Monthly Archives: March 2009

Day of Ruin

Quote of the Day: “The only things that are immortal in this world are government programs and cancer cells in petri dishes.” — Jim Babka, President, DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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Subject: Day of Ruin

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Future historians may someday come to identify one day this week as a day of ruin. Here’s why . . .

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Congress will pass a budget this week. We believe this budget will create a condition of permanent annual TRILLION dollar deficits. Please follow our logic . . .

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Budget Porn

Quote of the Day: “The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” — Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist

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Subject: Budget Porn

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The federal government has been doing so well at so many things, such as protecting people from scam artists like Bernie Madoff, that President Obama thinks it can now take responsibility for all areas of human life. The President’s new budget will . . .

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  • Expand federal control of your health care
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  • Expand federal control of your energy supply through “cap and trade”
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  • Help distressed home owners
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  • Monitor every morsel of food produced in America, as it moves from the ground to your kitchen
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  • Involve the federal government in “charity” through a national system of “public service” that may become mandatory for young people
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  • Expand federal involvement in education through a system of universal pre-kindergarten
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Health care, energy, housing, food, charity, education — that’s EVERYTHING!

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It gets worse.

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The Two Prohibitions

Quote of the Day: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

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Subject: Prohibiting guns and drugs

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There’s a civil war going on in Mexico. It’s the drug cartels, funded by obscene black market profits, versus the government, funded by obscene taxes.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Mexico this week. She’s from the U.S. Federal Government and she was there to help. She promised . . .

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* More taxpayer money to fight Mexico’s war on drugs
:::* Gun control laws here in the U.S.A. . . .

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. . .to stop the flow of guns to the Mexican drug cartels.

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Ms. Clinton seems to think that gun prohibition is the way to enforce drug prohibition. She’s right about one thing. Drug prohibition and gun prohibition are

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Dissecting yet another scam

Quote of the Day: “Big Government isn’t the savior. It’s the devil, wearing a chicken suit.” — Jim Babka (Source: Positive Liberty blog, March 21, 2009)

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Subject: Dissecting yet another scam

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President Obama unveiled the latest government plan for buying up “toxic” assets on Monday, and the stock market soared by nearly 500 points. It’s not hard to see why. Investors get the reward, while taxpayers get the risk.

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Please use our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System to ask Congress to block this bailout.

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Here’s what you can say in your personal comments. This latest “toxic” asset bailout is yet another scam, because . . .

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For every $100 used to buy “toxic” assets, private investors will put up only $7, while taxpayers will put in a matching $7 plus $86 in loans. These are no recourse loans. In other words, if a “toxic” asset doesn’t pay off, taxpayers will eat the loss — potentially $93 out of every $100 invested.

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Can we use the 80-20 rule

Quote of the Day: “The legal tender quality [of money] is only valuable for the purposes of dishonesty.” — Justice Salmon Chase Chief Justice, formerly Secretary of Treasury in President Lincoln’s administration Source: in dissent of Knox vs. Lee (The Legal Tender Cases, 1871)

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Subject: Can we please make use of the 80-20 rule?

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Yesterday I criticized the misdirected public rage about the AIG bonuses. There is already some buzz on Internet about my “strong words.”

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I simply pointed out that these bonuses were authorized by Congress, signed into law by the President, and paid by a government appointed CEO. I also explained how the “Read the Bills Act” could have prevented this from happening.

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Which is more rage-worthy? The fact that Congress authorized the AIG bonuses, or the fact that many politicians didn’t know they had done this? 

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We think the answer is obvious.

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That’s why we think people are focusing on the wrong thing.

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This same lack of focus is happening with the Federal Reserve.

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There’s a big push behind Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” bill. That’s good. But what isn’t good is the relative lack of effort on behalf of his far, far more important “Honest Money” bills.

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The “Honest Money” bills are more important because they would pave the way for passing the “End the Fed” bill. Here’s why . . .

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Everyone is wrong about the AIG bonuses

Quote of the Day: “There are a thousand striking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” — Henry David Thoreau

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Subject: Everyone is wrong about the AIG bonuses

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Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut inserted language into the scam-stimulus bill permitting the AIG bonuses that everyone is now bloviating about. He did so at the request of the Treasury Department. A Congressional majority then voted for the Dodd proposal, and President Obama signed it into law.

