December 7, 2008

Reality Hasn't Yet Sunk In For Our Next President

Congress is elected separately from the President. For the most part, I think that's a strength of the U.S. system of government. However, it comes with a significant drawback -- there are now 535 dukes and barons running around who have power bases that have nothing to do with the king. And they are the ones who have ultimate control on both the taxing and spending power of the government.

So it's not surprising that, from a very early date, they figured out that bringing home the bacon was a good way to keep themselves in power. Given that their sort has been rolling out barrels of taxpayer-funded pork to their constituents for the better part of 250 years, it strikes me as laughably unlikely that they will suddenly stop doing so simply because President Obama asks them, nicely but firmly, to do so.

If Obama can get Congress to make measurable incremental progress on this front, I'll be both impressed and gratified. It's for sure we can't afford it; we've dealt out so much money in the past three months that anyone who understands what's been going on ought to be gobsmacked in slack-jawed amazement. He won't have a line-item veto; he will probably be closely involved in legislative negotiations about the budget but negotiation involves some give-and-take and that means that the Pork Kings are not going to go kosher any time soon.

1 comment:

bobvis said...

I saw that headline on google news and literally thought: "Awww, isn't it cute that he thinks that he matters?"

I mean really. He wants a $500 billion stimulus package to get passed without greasing any palms?