Unexpectedly Intriguing!
21 February 2008

As Deer in the Headlights, So Are the Congressional Leaders of Our Lives.... You know who you are. You're the kind of person for whom competition means nothing, because you always stack the deck in your favor. You think taking the time to become wealthy by building a solid business that makes its customers happy is a total waste of your time. You think taking on any risk for any future returns you might gain from stocks, bonds or any other kind of investment is for total losers. You also think hard work and real jobs are for chumps, those people way beneath you in importance.

You're a rent seeker. And like most rent seekers, you've discovered that what matters is who you know in government. More than that, you know that the people you most want to know are the people who can steer money taken from other people your way. And for a token of appreciation, preferably in the form of a campaign contribution, they're more than happy to help!

Where the United States is concerned, at the national level, we're talking about the members of the U.S. Congress. If you're a rent seeker looking to get huge quantities of taxpayer money to guarantee a huge payday for yourself, justified for public expense by a sham of a hare-brained venture that could never get funding in the real world, where else would you go?

Nowhere else! There's no place like Congress, where you're not even in the real world! You're on Capitol Hill, baby!

And like most people on Capitol Hill looking to get something for nothing, you're looking for the best deal. And that's where our latest tool comes in, because now you can find out which elected member of Congress can give you the best return on your investment!

Here's how it works. All you need to do is to plug in the numbers that apply for your situation: the amount of the campaign contribution(s) it takes to get the prospective member of Congress to set up your very own line item or earmark in the U.S. Federal Budget and the total dollar amount of that line item or earmark (or perhaps even the total dollar value of having the Congress set up a new regulation that protects you from real competition)!

From there, you'll be able to take our results and use them to comparison shop for the member of Congress that best fits your rent-seeking budget!

Contribution and "Investment" Return Data
Input Data Values
Total of Campaign Contribution(s) [$USD]
Value of Line Item or Regulation

Congressional Return on Investment
Calculated Results Values
Raw Return on Rent-Seeking "Investment" [%]

The default numbers in the tool above come from the curious situation described here, which we've provided to give you a sense of the huge returns you can get from your Congressional rent-seeking investment! (HT: Captain's Quarters)

And remember, it's not that the price is so low or that the rewards are so high that makes this kind of arrangement desirable. The real bonus is that you and some member of Congress get to join forces to stick it to all those honest, time-consuming, risk-taking, hard-working chumps and losers, not only because you know so much better than them what's best for them, but because you know better than them what to do with their own money!

Because you're rent seekers. What's good for you is all that matters to you.

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About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations

Thanks in advance!

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