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Those upset about the AIG bonuses should focus on the fact that Congress authorized them. All the Congressional grand-standing about how bad the bonuses are is rank hypocrisy. One of two things is true . .

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  • Either those who voted for the scam-stimulus bill knew about the bonus provision, in which case they ought to be “falling on their own swords,” instead of castigating the government-appointed CEO of AIG, or . . .
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  • They didn’t know about the bonus provision, in which case they ought to introduce DownsizeDC.org’s “Read the Bills Act,” so they’ll know what they’re passing before they cast their votes.
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Pointing fingers

MEDIA NOTICE: Jim Babka will appear on the Jerry Hughes show today. Check our blog for details on how you can listen in.

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Quotes of the Day: “No doubt we all could have been Rhodes scholars if only we hadn’t sucked on our pens, drawn hearts on our hands, and read our pre-1985 books. It is a miracle we survived thus far.” – blogger Deputy Headmistress

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“When kid’s dirtbikes are outlawed because of lead content, only outlaw kids will ride dirtbikes, er something like that.” – Tom Pearson

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Subject: Pointing Fingers

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If your preteen child aspires to be a dirt bike racer, safety concerns may race through your head. That’s understandable.

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But would lead poisoning be one of them?

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Incredibly, youth ATV’s and motorcycles have been banned by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) because of lead content. The Motorcycle Industry Council says this could mean losses of $1 billion in 2009 alone.

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Technical Difficulties

Quote of the Day: “Keep up the great work!! You have a wonderful website and I especially like your e-mail alert system… I am signed up on a few others and yours is always FIRST TO ACT!!!” — Ruth Kabitzke, a DC Downsizer from Iowa

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Subject: Our technical difficulties, plus, tomorrow’s message

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We know that not all Downsizers read the Dispatch every day.

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Yesterday’s Dispatch was especially important, so we’re repeating it below in case you didn’t get a chance to read it.

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For those who did read it we want to draw your attention to tomorrow’s message.

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We’ll be sharing a lot of shocking information about Congress’s recent, ill-considered regulation regarding lead content in American products. If you’ve had a recent problem using our Educate the Powerful System, could you please try to send a message on tomorrow’s action item using the work-around we described yesterday — that we repeat below?

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If the work-around is effective for you then you’re all set until we can put a permanent fix in place. If it doesn’t work, could you please let us know so we can try to get to the bottom of the problem? Thank you.

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Meanwhile, here’s the message about out technical problems, and the work-around, that we sent yesterday . . .

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We apologize

Subject: We apologize

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The Coca-Cola Company had New Coke. Microsoft had Vista. We have our new website.

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Many DC Downsizers have had problems with our new site. We sincerely apologize.

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Like New Coke, our redesigned site tested well before launch. Alas, it’s not serving us well.

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But we’re not standing pat.

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Our Recruitment Letter

Quote of the Day: “Ask and you shall receive.” – Jesus of Nazareth

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Subject: Our recruitment letter

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DownsizeDC.org is not yet five years old. On July 14, 2004 we sent our first message to someone else’s 11,800 member email list. Some loved us immediately, but most of them weren’t interested enough to stay with us to the present day. 

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Over the years more than 60,000 people have had a subscription to this list at some point, some for only a day or two. Today, we have more than 24,400, and they are active.

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Nearly all of that growth has come from one source — DC Downsizers who have forwarded our Dispatches to other people.

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This is a very low-cost method of growth. It’s also very slow. Few people who receive forwarded Dispathes join (although there’s a huge educational benefit, so keep forwarding those messages). It’s time to start using new methods that could recruit new people 10, 20, or 30 times faster.

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One of those methods is direct mail.

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Direct mail is an old, low-tech tool. It’s also highly effective. It is the most effective form of advertising ever devised.

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We think the key to rapid growth is as simple as asking the most likely prospects to join our email list. Ask and you shall receive. Given sufficient funding we can use direct mail to ask hundreds of thousands, and potentially millions, of likely members to join DownsizeDC.org.

:::Here’s the letter we want to send. Please read it and think about how people who want smaller government are likely to respond.

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