Starving the Beast
The next time somebody like Kevin Drum starts talking about starving the beast can somebody hit him with a mackrel? President Obama is promising 95% of “working families” a tax cut, but also a massive increase in federal spending for the foreseeable future. Back during the dark Bush years, Bush’s deficits and increase in the debt was some sort of “starve the beast” approach to limiting government. But now we don’t see that kind of rhetoric much anymore.
Now of course the above graph assumes that things pretty much go President Obama’s way. For example, if the Republicans can somehow rally and take back either the Senate, the House or both…well the above graph would obviously change. The economy might come back stronger than anyone has forseen which would also change the graph (for the better). Of course, sticks-in-the-mud such as myself might point to this graph in the same report and note that the idea of higher than average growth is unlikely given what appears to be a downward trend in economic growth.
And I still think that for those of us who favor limited government this is cause for concern. Yes its a projection, yes it might not come to pass, but at the same time this indicates that, given his preferences, policies, and goals, President Obama is content with a much, much larger federal government as measured as a percentage of GDP.