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Look Outside D.C. for Grown Up Government
By Ted Abram on August 13, 2010
Democracy and Power 106:
A politician receives no financial gain for good policy or punishment for bad policy.
It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. Thomas Sowell
Americans know our federal system of governance has been co-opted by corrupt relationships between power-craving politicians and special interest entities seeking special favors – left, right and everything in between. Politicians are more interested in their perks and power than in good policy. Seeking and maintaining positions of power are more important to politicians than lowering the national debt, providing stability or providing predicable rules allowing Americans to have reason to invest their time and money.
Rich Lowry, in Real Clear Politics, laments the void of adult statesmen in Washington D.C. Americans hoped President Obama would be a statesman and bring adult supervision to D.C. Instead, Obama is using the enormous power of the presidency for his agenda and legacy. Lowry writes:
President Obama promised to be this kind of leader. He has instead proven - with a few exceptions - to be the servant of a limited political faction. He has exacerbated the nation's fiscal crisis without dealing effectively with its economic crisis, and has piled on far-reaching legislation of dubious merit.
Lowry recognizes a successful politician must please and connect with a substantial portion of their constituents and praises Governors Christie of New Jersey and Daniels of Indiana:
For adults, look to the statehouses. Look in particular to New Jersey and Indiana, where Govs. Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels are forging a limited-government Republicanism that connects with people and solves problems. They are models of how to take inchoate dissatisfaction with the status quo, launder it through political talent, and apply it in a practical way to governance.
New Jersey had an $11 billion deficit. Appreciating wide spread voter discontent, Christie bluntly vowed to erase the deficit without raising taxes. So far New Jersey has avoided the fiscal messes of California, Illinois and New York.
Daniels governs for personal freedom for all Hoosiers: “We will do everything we can to raise the net disposable income of individual Hoosiers." Through innovation, courage and hands on administration, Indiana has $1.3 billion in surplus and is well positioned to rationally function with declining revenues.
The Democracy and Power Lesson: 106: A politician receives no financial gain for good policy or punishment for bad policy.
In a democracy, a politician does not have an ownership interest in the state. There is no financial gain for wise policy decisions. Nor financial lose for bad decisions.
A politician’s rewards are immediate – power, prestige and perquisites.
Fortunately, what remains of sovereign powers possessed by the states are examples of good governance, which are examples and hope for a return of good governance in America.