Rules of Politics
Brian Gongol

1. If someone says "this is the most important election of our lifetime", they mean of their own lifetime, not yours. That's because it's their job on the line.

2. When someone says a proposal is "for the children", it's almost certainly not.

3. Anyone who says "if you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to hide" is welcome to live in a glass house with no curtains.

4. The cry of "Somebody, do something!" leads to countless bad decisions. Knowing when to say "no" is a great virtue, but it's exercised rarely; politicians like Calvin Coolidge and Mike Johanns who have embraced the act of resisting action aren't widely celebrated.

5. A politician without humility is profoundly dangerous. They will try to do too many things, will do them badly, and have other people's resources with which to fail.

6. Every law should probably come with a sunset provision, at least for re-evaluation.

7. An intergenerational transfer that takes from the younger and gives to the older is a profound violation of trust, since it takes from people who don't even have the choice to say "no" about it.

8. If officials were so good at investing, they'd be investors in the private sector. The best we can generally hope to get from economic-development work by the government is to "do no harm".

9. It will always be harder to find good business-conservative candidates than not, because it's most valuable for them to stay in the private sector.