Charles Arlinghaus: Why we have to treat Washington politicians like children
This is their ultimate failure. They don't act because they don't have to act. For a politician, nothing is as painful as having to balance a budget. It involves saying no. Not everything can be done. Decisions have to be made, priorities balanced, and someone will be unhappy. No politician in his natural state wants to balance a budget. They do it at the state level because they are forced to. By a date certain, a balanced budget must be passed. No ifs, ands or buts. If they fail, generally speaking, the lower, pre-inflation level of spending for each agency and program continues. Saying yes to a couple of things always trumps saying no to everything so they act.
Charles M. Arlinghaus is president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank in Concord.
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