I feel a little like Charlie Brown kicking the football that Lucy so obligingly holds for him. Inevitably I end up flat on my back whenever I expect a politician to “do the right” thing. I would even settle for them to “do a not-right, but ethically neutral thing”. In fact, I can even live with an “ethically challenged, totally corrupt, myopic, philandering asshole” provided he provides some benefit to the people of the United States of America at least 51% of the time.

Sadly, even this last grouping is noticeably absent. I typically vote Republican, not because I hold that class in any great esteem, but simply because they are marginally less stupid than the Democrats. I would lean towards Libertarian or some reasonable third-party if there were any chance in hell of breaking the two-party system. Actually, I have been known to vote Democratic under my election rules of engagement: “If you cannot find any reason to vote FOR a candidate, then vote AGAINST the incumbent, as the less time they are in office, the less damage they can do.” Generally this works well.

But the previous Republican Congress was a sad, sad disappointment. Democrats are known as “tax and spend” critters. The Republicans seem to have developed into the “spend and spend” variety, their nefarious pork gorging satisfied only because of the windfall produced by the Laffer Effect . They deserved to lose the Congress and should all be pilloried on the steps of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, or perhaps individually used as pilings for the approaches to the bridge to Gravina Island, Alaska.

Unfortunately, the replacement party seems not to have paid any attention to what the previous one demonstrated as factual, i.e. that tax cuts produced more revenue. It’s a sad, sad day when formerly Communist countries such as Estonia converts to a reduced tax (flat even) structure and develop double digit economic growth.

Democrats in Congress are still attempting to “balance” the effects of program costs with “tax increases” in the face of overwhelming evidence from Federal, State and International examples that doing so reduces income. Part of the problem has to be that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the executive Office of Management and Budget (OMB) aren’t on the same page. Actually, they aren’t even in the same library. Why is it so difficult to get the CBO to even acknowledge a dynamic rather than a static taxation model? Could it be that the moral imperative at work here is irrelevant to factual data? Is it a infectious disease whose natural habitat is the swampy lands surrounding Washington DC and hosts in congressional staffers, infecting any fresh Congressional meat with stupidity. Or is the overwhelming priority of any elected official to become re-elected at any cost? Or is there some more basic process at work – the law of unintended consequences perhaps. Any attempt to do what’s “right” is compromised by the complexity of administering the “right thing” to 250 million people. But it can be done (at least at the 1.5 million population level). Did I mention Estonia? Maybe the Estonian Libertarian Party. In the meantime, with apologies to Mastercard.

Annual Salary(Rep. or Senator) $165,200
Loan repayment from unspent campaign contributions $250,000
Franking Privileges (3.2 million pop. district, quarterly) $4,736,000
$100 per gift limit/year (20,000 lobbyists) $2,000,000
Inflicting your will on the American Public Priceless

My modest proposal is to increase the salaries of Congressmen to some high level, say $8-10MM. At this salary level they should be able to concentrate on governance over accumulation of wealth or campaign financing. One has to wonder when campaigns spend millions to obtain a $165,200 job, what the real motivation is. So given that they are greedy bastards, give them the money, and then impose the secondary constraint: any acceptance of any gratuity whatsoever from friend, family, lobbyist, etc is subject to a painful death – say execution by being forced to listen to a Senate filibuster.

But politics is an ebb and flow. Even though it’s an abysmal system, it’s better than the alternative. I am optimistic that someday the American people will wise up and replace them all. So Lucy – mount up that football and let me make another attempt at a field goal.

Laces out.

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