We had a conversation with a neighbor today about the republican party punishing members that reminded me of this article by Krugman: The Bankruptcy Boys
Voters may say that they oppose big government, but the programs that actually dominate federal spending — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — are very popular. So how can the public be persuaded to accept large spending cuts? …The conservative answer, which evolved in the late 1970s, would be dubbed “starving the beast” during the Reagan years… Rather than proposing unpopular spending cuts, Republicans would push through popular tax cuts, with the deliberate intention of worsening the government’s fiscal position. Spending cuts could then be sold as a necessity rather than a choice, the only way to eliminate an unsustainable budget deficit.”
I suspect California will hit the starvation wall quicker than the rest of the country – CA has been brought to the brink several times – but it doesn’t seem like Republicans have an answer for what they actually want next.