starve the beast
v. To cut taxes with the intent of using the reduced revenue as an excuse to drastically reduce the size and number of services offered by a government.
starve-the-beast n., adj.
starving the beast n., pp.
starve-the-beaster n.

Example Citations:
The starve-the-beast doctrine is now firmly within the conservative mainstream. George W. Bush himself seemed to endorse the doctrine as the budget surplus evaporated: in August 2001 he called the disappearing surplus "incredibly positive news" because it would put Congress in a "fiscal straitjacket."

Like supply-siders, starve-the-beasters favor tax cuts mainly for people with high incomes. That is partly because, like supply-siders, they emphasize the incentive effects of cutting the top marginal rate; they just don't believe that those incentive effects are big enough that tax cuts pay for themselves. But they have another reason for cutting taxes mainly on the rich, which has become known as the "lucky ducky" argument.

Here's how the argument runs: to starve the beast, you must not only deny funds to the government; you must make voters hate the government. There's a danger that working-class families might see government as their friend: because their incomes are low, they don't pay much in taxes, while they benefit from public spending. So in starving the beast, you must take care not to cut taxes on these "lucky duckies." (Yes, that's what The Wall Street Journal called them in a famous editorial.) In fact, if possible, you must raise taxes on working-class Americans in order, as The Journal said, to get their "blood boiling with tax rage."
—Paul Krugman, "The Tax-Cut Con," The New York Times, September 14, 2003

But the only way to force government to pare itself down is to cut off the flow of money going to it. Politicians won't stop spending other peoples' money on their own. They'll keep doing it because ... well, that's what politicians do.

That means if we want smaller, less-intrusive government, we have to "starve the beast." Cutting their allowance is the only way to put politicians on a spending leash. And that means tax cuts, tax cuts and more tax cuts. The recent Bush/Republican rebate was just a small down-payment. Time to break out the meat cleaver.
—Chuck Muth, "Commentary: More tax cuts please," United Press International, August 17, 2001

Earliest Citation:
Giant federal tax cuts and deficits have made it politically impossible for Congress to enact major, permanent new programs. Although big new programs stopped springing up several years before Mr. Reagan took office, the president "has changed the whole frame of reference within which the budget is debated," says Republican Sen. Slade Gorton of Washington.

But the deficit "starved" few programs to death, even in cases — such as the Small Business Administration and the Economic Development Administration — where many liberals questioned the programs' worth. And the deficit has sharply added to one spending category: Interest on the national debt has risen to about $140 billion in the current fiscal year from $69 billion in fiscal 1981.

"We didn't starve the beast," laments a White House official. "It's still eating quite well — by feeding off future generations."
—Paul Blustein, "Reagan's Record," The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 1985

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