seeking spending cuts for social programs. And there it is.