23 Jun 2008

DC Follies

I came to DC to take a "vacation" after finishing the PhD. I wanted to learn how life works in our nation's capitol. Here's one story.

I met someone who worked for a conservative republican.

"Oh, what type," I asked.

"Fiscally and socially conservative."

"Right -- does s/he support smaller government, then?"

"Oh yes."

[Conversation continues...]

"I'd love to meet your science staffer to discuss water issues."

"You don't want to meet him. All he cares about is writing reports that justify more jobs for the federal project in the district."

"Wait, I thought you said that your boss is a fiscal conservative."

"Oh yes, s/he's against more spending -- except in the district."

"Well, how does that work? Doesn't s/he vote more money for others' projects to get more jobs in the district? You know, logolling."

"What's logrolling?"

Bottom Line: In the immortal words of Bruce Yandle: "I hate all subsidies except those that come to me." DC is about divvying up the pork. In the process of robbing Peter to pay Paul, a lot of that money supports the DC crowd.