Some political systems are based on beliefs and identity. The American congress is built on spending money. The spoils system long ago became the spoiled system with money as the lubricant of politics. The legacy of a leader used to be measured by his accomplishments, today it’s measured by how much money he managed to extract from the collective pool of real and imaginary money held in the sweaty hands of the legislatures.
Much of the money is imaginary, but in the minds of the politicians it’s all imaginary. Unreality is an elementary tool of price inflation. The more outrageous the markup, the more the merchant works to create an atmosphere where money does not seem to exist and reality bends at the seams. It’s not a new game or a particularly clever one, but the unreality bubble now covers much of Washington D.C.