BOTH THE CREATION of the Contract with America in 1994 and its subsequent abandonment can be explained in terms of the conflict in government between what I call legislative entrepreneurs and legislative bureaucrats. In 1994, when we wrote the Contract, entrepreneurs were strong. Today, as most of the time, bureaucrats are running things.
By legislative entrepreneur, I mean a person who has a set of principles and is willing to take risks on its behalf. A legislative bureaucrat, by contrast, seeks only to perpetuate the current situation with the motive of remaining safely in office. The fact that legislative bureaucrats are usually in command reminds me of Armey’s Axiom Number One: “The market is rational. The government is dumb.” I know the former to be true as someone who has studied economics. I know the latter to be true as someone who spent a long time in Congress.One of the greatest entrepreneurial moments in the history of human government was the writing of our Constitution. America’s Founders understood clearly what it means to accomplish a goal on behalf of ideas and principles that rise above self-interest. George Washington might have become our king, but chose not to. His governing idea was that government is our servant because we are inherently free. It is an idea too many in government today forget.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
What happened to the "Contract with America"?
Dick Armey with a great piece in Imprimis...