The First Law of Congressional Behavior

On page 140 of Douglas Arnold’s book The Logic of Congressional Action, while discussing why Congressmen are so reluctant to close unneeded military bases in their home districts, he states the first law of congressional behavior:

[N]ever impose costs on one’s constituents that might be directly traced to one’s own individual actions.

This is both true and important. Reforms that ignore this law are doomed to failure.

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