Monday, July 18, 2011

The Short List - July 18, 2011


  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's deal is gaining momentum as Congress is set to spend the week engaged in kabuki theater, heading towards an increase in the debt limit.  The White House still hopes for a big deal, but as Jacob Lew asked on Meet The Press yesterday, "Do we have a partner to work with?"  Sadly, your editor does not believe they do.

  • Presidential hopefuls burned through $32 million so far, in a new campaign spending report.  Newt likes private jets, but not paying the bill.  Mitt spent 18% of his budget on administrative costs.  And President Obama spent about $5 million organizing fundraisers.  Beyond the horse race and personal proclivities these kind of disclosures reveal, it concerns this editor the volume of cash spent in politics these days.


Colin said...

it concerns this editor the volume of cash spent in politics these days.

Fortunately there is a very simple solution: less government. Campaing expenditures grow as government grows. The more government controls, the more interest groups will form and the more they will spend to influence government actions. Therefore, logically, the best way to reduce expenditures in politics without infringing on free speech is for government to do less. End agriculture subsidies for example and watch contributions from farm groups dry up. End green jobs subsidies and watch expenditures from GE and other beneficiaries plumment. End government-run schools and the NEA will stop spending millions influencing elections. The list goes on. If government consisted simply of some basic services such as the police, military and roads the amount of money spent on politics would be but a small fraction of what we currently see.

As an added bonus it would reduce the passions that surround politics. With less at stake in the elections it would matter less who won or lost, and public anger over the results would decrease.

Ben said...

You mean like those halcyon days of small government and dispassionate federal elections like that of 1800?

Colin said...

No, I mean more like the fact that we have thousands of elections every year, and the level of ire that results is almost invariably proportionate to the amount of power at stake. You never hear about a city sharply divided over the results of the election for dog catcher.