In the real world when two people have a disagreement and seek a compromise, they usually meet somewhere in the middle of their two positions.
That’s not how it works in Washington.
Back in 1997, Congress and the President made a compromise agreement that a paltry $580 billion dollars would be spent on discretionary programs in the 2000 budget. That agreement was ignored. The President sent Congress a discretionary budget spending $592 billion dollars, or $12 billion over the agreed on cap. That called for some consultations between Congress and the White House, and of course, a “compromise.”
But when they reached what they called a compromise the spending was $617 billion $37 billion over the agreed on cap and $25 billion more than the President asked for. Usually in a compromise, both sides give up something. But when Washington politicians compromise, they spend even more and send the taxpayers the bill.
Same thing happened with an agriculture bill. President Clinton asked for $469 million dollars. The Senate approved $474 million. Their compromise hiked spending to $486 million.
No wonder a compromise has been defined as, “An agreement between two men to do what both agree is wrong.” In the real world, you fight the good fight by compromising over details, but never compromising your principles. In the world of Washington, when the career politicians start talking of “compromise,” taxpayers better hold on tight to their wallets.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.