Following Marc's great post on congressional dysfunction, I'd like to point how political science tells us that the availability of government shutdowns actually causes the growth of government spending. The analysis follows the 1979 spatial analysis of zero-based budgeting by Thomas Romer and Howard Rosenthal. Suppose that there is one dimension of politics: the size … Continue reading How Government Shutdowns Grow Government
Whatever merits the regime uncertainty thesis has in explaining the length of the Great Depression (and they may be significant), it cannot explain the stagnant recovery of 2009-2012.
Political scientist John Sides has contributed an interesting guest post to FiveThirtyEight, in which he reviews the evidence that social class influences the way Congresspeople vote. In particular, Congresspeople are unlikely to come from working-class backgrounds, and class seems to affect voting at the individual level. If Congress had the same mix of class backgrounds … Continue reading Do We Want Everyone Represented Equally?
One overlooked electoral reform to decrease the power of special interests in the U.S. political process would be to expand the size of the U.S. House quite significantly, so that legislators cater to much smaller electorates. (More radically, state partition could also be promoted to expand the size of the Senate.) Accordingly, I thought today's … Continue reading Are Americans Underrepresented?
The coalition government in Great Britain is offering an object lesson in how to build political support for deep, wide-ranging cuts in government spending. Spending cuts need not be politically toxic. If you frame the debate as one of responsibility versus madness, voters will choose the former.
In the past, I have been quite interested in “Operation Drain the Swamp.” A piece by Brody Mullins and John McKinnon in today’s WSJ suggest that Speaker Pelosi has some additional work to do in the final months of her reign if she is going to bring the operation to a successful conclusion. According to the … Continue reading “Operation Drain the Swamp,” update
In 2006, Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously pledged to "drain the swamp" of corruption" and to "turn this Congress into the most honest and open Congress in history. That's my pledge — that is what I intend to do." Time for an update on Operation Drain the Swamp. Following the resignation of Rep. Eric Massa … Continue reading Operation “Drain the Swamp” Update