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Congress is dysfunctional and a drain on the country

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DownsizeDC.org

In February we told you that the federal government’s fiscal year begins October 1, giving Congress eight full months to write, read, and pass the bills needed to fund government departments.

It’s almost September, and not ONE appropriations bill has passed. It’s probable that NONE will pass on time. And it’s a certainty that no member of Congress will read any of them.

This is just the latest evidence that Congress is broken. Fundamental change is needed. More

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Both partys opposed to having to actually “read the bills” before voting

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A watered-down version of the Read the Bills Act, the so-called “72 hour” rule, would require all final bills to be posted on-line for 72 hours before coming to a vote. It now has 218 sponsors – a majority of the House!

It is DownsizeDC.org’s position that a) we are largely responsible for this rule and how far it’s come, and b) it’s not going to do much — we really need the 24-carat Read the Bills Act. Still, we support it because it was a nearly inevitable stage of progress that our opponents would try to assuage us with a watered-down, milquetoast version first. So we must pass it, even while we remind everyone that it’s not enough.

And so we ask you to please tell the House to pass the 72 Hour Rule. More

Congress! Read the Bills!!

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Please construct your own letter:  Petition letters no matter how many received are counted as “one”. 

DownsizeDC

Do you know what Congress does when it’s in session? to find out:

The video shows just a few of the silly and pointless resolutions Congress wastes time on, instead of doing what it’s supposed to do.

* Congress missed its April 15 deadline to pass a budget
* And has the audacity to tell us it doesn’t have time to read the bills!

Please tell Congress to re-arrange its priorities and pass the Read the Bills Act.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

You say you don’t have time to read the bills. But it’s funny what Congress DOES have time for. This year, the House found time to . . . More

Cap and Trade: A Disaster for America

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John Wallace  mailto:john@freedomlibertysovereignty.com
Liberty News Online

 IV-dees

On June 26th, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 by a vote of 219 to 212. The bill, also known as “Cap and Trade” legislation, should more appropriately be called “Cap and Tax” legislation because the federal government is trying to “CAP” Americans’ Freedoms and then “TAX” the necessities of living like gas, food and even heating oil.This bill, like so many other pieces of major federal legislation in recent years, was rammed through congress by the Democratic leadership without even giving the members the time to read it, let alone understand it, all in violation of their now worthless promise to create a more transparent legislative process. The Democrats added 300 pages of amendments to the legislation at 3:00AM on the day of the vote, giving the members of congress less than 12 hours to read the whole 1,200 page bill. Rep. Joe Barton asked repeatedly during the debate on Friday afternoon if there was even a copy of the bill anywhere in the House chamber and Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who was sitting in the speaker’s chair, repeatedly avoided the question. No full copy of the legislation was ever produced. What was the rush and why were the American people and their elected representatives denied the ability to read the bill before it was voted on?  How does this help the American people? More

They think reading the bills is a joke

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Without DownsizeDC.org’s Read the Bills Act (RTBA), Congress has every incentive to make bills as long and convoluted as possible. This allows them to combine reasonable-sounding proposals with special-interest favors. And then, when the bill doesn’t work as intended, their solution is always to pass yet another long, convoluted bill.

But under RTBA…

* Congress will have an incentive to make bills as short and clear as possible
* Fewer bills will get passed, meaning government won’t grow at such a cancerous rate
* The final version of every bill will be posted on the Internet for at least seven days before a vote, giving the public and the media a chance to read and comment

Tell Congress to pass DownsizeDC.org’s Read the Bills Act.

Use your personal comments to tell your Congressional employees that…

* You object to long, convoluted bills like H.R. 2454.
* You’re offended by the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s speed reading joke
* You’ll hold them accountable if they vote for this bill without reading it

To exceed the 36,512 messages we sent last month we need to send at least 1,645 messages today. You can do so using our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System.

We also invite you to add your website or blog to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. It’s an effortless way to promote RTBA. In return we’ll link to your site on our home page and mention it in a Downsizer-Dispatch reaching more than 25,500 subscribers. You can learn how to join the coalition here.

Today, we welcome one new member to the Coalition:

* North Bay Patriots

You can also see how much legislation Congress passed last week by seeing the blog version of this Dispatch.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. To see how we’re growing, check out the Keeping Score report below my signature.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org

The economy is so bad the Mafia has started laying off judges

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Quote of the Day: “The economy is so bad the Mafia has started laying off judges.” — anonymous Internet joke

Subject: The myth of good intentions

A bill with a nice-sounding title, such as the “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA),” passes Congress. Later, when its defects come to light, even the law’s victims assume that the bill had “good intentions,” but was “poorly written.” I saw this sentiment expressed often while reading blogs about the CPSIA.

But I think these assumptions about “good intentions” are a little naive. After all, if Congress really had “good intentions” they would have taken the time and care to write a better bill that wouldn’t have deprived poor children of second-hand winter coats. The fact that they didn’t tells me that . . .

Their motive was good publicity, not good intentions.

That’s why they rushed to pass a poorly-written law without reading it. As we’ve pointed out, had the “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA) been in force, Congress would have crafted a much better bill.

Yet members of Congress claim that RTBA is impractical, even though it could have prevented the destructive aspects of the CPSIA and the AIG bonus provision in the scam-stimulus bill, while still allowing them to pass as much as 8,000 pages of legislation each year.

The more Congress refuses to introduce, consider, or pass the RTBA, the less we can credit them for “good intentions.” We must tell our personal elected representatives that . . .

  • If they pass bills with secret provisions inserted at the last minute, they’re just as guilty as the person who snuck it in.
  • If they did not read a bill before voting for it, they are not motivated by good intentions.
  • They are morally responsible for the unintended consequences of the poorly-worded laws they pass.

