The ramp-up effect

Sometimes, looking at the political discourse in this country, I wonder if we really understand the ramp-up effect of increasing government programs and power over time; unlike in business, unlike in nature, unlike in, well, real life, failure is not punished, but at best ignored, at worst rewarded. Once a program is in place, it is almost never repealed, even when Republicans obtain political power, because voters become dependent on it.

Progressives have known this for as long as they have been blowing up the bureaucracy. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) famously said that, if it took losing a few members of Congress in the next election to get ObamaCare passed, it would be worth it. And this was no partisan bias: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) agreed, warning his troops that once an entitlement is given, it is nearly impossible to get it back.

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