It's extremely difficult to shrink government: Our political system rewards spending money and punishes cutting spending. For example, if you create a 300 million dollar a year "Giving Fluffy Kittens to Orphans Program," people will love you for it. Animal shelters and pro-orphan advocates will publicly laud you for your compassion while orphanages around the country will funnel campaign cash into your coffers. Meanwhile, if you bring up the cost of the program, most Americans will shrug their shoulders and say, "Ah, it's only 300 million dollars." However, if you suggest cutting 50 million dollars from the "Giving Fluffy Kittens to Orphans Program," you'll be accused of hating orphans and kittens while every orphanage in the country will be screaming for your blood. In other words, government spending is easy to get started, but difficult to stop. That's why it's wise to be very hesitant to create any new programs -- because billions can be frittered away on useless debacles like Head Start that have proven to be nearly impossible to kill despite the fact that they don't work.
Our politicians lack expertise: Many people seem to attribute almost super human abilities to our politicians, but the reality is far different. Most of the politicians in DC are bright people, but as a general rule, they have a very superficial understanding of the subjects their legislation impacts. How can we expect people who barely know how to use the internet to handle a subject as complex as network neutrality? How can we think someone who has worked in government all of his life can truly understand how much a new regulation may hurt someone running a small business? Moreover, given the length of bills that are being shoved through Congress and the fact that these bills are written in legalese, many of our legislators undoubtedly don't even fully understand what they're voting on half the time. Point being, even when members of Congress have good intentions, their lack of hands-on experience can lead to disaster.
The first priority of our politicians isn't solving our problems: As the great Thomas Sowell has said:
No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems -- of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.
Getting reelected may entail lying about what a bill does, punishing people who don't deserve it because it's popular, rewarding special interests who may help your campaign, and promoting bills that sound good but don't work. The sad truth is that politicians are often rewarded at the ballot box for pushing policies that sound good, but ultimately do great harm to the country. That's all the more reason to limit the power of government as much as possible.
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