The GOP’s Strategy: Starve the Beast

“Starve the Beast” is a political strategy of Conservatives to create or increase budget deficits through tax cuts to force future reductions in the size of government; government reduction by revenue reduction (tax cuts). Example is the tax cuts of President Bush’s administration.

Presidencies since WWII and percentage of debt to GDP. All red numbers are under Republican presidents:

Conservatives Grover Norquist and Milton Friedman have both advocated tax cuts to bankrupt America in order to keep down government spending beneficial to the lower economic classes. In The Fiscal Times Bruce Bartlett summarized Bush’s use of the STB doctrine.

Bush inherited a budget surplus of 1.3 percent of the gross domestic product from Bill Clinton in fiscal year 2001. When Bush took office in January 2001, we were already well into fiscal year 2001, which began on Oct. 1, 2000. He immediately pushed for a huge tax cut, which Congress enacted. In 2002 and 2003, Bush demanded still more tax cuts, even as the economy showed no signs of having been stimulated by his previous tax cuts.

The tax cuts and the slow economy caused revenues to evaporate. By 2004, they were down to 16.1 percent of GDP. The postwar average is about 18.5 percent of GDP. Spending did not fall in response to the STB decimation of federal revenues; in fact, spending rose from 18.2 percent of GDP in 2001 to 19.6 percent in 2004, and would continue to rise to 20.7 percent of GDP in 2008.

GOP’s goal is to create such a fiscal disaster that government is forced to end social programs that the less fortunate and middle and lower classes depend on.  It is unfathomable that this is the same party that uses their Christian values as a reason they should be elected.


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