Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Political Constituency Building: the Necessary, Required, and Needed Politico Proposition

The Science of Non-Budgeting

If you propose to spend $3.7 trillion dollars and have an income of $2.2 trillion dollars that is likely reckless budgeting. What if you spend more than you take in for twenty nine straight months. Is that reckless as well? What if you run a monthly deficit for February, 2011 of $223 billion [a new world's record for a monthly deficit....congratulations!], a monthly deficit by-the-way which is larger than the entire annual deficit for fiscal year 2007. Is that reckless budgeting?

The Art and Science of Non-Budgeting

If your intuitive answers to the above reckless budgeting questions were “Yes”, well you have another thing coming. You see, the answer is “No”. No way! Way!

You see, government budgeting is not a science. Government budgeting is not based on mathematics. Rather government budget is predicated on the money tree growing in your backyard. Yes, the money tree’s bounty is harvested by forest nymphs who magically turn the money tree’s bounty into pixie dust and all is well!

$3.7 Trillion Spending - $2.2 revenue = Political Constituency Building

As a nice politico, the strategy is to spend money upon particular groups and thereby build a constituency that is dependent on the continual spending. Or simply put: its all for the children. Senator Durbin, notional proposition poster boy at large, states that if we were to cut spending we would be kicking kids out of school and ruin our infrastructure. Not to be outdone Senator Kerry, poster boy for marrying the proper amount of money, states cutting spending is just plain reckless. Finally, as a crescendo to spend, spend, spend, the wizard of constituency building Senator Schumer, quasi-economist at large, states cutting spending will cause a double dip recession.

In summation, by cutting spending, we will in fact fulfill the long known and empirical proposition of Chicken Little: the sky will fall!

Spending Rigidity

Why can’t we cut spending? If one builds a political constituency on spending other people’s money on other people, and the recipient class of other people’s money is in fact you political constituency, then cutting spending is reducing your political constituency. Nay, Nay! Can’t have that happen! Further, the recipient class of other people’s money i.e. you political constituency have become dependent on designated spending directed their way. Hence cutting spending merely sets off a Madison, Wisconsin type temper tantrum. Don’t underestimate that tantrum, as the sponsoring politicos are depending on that tantrum.

Necessary, Required, and Needed

Given the above mentioned political phenomena, enter the political-economy of necessary, required, and needed. What’s that mean? An implicit assumption in the continued hyper spending argument set forth by those who spend other peoples’ money on other people is: that somehow, someway, the current spending level is necessary, required, and needed. No empirical evidence is forth coming regarding “necessary, required, and needed” as it’s a notional proposition based on “the way things ought to be”. It’s a notional argument with no facts and is a central implicit assumption to the argument to spend more and more money. Watch carefully and note that all political arguments to “spend” come from the starting point of “necessary, required, and needed”.

Tax Then Spend or Spend Then Tax? Phase Two of Necessary, Required, and Needed

Politicos who’s existence depends on political constituency building through spending other people’s money on selected groups have two options: tax then spend or spend then tax. If the particular politico or group of politicos can’t raise needed tax revenue to spend on their particular constituency [can’t sell the notional proposition of necessary, required, and needed on a current basis] they merely opt for plan B which is to spend so much money that they then declare raising taxes is “necessary, required, and needed“.

Yes, you figured it out! “Necessary, required, and needed” is a political-economy argument set forth by politicos used in both realms: spending and taxing.

Update 03/11/2011:
Reporting on All-Time One Month Deficit, AP's Crutsinger Blames Lower Taxes, Not Spending


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