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How Chipotle Is Like The Federal Government

Spencer Lund dispenses advice on how to get your money's worth when you order from Chipotle:

This is the proper way to go about ordering from the second (and generally final) station. This is also where you really come into your own and they’ll respect you more for it.
“I’d like some corn." Wait until the corn as been added.
“And some tomato." Wait until the tomato has been scooped and added. Your burrito should look pretty monstrous already, but we have more to add.
“Some hot sauce please…”
This is where things get emphatic.
Cheese and sour cream are the two things you must ask for extra. There’s no clearly defined rule about this, so take advantage of their ambiguity and ask for more. I do this with the meat as well, but then beg off when they inform me it will cost extra. Some day they will not mention this and I will get free extra meat. ...
After everything has been added, your chipoista (I just made that up) should have trouble fitting everything into the burrito. If the burrito tears and they have to add a second tortilla, CONGRATULATIONS, you ordered the proper way.

This is a pretty useful metaphor for the federal budget, is it not? The flaw he's exploiting in the Chipotle system is that you don't have servers listing all the ingredients beforehand and then deciding how to fit them into a tortilla. Instead each decision about fillings is made independent from the others.You can loudly demand more cheese, more sour cream, and whatnot, and the asymmetry of interest (you really want more cheese, your server doesn't really care) ensures that the amount of every topping will be on the high side of the plausible.

Likewise, in the federal budget, we have discussions about each issue divorced from the others. Defense and homeland security? Nobody wants to be accused of "not being interested in the security of America," so they dollop on as much funding as needed. Entitlements? They run on autopilot. Taxes? Think of the poor families trying to get by on a mere $1.2 million a year! Then, finally, the federal spending is oozing out of the tax tortilla.