Politicians out to ‘make a difference’ with taxpayers’ money

Politicians out to ‘make a difference’ with taxpayers’ money, by Judith Sloan.

I wish I had a hundred bucks for every time a newly elected federal parliamentarian told me the reason they stood for office was to make a difference. I generally ask a series of questions about the ways in which they hope to make this difference. The answers are almost invariably lame, but I nod politely.

Under the surface, though, I quietly groan. Let’s face it, we don’t need more laws, more regulations, more government handouts. And making Australia a better place is too broad and ill-defined to be of any use. …

The reality is that the vast majority of people who can make a successful career in the private sector just don’t find the prospect of a political career at all enticing.

Anyone with deep private sector experience is unlikely to fall for the fatal conceit of thinking that governments that pass laws, regulate, fund, tax the blazes out of some individuals and companies, on balance, make a difference for the better.

Let’s face it, the vast majority of politicians are just interested in staying in office, with being in government distinctly superior to opposition. They quickly develop a deep sense of entitlement, chase every perk of office, employ members of their family and always justify their actions as complying with the rules.

Having those shiny white cars hanging around for you is just so irresistible, while kidding yourself that you are making a difference — with other people’s money, of course.