Martin L. Gross, whose books taking on the wasteful practices of big government became best sellers in the 1990s and enjoyed a revival with the birth of the Tea Party, died on Aug. 21 in Ocala, Fla., reports The New York Times
He was 88.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Amie. No cause was given.
Gross, a newspaper reporter who also edited small magazines, always found a niche in criticism.
He wrote books critical of psychiatry, psychotherapy and the medical care system before turning his gaze to the federal government in his 1992 book, “The Government Racket: Washington Waste from A to Z, which centered on bureaucratic waste and political corruption.
The book became an immediate favorite among fiscal conservatives and libertarians in the same year that Presidential candidate Ross Perot piqued the interest of many Americans with his arguments against government bloat.
The book went on to become a best seller that year, with Sen. John McCain among its many fans.
The Bronx-born Gross, who was an active Democrat in the 1950s and 1960s, was not necessarily an enemy of the federal government, just the people who caused its bloat.
“There used to be a very efficient federal government,” Gross said in a 1992 C-Span interview, referring to what he called the “small lean machine” of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
“It’s been invaded by theorists, academicians, spendthrifts, congressmen who want to spend money.”
Gross, who also wrote novels, stopped writing for several years before returning with “National Suicide: How Washington Is Destroying the American Dream From A to Z” in 2009, just as the Tea Party was gaining in popularity.
Gross, became a frequent guest on conservative television and radio show.
In addition to his daughter Amie, Gross’s survivors include another daughter, Ellen Tracey Gross, and two grandchildren.
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