As promised, here's a report on what we accomplished in September. It was one of our best months ever!
First, we won two battles with Congress . . .
* We passed the Transparency Act
* We stopped Congress from passing a "Spying on Americans Act" (our more accurate name for the bill)
Both of these achievements were significant for the future.
The Transparency Act is important for a number of reasons . . .
* It will create a giant searchable database of government payments above $25,000
* This database will enable groups likes ours to identify waste, fraud, and abuse
* It will expose pork, earmarks, special favors, and corporate welfare
* It is also the first example of a favorite theme of ours . . .
Normally when Congress is "concerned" about corruption it passes regulations on THE PEOPLE, requiring THE PEOPLE to file reports with the government (such as with the campaign finance laws). But this may be the first time that Congress is actually requiring the government to file the reports!
How is this possible? We're constantly told that the "Read the Bills Act" and the "Write the Laws Act," and our coming "One Subject at a Time Act," can never pass, because Congress will never do anything to regulate itself. Passage of the Transparency Act says otherwise.
If the pressure is great enough, Congress can be made to reform. And this is why the "Transparency Act" is even more significant. It didn't take that much pressure to pass it!
We want to leave nothing to chance, so we're building toward the day when we can make Downsizing proposals known to everyone, everywhere, everyday, and apply relentless, inescapable, mind-numbing pressure on Congress. But it may not take that much to achieve many of our goals!
It certainly didn't with the Transparency Act.
Which brings us to another point of significance: We constantly talk about using "Fabian tactics" to Downsize DC. A hallmark of Fabian tactics is that you constantly win small concessions that move you relentlessly toward your ultimate goal. The Transparency Act is a case in point.
Congress may have submitted to this reform NOT ONLY because of the pressure to pass it, BUT ALSO because of the pressure it is receiving on other, more dramatic reforms, like the "Read the Bills Act."
By constantly pressing for more significant changes we give Congress an incentive to "relieve the pressure" by granting lesser concessions. But the pressure doesn't stop. It just continues to build. And Congress will continue to retreat, step-by-step, until they arrive where we want them.
This is how the Fabians achieved their objectives. And this is how we will win.
But the Transparency Act victory and the success in delaying, and potentially stopping, a "Spying on Americans Act," also demonstrate another favorite theme of ours. These successes were the work not just of Downsize DC, but of a coalition of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians working together.
Partisan electoral politics divides us, but the effort to control Congress through non-partisan, non-electoral means can unite us. We do not need to wait until one party or another controls Congress. Please take note of just how little rank-and-file Republicans have gained from having Republican politicians control both Congress and the White House!
We do not need to replace the people who sit in Congress. That will never gain us anything, because the incentives at work in Congress are far more powerful than any partisan label. Instead, we need to change the BEHAVIOR of the people who sit in Congress, no matter what label they give themselves!
We do that by changing the incentives. We make it more costly for Congress to increase government, and less costly for taxpayers to fight government growth. We do this by mobilizing the Downsize DC Consensus and giving them low cost, powerful tools to badger Congress and raise the cost Congress pays, PERSONALLY, for increasing government!
This is what we are doing, step-by-step. When all of our tools are in place, members of the Downsize DC Consensus will gain the power to control Congress at an incredibly low cost. All it will require is the following . . .
* A few key strokes and mouse clicks on a regular basis
* A few one-minute phone calls
* A little socializing about once a month (for Congressional Invasions)
* As little as a dime a day (start a micro or macro monthly credit card pledge today!
When that day comes tiny Congress will be overwhelmed by the united might of the Downsize DC Consensus!
Most Americans want smaller government. This desire cuts across all partisan and ideological lines. This is why we call it the Downsize DC Consensus. Step outside the divisive, rigged, partisan electoral contest, and you have a chance to unite and activate this Consensus.
That's exactly what happened with the Transparency Act and the Spying on Americans Act.
This brings us to another of our September successes. Downsize DC is starting to be noticed. More and more organizations, from all parts of the political ideological spectrum (the Downsize DC Consensus!) are calling on us to bring our weight to bear on Congress.
More and more blogs are writing about us (including a big story on DIGG), and more and more talk show hosts are covering our work.
Even people in Congress are calling on us.
During the September battles a conservative Congressman (NOT the one you might suspect!) called on us to sign a letter to the other members of Congress.
This is working. We're building toward the day when we can achieve the goal of Downsizing DC. And we can see it in the September growth numbers . . .
* We finished September with a record number of Downsizer-Dispatch subscribers: 23,359
* We recruited 911 new people to use our Congressional Contact System
* The number of registered DC Downsizers rose to 14,677
* We bombarded Congress with 32,076 messages
* The total number of messages to Congress rose to 408,942
We've still got a long way to go, but getting there is only a matter of time. And you know what? The time is going to pass anyway. We can either use less of it, or more of it, to reach our goals, depending on the effort we make. Which bring us to our final growth number for September . . .
We made our budget goal for the second month in a row! Not only that, we now have nearly one-third of our basic annual funding covered by reliable monthly credit card pledges. But it gets even better. A new major donor, who has been quietly watching our progress, has chipped in with a big contribution to get us started on October. The bottom line . . .
We only need to raise a little over $5,000 more to pay for October! We think this is a sign of things to come.
The more we do the easier it gets. The more support we have from monthly credit card pledgers, and the more growth we achieve in other areas, the more major donors will come our way, and the closer we'll be to the take-off point. The song remains the same . . .
When we have $168,000-a-year secured by monthly credit card pledges then we can start advertising and growing at light speed. We'll launch Operation Everywhere and the "One Subject at a Time Act." You can get your name on the roster of Legislative Sponsors for the "One Subject at a Time Act" by . . .
* Making a monthly credit card pledge of $3, $5, $8, $10, $15 or more
* Making a one-time contribution of $76 or more
With one of these steps you can speed the day when we're visible to everyone, everywhere, everyday, and we can apply relentless, inescapable, mind-numbing pressure on Congress.
Remember, the time is going to pass anyway, so shouldn't we use as little time as possible to reach our goals? You can contribute to even better results in October (and the rest of the future!) by clicking here
Thank you for a great September, and thank you for being a DC Downsizer.
P.S. If you would prefer to send a check, our address can be found on the form linked above. But for convenience, it is . . .
1931 15th St.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
P.P.S. If tax-deductibility is important to you, please consider a donation to our sister organization, the Downsize DC Foundation
. This support cannot be used to educate Congress, but does help further our mission of spreading the DC Downsizer Consensu