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Our Amazing Congress

Wolf Richter

Congress is the ideal American institution: it spends far more than it takes in and borrows the difference. We love that. To heck with the future. It means free money, services, wars, and other goodies. At least some of us get to profit from it. And then we blow it or invest it, and lose it or make money on it. It all adds up to that glorious GDP. It’s the American dream.

Lawmakers are so efficient at it that 36% of every dollar in the budget has to be borrowed…. Oh wait. They don’t do budgets anymore. They’re uncool. They do continuing resolutions. Given this bottomless largesse, mathematically speaking, it’s logical that Congress would have sky-high approval rating. Wait…. Oh no!

Only 11% of the people approve of the Herculean job lawmakers are doing, according to Gallup, which has a knack for peeking at our innermost feelings. It’s the lowest score since Gallup started tracking it in 1974.

How can that be? Didn’t we just learn that it’s a virtuous activity for lawmakers to give out privileged information on pending legislation? Profiting from opportunity is an American principle we cherish. So, a few hedge funds were given tradable information about compromises in the healthcare law just before the announcement on December 8, 2009. According to the Wall Street Journal:

They belong to a select group who pay for early, firsthandRead More »Our Amazing Congress

Intervention – II

Image by Getty Images via Daylife An earlier post argued that Intervention was always harmful.  There are probably tens of thousands of these “favors” doled out to constituents. Receivers gain at the expense of non-receivers. In total, the economy is… Read More »Intervention – II