Monthly Archives: November 2008

We Interrupt Your Holiday Shopping Spree

Quote of the Day: “You can’t save the world if you can’t pay the rent.” – Morton Blackwell

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Subj: We interrupt your holiday shopping spree to bring you this important message.

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This month we have focused on funding the entire operating budget for 2009.

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We believe our “Close the Gap” campaign will enable us to have a real breakout year. After two years of Presidential campaigns, we’re quite excited about the prospect of no longer worrying about monthly budgets. We’re thrilled by the ability to begin real, direct-marketing outreach that should accelerate our growth.

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But we focused on this “Close the Gap” project at the expense of present needs. Here’s our situation. We still need to raise $4,902 THIS month.

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All new donors get…

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We’re About to Go Dark

Subject: We’re about to go dark . . .

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. . . for the Thanksgiving holiday. But before we go we’d like to ask you to conduct a thought experiment.

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Remember, this is a thought experiment — we’re not asking you to actually do this. Quite the contrary. Here it is . . .

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If you had the time and energy to go door to door in your neighborhood, explaining to your neighbors the benefits of the “Read the Bills Act” and the “One Subject at a Time Act,” how many of them do you think would say . . .

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“Hey, I like that.”

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And of those who responded positively, how many do you think would be willing to support RTBA and OSTA by signing up for a FREE membership with DownsizeDC.org, and a FREE subscription to the Downsizer Dispatch?

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* The number who would like RTBA and OSTA would probably be huge
:::* The number who would want to join Downsize DC would be a subset that

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But how much of a subset? More importantly, how many would have to say yes for you to feel good about asking?

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More important still, how many would have to say yes in order to be significant to your Congressperson?

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They could do this instead

Quote of the Day: “Today’s political candidates are proposing a new fiscal spending stimulus, when what we really need is a “deregulatory stimulus.” We need to roll back the regulatory state and free up the wealth-creating sector. We cannot afford today’s bull market in government regulations.” — Clyde Wayne Crews & Ryan Young

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Subject: They could do this instead

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The Big Three automakers came to Washington last week, begging for $25 billion in loans.

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The Detroit automakers can’t say why they need so much, how they would spend it, or that they won’t be back again, asking for more. After the bungled handling of the banking bailout many lawmakers are reluctant to give the automakers what they want. As of now, there’s no deal, but the danger hasn’t passed.

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Proponents of a bailout argue that without it the money will instead be spent on unemployment checks and income tax losses when one or more of the Detroit 3 file for reorganization under the bankruptcy laws. So why not just go ahead and do the bailout?

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We need to push our own counter-arguments. Let’s start with a few startling facts . . .

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We’re in the top 100

DownsizeDC.org has been mentioned in a top-100 list of libertarian blogs!

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Major Progress Made

Special Note: Jim Babka is scheduled to appear on Straight Talk, w/ Jerry Hughes, this afternoon at 3:06 PM Eastern. Listening details are available at our blog.

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Quote of the Day: “The essence of political action is a compromise over who wins and who loses. The essence of politics is pretending that such actions benefit everyone.” — Russell Roberts

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Subject: Your Downsize DC has made major progress

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A majority wants smaller government and lower taxes. It’s been that way for a long time. We demonstrated this last weekend using a variety of polls conducted over several decades.

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It’s frustrating. We ought to be able to get what we want — smaller government.

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Instead, we are faced, in election after election, with a choice between two candidates, both of whom want larger government, in one way or another.

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In terms of what the candidates say . . .

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* One of them always seems to want to trash our economic liberties
:::* While the other one always seems to want to trash our civil liberties

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And in terms of what they do when elected, as opposed to what they promised in order to win our votes, everyone we elect always seems to trash all of our liberties all of the time.

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The choices before us in electoral politics are always bad ones. We can either choose a candidate who is only promising some of what we want, but who is likely to deliver all of what we don’t want, or we can vote for a minor party candidate who is so overwhelmed by legal and structural impediments that his or her vote total will always be microscopic.

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Things are the exact opposite of how they should be.

