21.1.18

MAKE THEM POST PERFORMANCE BONDS.

Don "Cafe Hayek" Boudreaux suggests that Congress owes tax-payers a partial refund, for services not rendered.
[T]he current closure of much of the U.S. government denies to us many of these services and their accompanying benefits.

Will you, therefore, reduce our tax bills accordingly?  After all, why should we pay for services and goods that we do not receive?  I’m not obliged to pay my physician for services that she withholds from me.  Likewise, I’m not obliged to pay for a restaurant meal that is never served to me.
It's intended in good humour, and a commenter suggests that the Right Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen are working overtime to fix the problem (that they, themselves created, but I'm getting ahead of myself).  "It turns out that the premium exactly matches the amount saved by the current closure. And, don't forget that POTUS has forgone his weekend at Mar-A-Lago."

All of it suggests a massive hold-up in progress.  Here's how that works in higher education.  "[Tenure] carries no presumption of salary increases, stable working conditions, or capital and personnel support. The candidate for tenure must make substantial investments in relationship-specific human capital, which brings in its train opportunities for the employer to hold up the employee."  Perhaps that's why candidates for public office promise things they subsequently fail to deliver.  Vote for me and I will fight for ... (yeah, it's a dumb locution, and I'm grateful that the poo-bahs of the Senate took prepared digs at each other, rather than throwing down Friday night).  Then get to office and discover, or pretend to discover, or just assert that the fight isn't going to be so easy.  Or perhaps that Our President, as somebody on one of the talking-head shows this morning suggested, is a master of committing in principle to a deal, then coming back the next day with just one more request (and there's just enough hysteresis at work that people don't just walk away) and we find ourselves, once again, without the regular order budget appropriations for each of the Cabinet departments, let alone straightforward immigration amnesties and appropriations for enhanced border enforcement.

How, though, can voters compel candidates for public office to credibly commit to, oh, doing what the state and federal constitutions say they should be doing, and offer some sort of restitution when they, instead, bog down in posturing and blaming?

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