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March 8, 2007

Cut Congressional pay for poor performance

Today’s Downszizer-Dispatch . . .

Please bring this item to the attention of concerned friends . . .

There is no reason for the federal government to spend more than it takes in, except in the event of a truly national emergency, such as a _declared_ war. But . . .

The federal government has routinely spent more than it brings in, year after year, for many decades in a row, even when there was no war. This is irresponsible.

Funding government through borrowing transfers the costs of today’s government to future generations. This is a sin.

Congress does this because it wants to be free to hand-out goodies without having to tax you for it.
This is wrong.

And this behavior means that future taxes, that should go for future government expenses, will instead go to pay the ever-growing interest on the ever-growing national debt. This is bad.

We must change the incentives. We must make Congress pay a personal cost today for doing the bad things they’re doing right now. We have an opportunity to do that, starting right now, and right here.

H.R. 500 would impose a pay cut on Congress for every year in which the federal government runs a deficit that is not caused by a war. If Congress wants to be irresponsible, then every member of Congress must pay a painful personal cost for that irresponsibility.

This is your chance to do something that would actually make a difference. Passing H.R. 500 would actually change things.

Frankly, most of the things people talk about doing to change government wouldn’t make a damned bit of difference, but passing H.R. 500 could.

Frankly, we have a lot of hot air in this country. For instance, we have lots of people ranting about earmarks — pork barrel spending. Don’t get us wrong: They infuriate us too, but they are trivial in the grand scheme. Obsessing about earmarks is a lot like whistling past the graveyard. You could eliminate all earmarks entirely and it would only save about $27 billion a year. We need to face facts . . .

$27 billion a year is almost nothing in terms of total federal spending. But eliminating the federal budget deficit is SOMETHING. It would reduce the burden of Big Cancerous Government by hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and save tens of billions more in interest payments over the years to come.

This is a difference that could make a difference. Do you want to make a difference? Here’s a chance for all of us to walk our talk . . .

We believe that Congress will “get religion” on deficit spending when they pay a personal cost for running deficits. H.R. 500 could make that happen. H.R. 500 would make Congress pay a PERSONAL COST for fiscal sloth. H.R. 500 is a real bill with 7 real co-sponsors in Congress. H.R. 500 is a real opportunity to cause real change.

But it’s up to citizens like you whether or not this bill will be passed into law.

If you demand that your Representative and your two Senators pass this law, and you keep demanding it, relentlessly, and ask your friends to do the same, then eventually Congress will cave to the pressure. We’ve seen it before. But . . .

If you do nothing, then nothing will happen. That’s the way doing nothing works. Any excuse for inactivity will get you what you asked for — nothing.

We can complain, or we can act. Talk is cheap, but fortunately, in this case, so is action. It will take just a few minutes for you to use our Congressional Contact System to tell your elected representatives to sponsor and pass H.R. 500. Doing so could save hundreds of billions a year. Please do so, HERE.

Please also forward this message to concerned friends.

And please consider making a contribution to further our work, so we can make the pressure on Congress mount higher and higher. You can contribute here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.



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