Starve the Beast v. The Ant and The Grasshopper: A Coda
By Garett Jones
Two public choice theories of fiscal policy:
Under Starve the Beast, the spenders tell the tax-cutters, “If you get what you want, that means I can’t get what I want.” It’s a story of limits to budgets, limits to borrowing, limits limits limits.
Under the alternative view, which I call the Ant and the Grasshopper, the spenders tell the tax cutters, “If you get what you want, then I’m definitely going to get what I want.” It’s a story of childish pettiness, childish tantrums gone awry, childishness childishness childishness.
Both channels are surely at work. But in modern American politics, I think all sides are quite good at ignoring limits.