The Speccie offers a provoking thought on why 'starving the beast' (lower tax rates) has not led to smaller government in the US; the government simply resorts to borrowing against the future. Now, it suggests, "Requiring the American people to actually pay for all of the government they receive is, as Niskanen and others have convincingly argued, the most effective way to limit its growth".
This may be fair enough as far as government services that are consumed as soon as they are produced are concerned - policing, teaching and so on - but what about government investment? Should the costs of a new school with a 60 year life be charged wholly to taxpayers during the two years it takes to build? Should the government undertake investment at all, or leave this to the market and rent the school, so that all spending is consumption? And what of R&D at Aldermaston and GCHQ that will benefit this nation ten years hence? 'Serve the check' may seem a simple and attractive mantra for we anti-Statists, but I fear it's hardly as simple as that.