Shocked and Persuaded


Separating Fact From Fiction

Do you really want to starve the beast?

I for one do not? Does that make me an advocate of Big Brother type big government advocate? Nope. I don’t want government to be looking in our bedrooms or bookshelves or email or tapping our phones. Rather I want them to do with our precious tax dollars what they should be doing…..fixing stuff, supporting those in need, and fueling innovation. You may ask what does it mean to starve the beast? (bartlett_starve-the-beast)

Well “starving the beast” is a term originally coined in a WSJ article by Paul Blustein ( and adamantly preached by the neoconservative wunderkind. This theory reduces taxes on the upper 2% via reduced capital gains, estate, and income taxes, primarily by allowing the elite to declare income as capital gains, which reduces taxable income from 34-38% to 15%. A classic example of this is Warren Buffet noting his personal assistant coughs up a greater percentage of her annual income in taxes than he does, because most of his income is declared as capital gains.

The starve the beast argument foments outright hatred of government by conflating taxes with socialism and the near and dear gun rights of this nations many cowboys. Of course this plays to the underlying fears of an already petrified nation. The last thing this country needs is another thing to be afraid of as we now have climate change, Iran, the Taliban, North Korea, China, Russia, lawyers, unemployment, diabetes, etc. Yet, given all this neocons feel the best remedy is adding to rather than ameliorating these fears. What a bunch of great folks? They must be true patriots.

However, I ask of those interested in an anorexic beast: Do you drive a car or better yet do you like smooth drivable roads? You do? Of course you do we all enjoy our asphalt alleys winding their way through urban centers and rural outposts alike. Well there is a price associated with that privilege and it is a privilege when compared to developed and undeveloped nations alike. Congress has been forced to bailout the fund that pays for the various interstate transportation projects this country takes on every year. Don’t worry its just $7 billion which pales in comparison to things like defense spending (

Starving the beast is a convenient and short-term method of consolidating wealth, is completely counter intuitive, and a theory that we should hope is entering the twilight of its relevance.

Category: Economics, Education, Geopolitics, Healthcare, National News

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