by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Milton Friedman? always said taxes don’t tell the whole story. What counts is how much of our resources government spends, however it acquires them. The doubling of spending under Bush and Obama hasn’t gotten enough attention.
“We need to ask what it is government should do,” [Grover] Norquist said. “But it’s going to be knockdown, drag-out. All government overspending creates the constituency for its own perpetuation. … Weaning people off, that is very difficult.”
He’s right. When politicians make little cuts in the rate of spending growth, every interest group mobilizes to protect its little piece of the pie. That’s why you must cut government like you take off a Band-Aid: quickly and all at once.
It’s not hard to balance the budget. On my show, we made enough cuts to create a $237 billion surplus. I cut whole departments, like Education and Commerce. I cut two-thirds of the Defense Department (which still leaves it much bigger than China’s). I indexed Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to inflation, raised the retirement age, and took away benefits for rich people. But I don’t have to run for office. Congressmen do, and they can’t even manage to cut ridiculous tax breaks like those for ethanol.