88. See id. at 5 (noting Congress' tendency toward spending); see also FIORINA, supra note 64,at 73 (discussing ability of individual legislators to spend while avoiding responsibility for overallbudget problems); MAYHEW, supra note 64, at 128, 144-45 (same).
DEPAUL LAW REVIEWCongress' glaring inability to work together to solve a snowballing nationalproblem-the budget deficit-was never more evident than during the budgetfiasco of October 1990.89 This experience demonstrates two lessons. First,while everyone knows that the budget is sorely overburdened with hundreds ofspending programs of varying importance, individual representatives are com-pletely unwilling to examine which or how many of these programs must bejettisoned. The reason is clear. Some group, somewhere, is counting on each ofthese programs. And several members of Congress probably used their influ-ence to help each group get its program. In turn, these legislators were com-pensated electorally." Representatives are simply unwilling to critically ex-amine the programs upon which they depend to get reelected. They alsohesitate to examine other legislators' programs, because "what goes aroundcomes around"; that is, each individual congressperson must cultivate thegoodwill and support of other members to get her particular programs. Thus,the reelection incentive ultimately thwarts responsible fiscal policy.9'A second lesson learned from the 1990 budget fiasco may be even moreserious. Apparently, members of Congress as a collective body are willing toprotect their reelection empires by deceiving the general public about how badthings really are.2B. Instruction Revisited?An eighteenth-century commentator complained that state legislatures werecomposed of "plain, illiterate husbandmen, whose views seldom extended far-ther than to the regulation of highways, the destruction of wolves, wild cats,and foxes, and the advancement of the other little interests of the particularcounties, which they were chosen to represent."" Although upon first impres-89. See generally George Hager, Deficit Deal Ever So Fragile as Hours Dwindle Away, 48CONG. Q. WKLY. REP. 3574 (1990); Janet Hook, Budget Ordeal Poses Question: Why Can't Con-gress Be Led?, 48 CONG. Q. WKLY, REP. 3471 (1990).90. It is no answer to say that many lobbyists and PACs donate to the campaigns of manydifferent representatives, regardless of their party affiliation or stand on the issues. This practice isclearly designed to build goodwill and merely feeds the general free-spending attitude in Congress.91. If current fiscal policy reflects popular selfishness and an unwillingness to do with less, thisattitude may also reflect a belief among people that government is incapable of responsible long-term leadership; thus, short-term selfishness is the only reasonable course of action. See, e.g.,Charles A. Radin, At Core, Say Analysts, U.S. Suffers Crisis of Confidence, BOSTON GLOBE, July2, 1990, at 1.