Special Interest Politics

SpecialInterestsYears ago in another political season, Jeb Bush was asked in a news conference what he would do for black Floridians. He paused and then answered succinctly, “Not much.”

There was instant furor amongst the news blatherers, but they totally missed his point. Policies should be directed toward helping the whole of America. Once you start to slice and dice efforts, with this program directed at one special group and that one at another, you get a hodgepodge that helps few and squanders resources mercilessly.

We have entirely too much payola in which politicians curry favor by bribing one group or another. Policies should be evaluated by how well they promote the general welfare. Some that target special populations will survive that test, others won’t. But many politicians across the political spectrum have built careers as purveyors of largess to favored constituencies. It’s despicable, and as H.L. Mencken was want to remark, they probably should be hanged from the nearest tree.