“On the one hand, this is the single largest year-to-year cut in the federal budget, frankly in the history of America in absolute terms… probably for that we all deserve medals, the entire Congress,” the Texas congressman (Jeb Hensarling) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “Relative to the size of the problem, it is not even a rounding error. In that case we probably all deserve to be tarred and feathered.”
Which goes along with this:
“Once politics was about only a few things; today, it is about nearly everything,” writes the eminent political scientist James Q. Wilson in a recent collection of essays (“American Politics, Then and Now”). The concept of “vital national interest” is stretched. We deploy government casually to satisfy any mass desire, correct any perceived social shortcoming or remedy any market deficiency. What has abetted this political sprawl, notes Wilson, is the rising influence of “action intellectuals” — professors, pundits, “experts” — who provide respectable rationales for various political agendas.
The consequence is political overload: The system can no longer make choices, especially unpleasant choices, for the good of the nation as a whole.
Government is suicidal because it breeds expectations that cannot be met.