Ever since George W. Bush massively cut taxes back in 2001, squandering much of the $5.6 trillion, ten-year surplus he inherited from Bill Clinton, liberals have assumed that the fiscal game was rigged. Conservatives had been explicit about their starve-the-beast strategy—the practice of creating large deficits through tax cuts in order to force future spending cuts. By playing along, the thinking went, Democrats would only further enable irresponsible behavior—a bit like negotiating with terrorists. Why kill yourself balancing the budget, as Bill Clinton did, if the next Republican is just going to slash taxes again?

When The Starved Beast Bites Back | The New Republic.

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