Starving The Beast – Martin Wolf: Paul Ryan’s Plan For America Is Not Credible

Excellent facts-based piece by Martin Wolf at the Finacial Times.

A must read for anyone interested in being an informed voter – no matter on what side of the political aisle you sit.

My favorite snippet:

” Indeed, the “starve the beast” theory explicitly aims at cutting taxes, in order to increase deficits and so justify cuts in spending. From this point of view, the financial crisis has been a boon. The crisis, which occurred on George W. Bush’s watch, is far and away the most important explanation for today’s huge deficits. But it came after unfunded tax cuts, unfunded wars and the unfunded prescription drug benefit (Medicare D).

The fiscal mess the Republicans bequeathed made it difficult – indeed, given Republican opposition, impossible – for the Obama administration to implement a stimulus plan on the scale needed, as Bruce Bartlett, a former official in the Reagan administration, notes in a blog post for Economix. Not that Republicans have anything against stimulus, provided it takes the form of unfunded tax cuts.”

The part that bothers me is the sneaky way in which the Starve The Beast plan is sold to voters.  Instead of telling you the end game, and letting you choose to support it, conservatives in the US and Canada wrap it up in words and phrases like liberty, freedom, big government, your money, out of control spending and the like.

They make government the enemy.

The bigger fraud however, is how North American voters have been swayed to believe that conservative governments are better stewards of the economy.

In the last 30 years, they most certainly have not.

In fact, it could easily be argued that during that period of time, more economic damage has been done by conservatives in national office than by any other governing party.

Reagan, Mulroney, Bush (both) and Harper all presided over some of the worst fiscal messes and decisions in recent memory. When replaced in office, the clean up was left to the other side to implement. (Clinton, Chretien, and now Obama)

The facts are there for the finding.