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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/27/10

Ahoy! "Starve the Beast" Pirates Before Scuttling Government's Ship, Did Anyone Check the Passenger List?

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Message Paul Hampton

"In recent years, one of the most common metaphors for using tax cuts to discipline government spending has been "starve the beast." The idea is that if revenues are unilaterally reduced, this reduction will lead to a higher budget deficit, which will force legislators to enact spending cuts. Thus, using tax cuts to bring about spending cuts has been called "starving the beast."

By Bruce Bartlett, staff economist to late Congressman Jack Kemp, "Starve the Beast", Origins and Development of a Budgetary Metaphor; Summer 2007, The Independent Review.

Eerily in the conclusion of his 2007 article, Mr. Bartlett theorized,"Perhaps a future crisis will provide political cover for massive cuts in entitlement programs that would be politically impossible except in such dire circumstances."The following year, the most severe financial sector collapse in 79 years triggered the most severe economic recession in 79 years. As we debate the resulting fiscal crisis, his theory is bordering on testament.

The biggest proponents for this GOP agenda include the Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, and Cato Institute type think tanks with their armies of authors and pundits to fill our consciousness. So why would awareness of this decades old strategy of spending, cut taxes, and borrow governance be so hushed? Would awareness of this strategy risk Americans realizing a connection to their pain? Is that why there are shrill allegations about threats to our liberty and inflammatory labels instead?

So wouldn't it seem worthwhile considering exactly what kind of economy we've had and how we got to have this one? If it's only engineered to trade and inflate tokens of wealth and isn't generating jobs for more people, doesn't it need to be re-engineered?

Since its inception, what fundamental flaw has blinded the "starve the beast" mindset? Through its obsessive dislike for government and other things did it notice that in the same boat along with government were the economy and "The People"? Did "Starve the Beast" advocates realize that by trying to sink government's boat they were also sinking our economy and the fortunes of we people?

If I were to sum up evidence of how a "Starve the Beast" mindset has engineered a smaller economy, I'd include these:

1.) By 2003, at least 30% of corporate profits were earned in the financial sector. If it employed 30% of us, would we be having this discussion?

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The author is a resident of Virginia employed for over 30 years in sales serving commercial businesses including industrial, research, medical, and agricultural. He became politically active upon his son's first deployment to Iraq first by becoming (more...)
 
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Ahoy! "Starve the Beast" Pirates Before Scuttling Government's Ship, Did Anyone Check the Passenger List?