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Re-Cohering Public Views On Spending

Pew reveals the public’s preferred strategy for coping with state budget gaps — magic:

I think these kind of results too often get discussed in a fallacy of compositionish kind of way. One posits the existence of an agent “The Public” and concludes that this person is a moron who demands spending cuts while also opposing cutting spending on any individual program and also opposing tax hikes. In reality, “the public” is composed of people, a large minority of whom favor tax hikes. And large minorities of people can be found to support cutting spending on various kinds of programs. If the District of Columbia dispensed with the practice of elections, and simply created a 15 member City Council via lottery (it’d be like jury duty), I see no particular evidence in these polls that the Council would be unable to develop a viable compromise proposal.

But if you imagine instead the state government of California with its many different veto points, members aiming for re-election or higher office, threats of primary challenges, campaign contributions, supermajority voting rules, etc. then the practice of mediation ends up looking quite different.

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