Feeding The Beast

Bruce Bartlett is amazed that conservatives still believe cutting taxes produces a cut in spending:

[T]he whole premise of starve-the-beast theory has gone straight down the toilet. Yet, to my amazement, Republicans and Republican lackeys continue to talk about cutting taxes with no corresponding spending cuts as if it is the height of fiscal responsibility. (See this silly Larry Kudlow column and Diane Rogers’ evisceration of it here.) When pressed, they fall back on starving the beast even though there is not one iota of evidence giving it operational meaning since at least 1996, when Ross Perot last ran for president. It has become, in fact, nothing but a license for Republican fiscal irresponsibility.

A couple of years ago I went through the history of starve-the-beast theory in great detail here. Ironically, the originator of the idea turned out to be none other than John Kenneth Galbraith. To the extent that I personally had any role to play in putting this awful idea into play I regret it.