Advancing a Free Society

The Politics of Budget-Cutting

Friday, November 12, 2010

The voters just spoke. They think they want no more gargantuan deficits, massive public spending, and exponential growth in government — or the specter of higher taxes to pay for all of it. No wonder: We are on pace to soon owe 100 percent of our annual gross domestic product in national debt, while compiling the largest annual peacetime deficits in our history.

So cutting the borrowing and spending is inevitable if America is to avoid a Greece-like implosion. But as the blood sport begins, we should remember the strange politics that govern the process.

First, no one ever reduces government in good times, when we would be far better able to limit spending, and the public needs less assistance. Cutting happens only after the economy falters and the money runs out.

Continue reading Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online