Six days after Buchanan died, House Republicans provided dismal (and redundant) validation of public choice theory. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., supported by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, proposed offsetting just $17 billion of the $60 billion aid for victims of superstorm Sandy, and doing so by cutting just 1.63 percent from discretionary government spending. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said this would "slash and burn" important programs, and the measure failed because 71 Republicans opposed it.
The political class is incorrigible because it is composed of — let us say the worst — human beings. They respond to incentives of self-interest. Their acquisitiveness is not for money but for the currency of power, which they act to retain and enlarge. This class can be constrained, if at all, not by exhorting them to become disinterested but by binding them with a constitutional amendment.
George Will's email address is email@example.com.
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