Seems As Though Buchanan and Tullock Might Be Correct After All

by Don Boudreaux on January 23, 2010

in Politics

David Harsanyi of the Denver Post supplies some evidence that public-choice economics does, in fact, highlight a key feature of politics.  Here are the key paragraphs:

For a case study on malleable values, take Colorado’s Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. In December, CNN host John King asked him if “every piece of evidence tells you, if you support that bill, you will lose your job, would you cast the vote and lose your job?”

Our hero answered, “Yes.” The senator even commemorated his own gutsiness via press release.

He then voted for the Senate health care bill — a surprise to no one.
Well, this week, the political world, as it tends to, was upended. And only hours after the president capitulated to the will of voters and called for a slowdown, Bennet — by mere happenstance, no doubt — chimed in that, you know what, he too believed Congress should slow down.

The voters of Massachusetts “didn’t just elect a senator,” he explained, “they sent a message to Washington that I have heard all across Colorado.”

Why, one might wonder, would a senator — willing to pass reform even if Colorado voters objected only a month ago — give one whit about the message sent by the Bay State or the Square State? Not very long ago, this guy was willing to lose his job, no matter what the consequences.

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