We’re not broke, we’re starving, says Brown School economist

A government shutdown is looming and many politicians who are claiming “we’re broke” are proposing short-term or long-term federal budget plans with steep budget cuts as the only option to reduce the deficit. “But it looks like budget deficits are being driven in part by a deliberate strategy to sustain them, so policymakers are forced to cut spending,” says Timothy McBride, PhD, economist and associate dean for public health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. “The evidence certainly supports the theory that the Republicans are using a strategy of ‘starving the beast,’” he says.