Starve the Beast

Grover Norquist in Foreign Affairs railing against the suggestion that taxes be raised:

Despite these strict [constitutional] limits, the U.S. federal government has grown enormously in size, cost, and power over the last two centuries, mostly as a result of the country’s engagement in successive wars. With each conflict, Washington increased its spending and powers of taxation under the false flag of temporary necessity and appeals to patriotism. After each war, the government refused to return to its previous size and level of power.

Norquist’s evolution to out-and-out advocate of deep defense cuts and military restraint is pleasant. It hasn’t yet been reflected in the mantras of the Republican Party, but there is potential for it to puncture the doctrinaire opposition to defense cuts.

  • El Tonno

    I will believe in the lowering of taxes when the rumored FEMA trailers are actually taking away people forced out of their large multistoried bureaucratic blockhauses to the rumored FEMA death camps. Until then…

    But seriously, the discussion between moretax/lesstax partisans is seriously skewed by the immense elephant in the room, which is the cancerous growth of the military/security complex. If that were cut down and all the cascading effects that pervert the current economic structure were to disappear, one could at least rationally judge whether things are working allright, whether some redistribution tuning might be needed or whether one should take the option to steam ahead to Progressive Camelot via the Unbridled Taxation Pony.

    It's also pretty amazing how Andrea Louise Campbell oppose the "bad scenario", supposedly a consequence of low taxation ("a republic in which only the affluent prosper while lower- and middle-income groups remain mired in stagnant-wage jobs, face greater insecurity in retirement, and fear for their children languishing in poorly resourced schools") to the "good scenario", supposedly a consequence of high taxation ("a nation in which all hard-working people have opportunities to capitalize on their talents and, later on, retire with confidence and dignity, all along secure in the knowledge that their well-educated children will have even better lives"), *completely* blending out the fact that Europe went with the high-taxation-with-redistribution-and-economic-intervention road but ended up with the bad scenario, mostly. With added crushing governmental debt and flaky fiat money. Well, ok there are some nice public museums to spend sunday afternoons in.

  • Ben_C

    If the "American People" directly tied "tax policy' with "foreign policy" decisions, I think it would be part of the 'solution'; rather than compound the 'problems' 'we' face.

    I think one of the main 'issues', in terms of US foreign policy, are the lack "consequences"…most of the "American people" either do not recognize/understand the "consequences" of these foreign policy debacles, and/or they are not noticeably directly impacted at all. The 'moral' and 'theoretical' arguments have a limited constituency–even so, such arguments can, and are, manipulated and perverted in a way to advocate in favor of these disastrous policies in the 'run-up' to their execution, as well as continuation, anyway…

    I don't think any serious person would disagree with Norquist's advocacy of improving efficiency, transparency, and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse in "Defense spending" (or any, and all, Government spending for that matter); however, these are a somewhat separate "issues" altogether from the fundamental "policy" 'problem' the US now has.

    For example: the Air Force's decision to lease vs. buy 747s may impact "Defense spending" (along with the federal "deficit" and "debt"); however, this decision has 0 impact on actual "policy". The same is true for "cost-plus" contracts vs. competitive bidding and incorporating incentive based compensation. These are separate 'issues'.

  • Ben_C

    ….

    Norquist does not advocate "non-intervention" from what I can tell. He seems to advocate a "hit-and-run" strategy of "force". He doesn't seem to take issue with "shock and awe"…just the subsequent "occupation" which lasted 7 years or so… Based on the context of what I've heard, it wouldn't surprise me if Norquist is a proponent of the "drone" program. I'm fairly sure Norquist is a big fan of the "Libya model" (even if he was against this specific policy decision when it was made; although I've seen/heard nothing which would indicate he was against it)–as this is exactly what he's advocating now: relatively "cheap" and "easy" 'missions'…in and out and onto the next thing…no "occupation", no "rebuilding", no "problem"…

    Putting the "moral" issues aside for the moment, I'm not sure a simple shift to a policy more reliant on air power and more cost conscious when bringing about the fundamental desired "regime changes" by way of these "flyovers" (as Paul Ryan terms them) is a 'step' in the 'right' direction that benefits our "national security" in today's world–especially considering how these 'efforts' now seem to be taking form and particularly how they're now being 'handled' (i.e. designs on Syria and Iran). States, at least at present, do not seriously "threaten" the US today.

    I agree with the spending part though…needs to come down significantly…

  • There really needs to be a reliable, consistent counter-news source who has the confidence and trust of US victim nations to get the straight scoop from their point of view.