Archive for November 16th, 2011

starve the beast

Machine Breaks, Work Stops, New Hampshire © Jim Korpi

“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” -Grover Norquist

A friend teaches 600 children art. One teacher, 600 children. Art. Her job will be cut at the end of the school year.
The November elections brought forward a tax levy to continue funding music, art and physical education classes in a well-to-do area outside of Columbus, Ohio. The levy was denied by voters.

“Here’s how the argument runs: to starve the beast, you must not only deny funds to the government; you must make voters hate the government. There’s a danger that working-class families might see government as their friend: because their incomes are low, they don’t pay much in taxes, while they benefit from public spending. So in starving the beast, you must take care not to cut taxes on these ‘lucky duckies.’ (Yes, that’s what The Wall Street Journal called them in a famous editorial.) In fact, if possible, you must raise taxes on working-class Americans in order, as The Journal said, to get their ‘blood boiling with tax rage.’”
—Paul Krugman, “The Tax-Cut Con,” The New York Times, September 14, 2003