We now have two parties in Congress, the tax and spenders and the no-tax and spenders. What’s a libertarian to do? Julian Sanchez, associate editor of Reason, reminds us that,
A tax cut financed by deficits is ultimately no more responsible than a spending program financed the same way.
What about the starve the beast argument? Well, the beast isn’t starving. Furthermore, as Sanchez writes,
The logic behind this “starve leviathan” theory is not totally mad, though it bears a creepy resemblance to the Marxist revolutionary slogan that things “have to get worse before they get better.”… And just as plausible as the “starve leviathan” hypothesis is the theory that combining spending growth with tax cuts hides the true cost of burgeoning programs, creating a political culture in which there’s no will to restrain appropriations.
Like Sanchez, I today would take a deal combining tax increases with serious cuts in entitlement spending.
Addendum: Alan Greenspan agrees. See Brad DeLong’s comments.