Attempts to curb America’s federal government’s spending addiction go back to the days of President Reagan. He was the first POTUS to make a considered and concerted effort to starve the beast that was, and is even more today, the gluttonous animal that our government had become.
Sadly for us, it didn’t work – not at all.
This is not to say that President Reagan’s attempt rein in government spending was wrong or misguided. He approached the situation quite correctly.
Well, if you’ve got a kid that’s extravagant, you can lecture him all you want to about his extravagance. Or you can cut his allowance and achieve the same end much quicker.
The only problem was that approaching Congress as parent approaches their recalcitrant and spoiled children, while a perfect analogy, has the same flaws as it would with one’s real children. It only works if they can’t go running to their mother, grandmother, aunts, uncles, or the neighbor down the street to get a handout.
While it was already proven in Reagan’s day that it was impossible to curb spending before reducing the government’s revenues – i.e., cutting taxes – the mistake was thinking in terms of Starve The Beast. We weren’t trying to starve a ravening beast, we were trying to starve Wimpy and Wimpy never starved.
I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
Reagan’s idea was economically and logically sound if America’s government was running on any normal and sensical form of economics. He just didn’t understand or was powerless to change the fact that the government runs on Wimpynomics and that whenever it grows hungry it will cheerfully borrow money for its next snack and stick we, the People with the tab.
Worse even, one of the underlying postulates of Wimpynomics is that, as long as the government can keep raising its debt ceiling and as long as they can coerce people, institutions, and nations to loan them money, Tuesday never comes.
Wimpy never starved but we, the People will in order to pay for our government’s excesses if things don’t change. Tuesday is just around the proverbial corner.