Friday, December 28, 2012

You mean the House of Representatives are supposed to represent?

Eli, is mostly silly, this article more than most. The author is much pleased with himself to discover Republicans respond to the wishes of their constituents and if they don't accurately represent the desires of their public, will be fired at the next election. Now hold on, the House of Representatives is supposed to represent??? Get Jemmy Madison on the phone!

The inability to grasp this basic concept results in pejorative descriptions of the 55.1 million voters who cast a ballot for a Republican in the House of Representatives in 2012, versus the 54.5 million who voted for a Democrat to represent them in the House. Interestingly more votes were cast for Republicans to represent them in the House in 2012 than in 2008 while the number of voters deciding to vote for a Democratic representative fell sharply in 2012 versus 2008.  Despite this large and growing mandate for the Republicans some commentators feel compelled to label those who disagree with them, "the lunatic fringe."

This civics lesson from Politico and incentive lesson (politicians respond to incentives also) from the lunatic fringe of course is taking place within the broader argument over the budget. Why can't those damn Republicans recognize we HAVE TO RAISE TAXES??!!?? There is NO other way. Call me a lunatic, but there is money in and money out. The difference is a deficit or a surplus. You can increase money in, or decrease money out, or some of both, but there is nothing in the math that requires you to choose one or the other.

The Republican's refusal to countenance tax increases is not the action of a lunatic. It is the action of a Representative. It is not the refusal of someone denying math. It is the action of someone quite aware of two variables, either of which can change.

I know sometimes you feel like the system is broken. To me, this is exactly what the system is supposed to do. If there is no agreement, no law is passed. Well, we have no agreement, so no new legislation will pass to change the old legislation. If the implementation of the current legislation results in bad consequences, there will be an incentive to pass new legislation.


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