Drowning the Baby with the Bathwater

File under: Painfully Strained Mixed Metaphors. (Unless: “with” means “using.” But still.)

The Norquististas want to make government small enough to drown it in a bathtub.

Bruce Bartlett was there when the Republicans ginned up this ideology. He participated. And he takes it down here.

In effect, STB became a substitute for spending restraint among Republicans. They talked themselves into believing that cutting taxes was the only thing necessary to control the size of government. Thus, rather than being a means to an end–the end being lower spending–tax cuts became an end in themselves, completely disconnected from any meaningful effort to reduce spending or deficits.

I would just disagree on one point: tax cutting has not been an end in itself for Republican politicians. It very quickly turned into an utterly intentional, Machiavellian political strategy to buy votes.

The Reaganomics Strategy.

It worked brilliantly, and unfortunately it still does.