The problem is that the country is entering the state of terminal “gimme.” There’s no more money to take without causing hits on investment and productivity. Already the parts of the welfare state have suppressed growth for the last fifty years and cost a good portion of Americans the access to jobs. The problem is that you tax the money and spend and there’s nothing to show for it, it’s just gone.
It’s very risky to trust the promises made by politicians.
But at least there’s a potential downside when they break their word. President George H.W. Bush lost the 1992 election, for instances, after violating his read-my-lips, no-tax-hike promise.
So I think it’s useful to get politicians to explicitly commit to good policies, such as the no-tax-increase pledge.
But what about getting language in a party platform? Is that a vehicle for getting good policy, or at least is it a way of blocking bad policy?
For the most part, I don’t think party platforms bind politicians or constrain their behavior. To be sure, I’m happy when platforms embrace policies that I like, but I’m not foolish enough to think that this automatically will translate into better policy after politicians get elected.
For the most part, platforms are a way for politicians to appease the more philosophically inclined people…
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