Incentives matter

If I was one of Romney’s advisers I would have recommended that Romney not concede anything regarding his remarks.

I don’t think his “not as elegantly stated” concession did as much for him than if he would have simply stood behind his comments and challenged opponents to state their case and have a public debate about it.

I’ll give credit to ABC News last night for at least trying to present a fact-based case against his statement. They showed a pie chart of the recipients of government transfer payments.

Social Security was a slice. ‘People who have a job but make less than $50k’ was another big slice.

But, a pie chart does not make a compelling case.

The question is how many people in the pie chart  have come to depend on their government benefits to the point that it influences their vote out of concern about losing those benefits?

As I mentioned in my previous post, Democrats reveal that they agree with Romney as many of their campaigns do nothing more than tell the folks in the ABC News pie chart  that voting against them puts their government benefits in jeopardy.

I’d like to have citizens cast their votes based on who they think will uphold the Constitution, not based on who gives them the best benefits. In many other parts of society, this conflict of interest would be easily recognized as corruption.

Consider a city councilman who gets to vote on awarding a road construction contract and one of the bidding firms happens to be his own paving company. Nobody would trust the city councilman to represent the people’s best interests in that case, even if he was the most upstanding and fair person.

We would demand that this city councilman remove himself from this vote.