Of course Asner himself, and the other millionaire Hollywood activists who clamor for higher tax rates, could rain their own showers of gold on supposedly starved parks and schools and firehouses. But they prefer to fund propaganda, demanding the seizure of even more money from their fellow plutocrats. In the last election cycle, Democrats received and spent more than $3 billion in donations; imagine the acreage of wilderness and open space that might have been purchased with even a small portion of those contributions. . . .
The bottom line in federal outlays also shows that tax cuts of the Reagan and Bush era did nothing to force a reduction in overall levels of spending. In 2000, the last full year of President Clinton’s purportedly perfect reign of peace and prosperity, the federal government spent 18.2 percent of the gross domestic product. Eight years later, after two rounds of major tax cuts and in the last full year of the Bush presidency, Washington spent 20.8 percent of GDP, a substantial explosion of additional spending, not the imposition of some brutal austerity budget. After four years of Obama’s leadership, with the Bush tax rates still firmly in place—for a few weeks more, at least—we now spend 24.3 percent, another perilous rise. While Grover Norquist, purveyor of the now notorious “no new taxes” pledge, popularized the phrase “starve the beast” as a demand for leaner, more effective government, it ought to be obvious that the beast in question now suffers from an acute obesity problem.