Tyler Cowen finds some Surprise in the failure of the Immigration bill; I did not. The Immigration bill was identical to Bush’s desire to put Missile systems into Eastern Europe, Proprietary Rent-Seeking on the part of the Military/Industrial complex with their hold over Congress and President; all Participants seeking a Cash Cow for themselves in a time I will call post-Bush. Democrats, for reasons of possession of their own agenda, want the financial provisions from the proposed Cash Cows to flow elsewhere; making the Cash Cows unprofitable from a Maintenance Cost framework, which would include a vast reduction in political campaign funds, reductions due to lack of performance. All Parties are getting somewhat concerned, including Legislators, Vested Interests, and Lobbyists themselves, because they have only about one Year left before a rumored change in Business as Usual (personally, I believe any change in the manner of doing Business has the greatest unlikelihood).
The entire matrix introduces the Concept of Uncertainty into all Government effort; One which splits the Ranks on the Hill. Legislators want an increase in the level of Uncertainty because it increase the largesse of Political contributions, Vested Interests detest the level of Uncertainty which raises the Maintenance Costs of holding Congress at a lower level of overall Profitability, and Lobbyists could scream as their Income diminishes with their decreased ability to deliver on their Clients’ demands. There is the added Rent-Seeking of Legislators who would be President, or at least attempt to be; the price of a Congressman or Senator Vote rises dramatically with their Presidential aspirations. Vested Interests wish and desire that the American Public would settle on 2-3 Candidates for President, so that they could cut Expenses.
The real Disaster of the ongoing Process lies in the advantage of Legislators in delaying any prospective legislation, so they can boost the value of the political campaign contributions, with Congressional membership settling on the most nonsensical rationales for blocking legislation; One need remember the Fringe Element extremism of American society, where almost any idiotic public pronouncement will gain a political activist advocacy. Congress is creating their own Problems with their bombast, which they will have to grant audience if returned to Office. Does it remind of the last Days of the Roman Empire? It may well be that History dost repeat itself. lgl