"But the real royalty is not in Washington, D.C.," Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., tells me. "It's on Wall Street."
It's true that there's more wealth on Wall Street, but Gordon points out that there's a big difference between those fat cats and Washingtonians. "In the private sector, if you find a way to cut costs, you're a hero. If you find a way to cut costs in the (government) bureaucracy, you're a goat."
You're a "goat" because cutting waste hurts the lobbyists who feed off taxpayers. With trillions of dollars at stake, corporations and special interests would be crazy not to lobby. Lobbyists and taxpayer-funded special privilege won't go away unless big government does.
We could improve America's future just by recognizing what so-called "public choice" economists started to realize around the time of World War II: that government isn't just a "public servant." It's not a demon, either. But government and its employees are selfish, like anyone else. That explains most of their behavior better than occasional shifts to the political left or right.
We all tend to overspend and act lazy when we can get away with it. In the private sector, though, that eventually means that you get fired or realize you're depleting your bank account. In Washington, the Fed just prints more money.
As long as Washington spends other people's money, there will be little incentive for them to be prudent -- or humble.