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But to change this we must focus on the central problem…

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Real “Change” in Iraq

Quotes of the Day:

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“You can’t walk around unless you’ve got flak jackets, helmets on all the time, no matter where you are. It’s always struck me it’s almost like a Fellini movie, kind of unreal. The American people are told things are stable and secure, and violence is down. No American would walk outside there without a convoy!” — Chuck Hagel, upon returning from Baghdad

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“At long last, the fragile state of Somalia seems to be slowly resurfacing from a searing bout of violence and humanitarian crisis. Interestingly, the light at the end of this decades-long tunnel is not burning at the behest of the United States or the United Nations; rather, it burns because Somali leaders, both within the government and without, have banded together. Frustrated by failed foreign interventions, they are now seeking sustainable Somali-based solutions. The key to success, going forward, is to keep it Somali-led. Further intervention from neighboring Ethiopia or the United States will be ruinous.” — Michael Shank, Communications Director, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Senior Analyst at Foreign Policy In Focus

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Subject: Real “Change” in Iraq

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Many people think the U.S. occupation of Iraq has become a non-issue, for two reasons . . .

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1. Violence is down
:::2. The U.S. government signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to continue the occupation

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We feel differently. We think the occupation is still an issue, because . . .

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OSTA would prevent monstrosities like the Big Bailout bill

Quote of the Day: “The practice of combining into one Bill Subjects diverse in their nature and having no necessary connection, thereby to secure the passage of several measures, no one of which could succeed on its own merits, both corrupts Congress and endangers the American constitutional republic.” — One Subject At A Time Act, Section 2(f)

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Subject: OSTA would prevent monstrosities like the Big Bailout bill

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Last week we described how the bailout bill (H.R. 1424) empowered the IRS to do undercover entrapments and reveal your tax information.

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What does that have to do with “rescuing the economy?” Nothing.

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The bailout bill was stuffed with unrelated provisions to win the votes of pork-minded Congresspeople, and passed quickly before anyone could read it. This made it easy to add provisions that couldn’t have passed by themselves in the full light of day.

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The original bailout bill was bad. The final bill was worse. This wouldn’t have happened had the “One Subject At A Time Act” (OSTA) been in force. Here are three examples of how OSTA would have stopped the Big Bailout bill . . .

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Should You Pay Autoworkers to Do Nothing?

Quote of the Day: “The Constitution poses no serious threat to our form of government.” — Joseph Sobran

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Subject: Should you pay autoworkers to do nothing?

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If the history of the current era is ever written properly it may be called “The Age of the Government Sponsored Scam.” The examples are piling up. Here’s the latest . . .

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Did you know that GM and other automakers with UAW contracts have to pay many of their employees to do nothing! It’s called a Job Bank. Laid-off workers at Ford, GM, and Chrysler are paid 90% of their previous wages to sit in a room at the factory doing nothing! 

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Think of what this will mean if the politicians pass a bill to bailout GM, or Chrysler, or Ford. When you go to work you’ll be laboring part of the day to pay some members of the United Auto Workers union to sit and produce nothing.

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Doesn’t that sound like a scam to you, and wouldn’t a bailout represent government sponsorship of this scam?

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Do you think, perhaps, the Detroit automakers might not need a bailout if they didn’t sign such stupid contracts with the UAW union?

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Do you think, perhaps, that no bailout should even be considered as long as such contracts are in place?

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Do you think,

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How to Cure Political Loneliness

Quote of the Day: “In the long run men hit only what they aim at.” — Henry David Thoreau

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Subject: How to cure political loneliness

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* How many Americans want smaller government?
:::* How many Americans would support the “Read the Bills Act” and the “One Subject at a Time Act,” if they were introduced to them?

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In today’s Dispatch we’ll answer the first question, and explain how we can use $50,000 in pledges made by two generous donors to answer the second question. We’ll also tell you how you can see and receive our new “I Am Not Afraid” t-shirt.

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We start by tipping our hat to David Boaz at the Cato Institute for constantly calling attention to the kind of data we’re going to share below, and to Ramesh Ponnuru for providing a good recent summary of this information.

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CBS pollsters have been asking the following question for decades, “Would you say you favor smaller government with fewer services, or larger government with many services?”

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From 1996 through Jan. 2001 the smaller-government side had an average lead of

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Mark Twain was right

Quote of the Day: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” — Mark Twain

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Subject: Educate the Powerful!

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Mark Twain was right. History doesn’t repeat itself, exactly, but often the present does rhyme with the past.

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Sadly, the evidence for this is now all around us.

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Too much of what the politicians are currently doing rhymes too well with what the politicians did during the Great Depression.

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Then, as now, the politicians blamed the economic downturn on the free market. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

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The government caused the Great Depression. Even Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, agrees.

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