I was thinking about this problem a lot at the beginning of the summer, and I caught myself smiling a ton while reading this at the deja vu! I think this question of moral trade on political goods is fascinating, and I definitely agree with the premise: that spending in politics is much higher than is socially optimal because there is an ‘arms race’ element to political fundraising. Few thoughts:
[very quick technical-ish thoughts on a necessary condition] I would guess funding retrospectively today is only useful if you think you're going to increase funding in the future.
The purpose of funding is to enable people to complete projects -- more people are willing to do a project with more funding, and only really rare, super-duper value-aligned people will do a project with very little funding.
Retrospectively funding people that are already doing the project ignores they've already signaled they're the type that is happy to do the projec... (read more)