“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

– Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform,
“Grover Norquist: Field Marshall of the Bush Tax Plan,” The Nation, May 14, 2001

The [CBPP][1] released a report on Jan. 26, entitled [“CBO FIGURES INDICATE LOWER REVENUES, NOT HIGHER SPENDING, ACCOUNT FOR THE LARGE DEFICIT”][2]. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the financial state of affairs in this country. From the report:


Key Facts That Emerge from the CBO

In 2004, as a share of the economy:

  • Federal revenues will fall to their lowest level since 1950, during the Truman Administration.
  • Federal spending will be lower than in every year from 1975 through 1996 (and thus will be lower than throughout the administrations of Presidents Carter and Reagan and the first President Bush).

In explaining the shift from a large surplus in 2000 to a large deficit in 2004, the drop in revenues since 2000 accounts for more than three times as much of the fiscal deterioration as the increase in expenditures.</font></td> </tr> </table>

Make no mistake: While the spending spree of the current Bush administration seems to know no bounds, the deficits in this country have been caused overwhelmingly by the irresponsible and regressive tax policies of this administration. Grover Norquist was not kidding: our social programs are in danger of being drowned in the bathtub.

While many conservatives might be ecstatic at this prospect, the American people tend to feel otherwise. A study commissioned by the LA Times in 2002 shows overwhelming opposition to tax cuts if it meant cutting back on social security:


The debate is rarely framed with such clarity, however. Instead, the spending cuts are posed as unavoidable, due to "excess spending", when in reality, it was a very clear choice to decrease tax revenue, and starve these programs.

The Heritage foundation has attempted to portray the deficit in a much different light, with spending as the prime culprit. See "Is Domestic Spending Exploding? An Assessment of Claims by the Heritage Foundation and Others" and "A Point-by-Point Response to Heritage Foundation Claims About Federal Spending" for a refutation of these claims.

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