To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Observercast

Economic Brinksmanship

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In the age of Citizens United, successful politicking is being able to raise large sums of money and spending it to good effect without being charged with graft. But who am I kidding? Graft is baked into the American tax code and its political system.

Who else gets to vote on their own wages and perks and give away tax loopholes to their donors?

While I still believe that candidates should be required to understand basic economics before they can run for office, I’ve come to a new conclusion: Understanding economics doesn’t matter if your only reasons for running for office are disruption and celebrity … or the speaker’s gavel.

Despite their talking points about balancing the budget, the current crop of disrupters doesn’t really care if the budget is balanced. They care even less if people with no bootstraps can pull themselves up. If they cared, they’d be searching for solutions instead of a microphone and camera.

In the absence of their caring about solutions, perhaps we should look for some of our own. We could start with the obvious: address Citizens United.

Alas, I don’t have much faith that the current House majority would be onboard with shutting off the flow of money. I’m not sure if any legislators would be willing to turn off the tap, but citizens must continue to lobby against the system that gives those with money to spare too much power and too many loopholes.