This seems brilliantly useful, to me, and I thought I'd share it with
you. If you like these ideas: take action and pass it on to your list.
Maybe, together, we could change some things for the better.
D o w n s i z e r - D i s p a t c h
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Quote of the day:
"You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for
bureaucrats, procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing."
- Thomas Sowell
Subject: Procedural Matters
This message is about procedural matters. Why? Because Procedure matters.
* The budget rules of the House and Senate are such that the federal
government is guaranteed to be larger with each passing year.
* The political rules are such that every single crisis results in a
hastily passed law, with no regard for Constitutionality or cost.
* The rules of state are such that the politicians and power-brokers
DON'T pay a price for their mistakes -- neither for passing ineffective
or destructive laws, nor for busting the budget. In fact, saying "Yes"
to more spending and new laws always benefits them, and saying "No,"
can cost them support.
How do we change these rules? You've heard it said, "The devil is in
the details." Yes, the devil, because if you try talking about the
budget process or the legislative process you'll divide folks along
partisan lines, or worse, bore people to sleep.
How can we unite people to care about procedure? It seems hopeless. And that's where DownsizeDC.org comes in.
We've offered a series of real proposals that actually interest regular Americans.
* One of them is symbolic, but important.
* All, but one, are laws that bind politicians, instead of citizens.
* Most of these proposals reverse perverse political incentives.
* All of them are transpartisan.
And unlike a think-tank that spends tens of thousands of dollars to
hold a conference or publish a book that essentially says, "Wouldn't it
be good if thus-and-such was the case?" we give you our "Educate the
Powerful System" as a method to turn valid (not theoretical) proposals
We call these ground-breaking proposals "The Downsize DC Agenda."
* The Read the Bills Act (RTBA) would require members of Congress to
read their bills before voting to pass a law, create a program, or
spend your money. A quorum of Congress would have to sit and listen to
a word for word, in order reading of the entire bill. And after that
reading, Congress would have a seven day waiting period before they
could cast their final vote, during which the bill would be posted on
the Internet so that members of the press, watchdog groups, or YOU can
RTBA would give Congress an incentive to shorten their bills and would
almost certainly reduce the number of bills they pass. It would prevent
them from sneaking things into bills and end the practice of last
minute surprise votes. And you
can help get it introduced by sending a message to your Representative
and Senators using our new Educate the Powerful System.
* The Write the Laws Act (WTLA) could've been called the Separation of
Powers Act. This bill deals with unconstitutional delegation of power.
According to the Constitution, Congress should write the laws, not
unelected bureaucrats or judges. And of course, Congress should have to
read the laws before passing them! Recently, Congressman Ron Paul told
me he'd be willing to study and consider WTLA. I know there are fans of
his on this list, so please remind him of his commitment. And for the
rest of you DC Downsizers, you
can help get this bill introduced by sending a message to your
Representative and Senators using our free Educate the Powerful System.
* The One Subject at a Time Act (OSTA) would require Congress to pick a
clear descriptive title for their bills. Then, everything in the bill
must match what's in the title. Moreover, the contents of the bill are
limited to the product of one of the standing oversight committees.
OSTA would've prevented Congress from inserting online gambling
prohibitions into a Port Security bill. It would've stopped Congress
from jamming the Real ID Act into a bill for Iraq troop appropriations.
You can advance OSTA by sending a message to your Representative and Senators using our new Educate the Powerful System.
* The Enumerated Powers Act (HR 1359) is largely symbolic. But its
passage would require Congress to include the Constitutional
justification for each piece of legislation right in the bill. This
requirement would create a record of shame that might become
politically, or even legally useful. Shouldn't Congress be required to
cite the Constitution when they act? If you think so, you
can help bring HR 1359 to a vote with a message to your Representative
and Senators using our free Educate the Powerful System.
That's the Downsize DC Agenda. But we have one more procedural bill that we think really matters.
* The Fiscal Responsibility Act (HR 500) would apply consequences on
Congress when they deficit spend -- they would see their salary cut!
Not only would they lose their pay raises, they'd see their pay
decline. Instead of drunken sailors, they'd be required to behave more
like stock-holding, board members. And if you
want to see HR 500 passed, please send a message to your Representative
and Senators using our new Educate the Powerful System.
Procedure matters. Incentives matter. And DownsizeDC.org has a real process to begin reform.
The power is in your hands: a few keyboard clicks and a couple mouse clicks. As a DC Downsizer you can, "Educate the Powerful!"
But there's one more important procedural matter I want to bring your attention.
We want to reach the point where we can overwhelm members of Congress
with unrelenting pressure on the airwaves and on the ground. To get
there requires financial support from folks who are smart enough to
understand the problem and wise enough to see that the Downsize DC Army
can indeed become so big that Congress cannot afford to ignore us.
Our monthly budget is modest -- just $15,500. And this month, we expect
about $8,100 in existing monthly pledge support. On top of that, we
have a group challenge pledge of $3,600 for the month of September.
Every donation up to a total of $3,600 will be matched, dollar for
dollar, by this donor group. Thus, a pledge of $10 would bring in $10
<i>more</i> dollars this month. And a one-time donation of
$100 from you would be instantly worth $200! Please help us secure these funds.
The absolute best way to support us is with a monthly credit card or
scheduled electronic check of $3, $5, $8, $10, $15, $25, $35, or more
per month. But any contribution can and will make a difference.
Please help ensure that we collect that $3,600 pledge and make budget. Please contribute today.
And remember, you have our permission to trim off the "announcement" at
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well as the appeal for financial support, so you can distribute this
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