September 12, 2008
Does the government take donations?
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day:
"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."
-- attributed to Senator Everett Dirksen

Subject: Can the government save you money by taking donations?

Courtesy of Radley Balko we learn that . . .

* The marble on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider has been cracked and needed replacing for 18 years!
* It cost the federal government $80,000 just to seek bids to do the job
* The total price for the bidding, purchase, transportation, sculpting, and replacement of the marble comes to a whopping $2.2 million

Meanwhile . . .

John Haines, a retired car dealer, has acquired the needed marble from the same quarry as the original marble, and arranged for donated transportation, for a mere $31,000. He wants to donate the marble, so that the only thing the federal government would need to do, using YOUR tax dollars, is pay for the sculpting and the installation. But there's one problem . . .

The most recent report to Congress on the marble replacement project does not include Haines's donated marble. Instead, the report proposes the full $2.2 million price tag.

These numbers may seem small in the context of the multi-trillion dollar federal budget, but this story is indicative of how the federal government spends most of your money. It does not do so efficiently. The government doesn't have to be efficient because it's spending your money, of which it has an endless supply, if not through taxation, then through borrowing, and if not through taxing and borrowing, then through inflating the money supply.

But there's more to this story than the waste that arises when government officials spend "other people's money" -- your money! In "The Downsize DC Vision" we describe an additional major mechanism that further empowers massive government waste . . .

* Those who won the bid for the Tomb repair contact will receive a major financial benefit and therefore have a huge incentive to lobby hard to retain this contract. Meanwhile . . .
* The cost to you of this wasteful spending is mere pennies, leaving you with little incentive to fight the waste

The key to solving this problem is to make the cost you pay to fight such waste very small. That's what we are doing at

With just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks you can fight this marble boondoggle. Please use our new campaign to cut federal spending for this purpose. Use your personal comments to tell Congress you are aware that John Haines has donated marble to repair the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Tell them that you want this donation accepted.

You can send your message using our FREE Educate the Powerful System.

We also make it possible for you to effectively fight government waste with donations that amount to mere pennies a day. Please consider making a contribution or starting a monthly pledge to further our work. In return we'll send you a copy of "The Downsize DC Vision." You can make your contribution here.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC army.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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