| In his column called The Bankruptcy Boys, economist and Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman, warns of the perverse logic of the Starve-the-Beast folks. The ironically-named Club-for-Growth-ers lust for the day the "Beast" (whom they assume is government) is starved. And they continue trying to amass contempt for "gubment," until, they hope, they can destroy programs people need.
The real truth is that government provides services people both need and want. "Keep your hands off my Medicare" even rings forth from the ignorant among Tea Partying wing nuts, who don't even know Medicare IS a government program, paid for by payroll taxes. The specific Medicare payroll tax was demarcated in hopes (by the wrong-wing fiscal extremists) that it would sour people of Medicare. It hasn't. Still, they will not stop. Peter Peterson's Starve-the-Beast refrain is an old song he's been singing for twenty years or more. Others carried the banner before him. They have been at it for forty years now. They do the bidding of corporations and the rich. Along the way, they hope to con enough of those who dream of being rich, but never will be because these dreamers are pawns in a dangerous chess game.
Ironically "Starve the Beast" tends to result in increased federal spending, according to the conservative Cato Institute here.
|Using multiple regression analyses, Michael J. New sought to further validate earlier findings by W. A. Niskanen (Cato Journal 26 (3): 553-58). The conclusions drawn by New, are that: 1) the results of an earlier study by Niskanen are consistent across time; 2) Niskanen's findings are not significantly affected by any war; and 3)"low federal revenues fail to limit the growth of nondefense discretionary spending."
You won't hear John Boehner, Eric Cantor or Mitch McConnell admitting that! So, their efforts are about something else entirely. Of course the Starve-the-Beastie Boys will argue that getting rid of the entire safety net hasn't been tried yet. They want us for their North American Laboratory. But we have a pretty good idea of what kind of devastation occurs when a locality is quite literally starved of vital funding it needs.
Since 2005, NOLA has been the prototype for what we can all become. Photos of partying on Bourbon Street does not tell the story. NOLA has barely come back from the dead. The 9th ward is still decimated, but written off for the most part. Large portions of NOLA will probably never recover. Much of NOLAs public housing was quite literally taken from the residents (and the public which paid for it) and handed over to developers. It's a recipe in which the very few will eventually have quite literally "it all."
We also know what happens to a country targeted by disaster capitalists when it undergoes natural disaster. Further to the South, Haiti has failed because of disaster capitalism. We now see the massive effort needed to fix what the negligence and downright predatory practices have reaped. What is truly horrific, is the salivating by disaster capitalists after such disasters. By both neglect and by design, they destroyed Haiti. The destruction was aided and abetted by corruption and political meddling by outsiders.
Closer to home, these folks actively try to engineer economic catastrophe.
At this point, then, Republicans insist that the deficit must be eliminated, but they're not willing either to raise taxes or to support cuts in any major government programs. And they're not willing to participate in serious bipartisan discussions, either, because that might force them to explain their plan - and there isn't any plan, except to regain power. But there is a kind of logic to the current Republican position: in effect, the party is doubling down on starve-the-beast. Depriving the government of revenue, it turns out, wasn't enough to push politicians into dismantling the welfare state. So now the de facto strategy is to oppose any responsible action until we are in the midst of a fiscal catastrophe. You read it here first.
Read Krugman's column. Think about it. They Party of No has no plan to govern because they want to destroy government. Always, always they drive up spending anyway. Yet they continue to run with the fictional argument that the "Beast" must be starved and vital programs decimated.
You have to wonder what kind of people have engineered this attempt to scuttle the finances of this nation? What kind of people want our country to fail? Who would want more and more people to be penniless, homeless, and hungry? What kind of people want to hurt Americans that much? And then they try to turn the nation against this President, when it is they who are responsible for what ails this nation?
Still they persist. They won't succeed driving down the cost of government. But they will continue down a never-ending path of destruction. And it's clear just where the real beasts lie.