This Week’s Cartoon: “Starve the Beast”

This cartoon, of course, references Grover Norquist’s famous line about wanting to reduce government to the size where he could drown it in a tub, like some unfortunate critter. One concept anti-government types aren’t too clear on is that waste is hardly unique to the public sector. I’m not saying government programs are necessarily more efficient than privately-run ones (although in the case of health care, public plans are massively more cost-effective). But money out of your pocket is money out of your pocket, whether it’s going to the guv’mint or a corporation.


  • JES

    Yeah. One of the problems, I think, is the language: “I paid $50 in taxes for that service I really need” just strikes some people as wrong, in a way that “I paid $100 for that product I don’t need at all” does not.

    The difference, I think, is that public-sector enterprises operate (at least supposedly) in a fishbowl. Nobody ever does exposés about private-sector employees sleeping on the job, or surfing the Web, and how these activities drive up the cost of goods.

  • Jen Sorensen

    True. There’s a lack of transparency in the private sector. Even if you wanted to choose the fairest, most efficient, least wasteful company, you’d have your research work cut out for you.

  • Tom

    I’ve worked in several private-sector companies, and they have people who goof off, people who play video golf on the computer, people who take two-hour lunches, and people who got their job because they were somebody’s offspring. While the rest of us worked, worked and worked.

    And as far as Grover, I notice that he doesn’t have any problem calling on the taxpayer-funded government when it comes to dispersing demonstrators.

    The dispersal, arrests and beatings of demonstrators made me think of a quote from the Pullman Strike: a laborer who said “We struck because we were without hope.” Right now the unemployed and the people in dead-end low-wage work have had the labor unions eviscerated, their complaints are shouted down by Fox news or by the steady background drone of celebrity news on the other networks, and now they have been told “Shut up and go home.” I can’t help thinking there’s some tinder piling up.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.