Politicians and economists rail against business executives who profit off risky moves, collect big bonuses, and then leave the house to crumble on top of the next guy. One common solution is to have clawback provisions and other deffered compensation.
Reading this NYTimes article about how state governments are engaging in shady accounting to balance their budgets, and watching this ad about Murray Hill, the corporate candidate that pledges to bring corporate accounting to government, made me think about how politicians pull the same trick. They pay out money now, raid trust funds like pension plans and social security, all to spend now and let some other poor fool get stuck paying the check. In the meantime, the reap the power, prestige, and compensation. Maybe it’s time we deffered the compensation of elected officials and civil servants?