It may have been Will Rogers or Mark Twain. I cannot now recall which of the two great American humorists it was who said all politicians are criminals.
But it makes no difference because when something is true, its source is not the main issue.
Fact is, politicians are extortionists at heart. Their forte is they will allow you and me to live and work provided we fork out nearly half of what we earn or otherwise obtain honestly so they can then dispose of it as they see fit.
In our time, the main appeal politicians hold out for millions is they join them in their resentful bashing of the rich. This is a successful ploy because in the past, of course, most riches came from conquest, from governments and their favorite minions sending out thugs to confiscate whatever they desired from those who had some.
As the saying has it, behind every great fortune lies a great crime, including extortion via taxation. This is why Robin Hood became a hero to so many: He went out and recovered what the tax takers took by force and returned it to the rightful owners. (No, Robin Hood didn’t steal from the rich and give to the poor; he repossessed from the ruler and his vicious taxers.)
How can politicians live with the knowledge they are what they are, confiscators, extortionists? Because they tell themselves the story so many tell themselves when they do the wrong thing — “The intended end justifies the means.”
Nearly every criminal thinks this way and so do nearly all who perpetrate evil upon others.
Some higher goal than what the victim seems to be pursuing motivates them. They are serving the public interest or God or the common good or the environment or science or culture — you name it, there are hundreds of candidates that make the politician feel at ease.