From early February through March 26, both the House and the Senate passed over 3,500 pages of legislation they didn’t read. As taxpayers and law-abiding citizens, you and I are “on the hook” for Congress’s phony good intentions. Please use our Educate the Powerful system to ask your representatives to pass DownsizeDC.org’s “Read the Bills Act.”

Use your personal comments to object to the fact that they passed 3,500 pages of legislation over two months, without reading it. Tell them they’re the ones now on the hook:

  • If they vote for massive bills without reading them, we’ll remember.
  • If they continue to ignore our demands to introduce the “Read the Bills Act,” we’ll remember.

If you’ve used our Educate the Powerful System before, the best way to send your message, given our current technical difficulties, is to log-in using the log-in button at the top of our home page. http://www.downsizedc.org/

Then, click on the campaign button on the navigation strip at the top of the page, then click on the “Read the Bills” campaign button at the top of the left hand column. That will call-up the page for sending your message.

If you’re sending your first message to Congress, click on this link, fill out the simple registration form for first time users, and send your message.

Ask your friends to do the same by forwarding this message.

You can also spread the word by joining the Read the Bills Act Coalition. Details on adding your blog or website to the Coalition are found here.

This week we welcome five new members to the Coalition:

To see the list of bills Congress passed, look below my signature in the blog version of this Dispatch.

Thank you for being part of the Downsize DC Army.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h
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Voting on the budget and what it will cost you

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D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h


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.

Subject: Day of Ruin

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

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 . . .

* Government programs never die. They live forever, growing constantly larger.
* The Obama-Democrat budget contains a host of new programs covering all aspects of YOUR life — health care, energy, education, housing, charity, EVERYTHING.
* These programs won’t die, instead they’ll just grow larger.
* We think the same thing will hold true even for many of the bailout programs that are supposedly temporary, because very few government programs are ever really temporary.
* Therefore, the trillion dollar deficits these new initiatives are causing today will also live and grow forever.

In the short-term this will cost your family a minimum of $27,800 per year, or $9,200 per person.

In the not-so-short term these trillion dollar annual deficits will crash head-on into the un-funded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare which have risen to $56.4 trillion dollars, your share of which is a whopping $184,000!

And none of these statistics include the associated increases in top-down, one-size-fits-all government regulation. For instance, plans are already well advanced to turn the American health care system into a giant HMO, with federal bureaucrats deciding what medical treatments you can and cannot receive.

We must repeat, once these new programs are launched they’re unlikely to ever shrink again, let alone die. Government programs really are like cancer cells in a petri dish, which live unless the scientist in charge of them forgets to feed them. Something similar may happen in the case of our cancerous government . . .

The people who fund the federal government’s debt, including governments like China, may decide to stop. This might kill the cancerous government programs, but at a crushing cost.  

Do these numbers and their consequences shock you? They should, but the number we really need to start focusing on is the Misery Index for Politicians, which is the total number of Internet messages and phone calls the politicians receive protesting their actions. We need to make the Misery Index for Politicians soar.

Please use our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System to tell your elected representatives to vote NO on the Obama-Democratic leadership budget. You can use our “cut spending” campaign for this purpose.

Or, if you sent a message yesterday using the “cut spending” campaign, then please send another one today using our “unfunded liabilities” campaign.

Then, when you see the phone numbers for your elected representatives on your computer screen, call each one of them and deliver the same message by phone. Make the politicians feel miserable about what they doing to our country.

And after you’ve made your calls . . .

* Go here
* And after you’re logged in at Digg and you’ve “dugg” the message, click “thumbs up” in response to the first appropriate comments on this Digg post

We’ll report back tomorrow on the number of Internet messages sent and phone calls made. And we’ll know how many calls were made based on how many “thumbs up” we see!

Now, if we haven’t said enough to make you take action, please consider the reckless pace at which Congress is moving. They’re not only rushing to pass a dangerous budget before the two-week Easter recess, they’re also going to vote on a huge number of bills this week, without READING A SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Here’s the list . . .

H.R. 1388 – Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act
H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
H.R. 1377 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished in a non-Department facility
H.R. 1513 – Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009
H.Res. 152 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States remains committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
H.R. 1246 – Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2009
H.R. 756 – National Pain Care Policy Act of 2009
H.R. 20 – Melanie Blocker Stokes Mom’s Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act
H.R. 479 – Wakefield Act
H.R. 1253 – Health Insurance Restrictions and Limitations Clarification Act of 2009
H.R. 1259 – Dextromethorphan Distribution Act of 2009
H.R. 577 – Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009
H.R. 985 – Free Flow of Information Act of 2009
H.R. 1029 – Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2009
H.R. 838 – Miami Dade College Land Conveyance Act
H.R. 151 – Daniel Webster Congressional Clerkship Act of 2009
H.R. 1299 – Capitol Police Administrative Technical Corrections Act of 2009
H.R. 1664 – To amend the executive compensation provisions of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards

If you have any energy left, consider sending a message telling them to slow down and READ THE BILLS.

Please fight this madness. Protest. Take action now. And thanks for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Perry Willis
Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

P.S. We’re currently working to fix some technical problems on our website. In the meantime, if you have trouble, try this . . .
 * Log-in using the log-in button near the upper right hand corner of our home page
 * Then go to our cut spending campaign to send your message to Congress

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h
is the official email list of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. & Downsize DC Foundation
Normally published 3 – 6 times per week.

CONTRIBUTE in support of the “Educate the Powerful System”

http://www.DownsizeDC.org is sponsored by DownsizeDC.org, Inc. — a non-profit educational organization promoting the ideas of individual liberty, personal responsibility, free markets, and small government.  Operations office: 1931 15th St. Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223, 202.521.1200

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