"Starving the beast" is an American conservative political strategy which uses budget deficits to attempt to force future reductions in government expenditure, especially spending on socially progressive programs. The term "beast" is used to denote government and the social programs it funds, including publicly-funded health care, welfare, educational financial aid, and Social Security.
It appears the earliest reference to "starving the beast" in those words was made by former Reagan administration budget director David Stockman, who used the term in his 1986 book The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed.
A current example is the tax cutting policy of the Bush administration in the United States. He said on 24 August 2001 "so we have the tax relief plan, which is important for fiscal stimulus, coupled with Social Security being off limits except for -- except for emergency. That now provides a new kind -- a fiscal straightjacket for Congress. And that's good for the taxpayers, and it's incredibly positive news if you're worried about a federal government that has been growing at a dramatic pace over the past eight years. . . .
The national debt grew 37% in the first five complete fiscal years of the present Bush administration. In the first five complete fiscal years of the Clinton administration it grew 23%. The proportion of borrowing to fund expenditures was 13% in 2005. In 1997 that proportion was 1%. These are the most recent matching figures and years available for those administrations at the references.
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So, here we have Bush's newest scheme for getting rid of progressive programs.
'We have to keep the population ignorant. Educated people have other options than going to foreign countries to get killed for no reason. So, we mustn't fund education. And, the best way to have an excuse to do that is keep the war going so there's no money to put into education.'
Starve the beast long enough, it starts to feed on itself.