Starving the Beast is Stupid

People say the Republicans want to starve the beast of government, in order to cut it down to size. This is the political version of quitting an addiction cold turkey. It is the equivalent of putting sanctions on a foreign nation that misbehaves.

The Republicans believe that government is nothing but an anchor, holding back the world’s businessmen from discovering the fountain of youth. Except the military, which should grow endlessly until even the wild animals stand at attention when a man walks by.

By making state taxes more expensive (by removing deductions in the federal tax code), there is a greater value in raising federal taxes. The same goes for state programs that become untenable with reduced revenue: move them to the national level.

Cutting programs without replacement is a great way to get a seesaw effect, with Democrats coming back and restoring these programs. This actually costs more, because you have to do hiring, retraining. The people left in a ditch by the Republicans will have deteriorated and will be more expensive to rehabilitate.

The idea that people need no safety net is fantasy. It hasn’t been defended, and as recently as Mitt Romney’s candidacy there was acknowledgment to the contrary.

One starts to get the impression that the modern Republican party, and modern conservatism with it, are a cargo-cult of their former selves. Where once some ideas were developed, defended, refined, now they simply go through the motions and hope it works. Republican donors admitted as much when they told legislators that if they failed to pass tax giveaways, they would not have money to run for reelection.

Now, normally faced with such a prospect, entrepreneurial-types would make a lot more noise about that sort of threat and say, “Who wants to donate and tell the Kochs where to stick it?!” But not the Republicans. They said, “Yes, sir, Mr. Koch.”

Reason I bring it up, the Republicans are scared of being the starved beasts. They don’t believe in themselves, that they could change and run more moderate races while getting replacement funding from those who aren’t Kochian fools.

It would be cool if some moderate donors tried to line that up, anyway. It might just get a few Republicans to say no to fossil fuel money.