THE PROSPECTIVE STRATEGY TO BE TESTED

Starve The Government of Money

A political party believes that government spending is out of control. Its members have failed in their attempts to negotiate with other parties for reductions in specific programs.

After a time, they realize that the bottleneck to reducing spending is that the specific programs are either too emotionally important to the other parties, or, politically impossible to cancel for fear of losing donors. Programs include tax breaks for certain industries, school vouchers, education, social security, and health care. A strong block of politicians and constituents cannot be convinced to cut these programs.

The party, therefore, designs a different strategy: Don’t fight over budgets for individual programs; focus all political capital and effort towards reducing the total money available to the government by reducing taxes. In other words, “starve the government of money.”

TEST THE STRATEGY

Use the five disqualifiers to test this strategy:

Opposite? Pass. “Don’t reduce the total money available to the government” is the current approach; most people don’t consider it absurd at all.

Numbers? Pass

Duplicate? Pass. There is no parent.

Excluded? Pass. It applies to the entire spending reduction endeavor.

List? Pass

CONCLUSION

“Starve the government of money” passes all five disqualifiers and is a well-designed strategy.

That the statement implies tough trade-offs confirms its proper functioning as a strategy. For instance, as public schools degrade, wealthy parents may increasingly send their kids to private schools, further accelerating the decline of public schools. Also, large companies and hedge funds may be better positioned to protect their tax breaks through government influence, leaving people with fewer resources to take the brunt of the cuts.

If one believes, however, that the government is unable to use money wisely, or that these trade-offs are acceptable, then the strategy will be acceptable.

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