Friday, July 06, 2007

Politics and Policy Lesson

Andrew Samwick at VoxBaby is throwing in his twenty seven cents on the role of policy advisers and stakeholders in the political process of implementing an agenda. He is not saying anything new or brilliant, but he is laying out a very good outstanding of how a well-functioning government should be operating. This is a good review of a politics and policy seminar that should be read. I'll excerpt the first chunk and then you should read the rest:

The overriding problem in conducting fiscal policy is that politicians, in both the executive and legislative branches, face electoral pressure to please their current constituencies. It is extremely tempting for them to boost spending or lower taxes today, handing out windfalls to today's voters and leaving an unrepresented constituency--future taxpayers--to foot the bill.

It takes an enormous amount of energy to resist that temptation. That energy has to come from the politician's advisers.....

They may have very good intentions at heart, but in my experience they were not usually the ones looking at the larger picture who might help resist the temptation to act in a politically opportunistic manner. There were exceptions, and I'm not looking to impugn anyone here.

There are other advisers with a central role to play in fiscal policy,....

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