by Paul Jacob
The Republican Party has completely failed to reduce federal spending. It hasn't even controlled growth. It has done the opposite. It has sent spending through the roof.
Further, its basic strategy, "starving government" by cutting taxes, has done nothing to reduce the growth of government.
According to Jonathan Rauch, writing in The Atlantic, by reducing taxes Republicans have given themselves more incentive to spend.
Rauch's thesis shocks some. It goes against the grain of household economics. We like to say, "you can't spend what you don't have." Ronald Reagan famously explained: "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."
Trouble is, as liberal columnist Jonathan Chait put it, "The child has a credit card."
So what do we do?
We can't easily take away the credit card. The child, er, government, is in charge of the money supply!
But don't give in on taxes. I'm not convinced that a tax increase will lead to big decreases in government! Are you?
The answer? As always, the voters. This November as many as eight states will vote on Stop OverSpending initiatives. These measures put a cap on what politicians in the state can spend without express voter approval. This means that politicians have to actually sell new spending to the people. What a novel idea! Accountability.
Common Sense is published by Americans for Limited Government. Their website can be visited at www.limitedgov.org.