So if you're a politician and want to wield power in some lame and inept way, such that ordinary voters come to respect you enough to kiss butt, what should you do?
First: make it all be about money. Real substance doesn't matter, just talk about who will pay for it, which groups will need to dig deep, which might be undeserving and so on.
"Playing politics" is all about enjoying gratuitous power over others, and money is your chief weapon. Any time the discussion veers off into some technical area having to do with science or engineering, find a way to insinuate the money talk.
Budgets, chambers of commerce, lobbying groups, PACs -- you know the lingo. As long as money or the lack thereof is the number one issue, you're king of the hill. Remember that. Avoid substance. Be a king.