James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Monday, March 17, 2008

We Support the President and Congress (?)(!)


Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

President Bush and both houses of Congress have each proposed 5-year budget blue-prints. They are based on wildly optimistic economic projections, and revenues will probably not be as high as they expect. The plans also don't include funding for the War in Iraq after 2009. We would be delighted if this means we've pulled out of Iraq by then, but that likely won't happen. Today, however, we won't be overly-critical, because these plans would reduce the federal government's spending and debt relative to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We must encourage Congress and the President to continue in this direction.

Non-defense discretionary spending is one place each plan foresees some fiscal discipline. Currently, this part of the budget consumes 3.7% of GDP. President Bush projects it will fall to 2.8% by 2013 through a four-year spending freeze. While it probably won't fall that low, we agree that freezing spending is the next best thing to cutting it. Bush's plan is preferable to House and Senate plans that would increase spending slightly. Nevertheless, their increases fall well below the inflation rate, and they expect non-defense discretionary spending to fall to 3.2 or 3.1% of GDP. Source: Concord Coalition

This discretionary non-defense spending includes virtually all (non-military) pork-barrel projects. It includes almost all of the cost of enforcing countless laws that infringe on our freedoms, hurt the economy, increase social turmoil, and violate the Constitution. The less that is spent here, the better. The less spent on pork, the more confidence the people will have in Congress. The less spent on top-down federal programs, the quicker we can restore the American Experiment of self-government in the states and local communities. The less spent on regulatory enforcement, the less mom-and-pop business owners and entrepreneurs will worry about Big Brother bureaucrats breathing down their neck.

Overall, we applaud the intentions of Congress and the President to curtail the growth of wasteful and counterproductive spending. And we applaud their goals of reducing the burden of Big Government and securing budget surpluses.

And DownsizeDC.org has just the weapon to help Congress and the President achieve their goals. It is called the Read the Bills Act (RTBA).

The RTBA will require members of Congress who support a particular bill to read it first. Because there are so many proposed bills - thousands per year - the RTBA will force Congressional committees and Congressional leadership to focus on the most urgent bills - and force these bills to be easy to understand. This means they will have to be as short as possible, and as simple as possible.

This will make it virtually impossible for members of Congress to sneak in new laws and pork-barrel spending to bills. Congress will simply have no time to grant every spending request or add new, counter-productive laws. It simply won't have the time to make government bigger and more complex.

So let's support Congress and the President for a change. Tell them we applaud their plans for smaller government, as indicated in their budget proposals. And tell them the best way to achieve their goals is through the Read the Bills Act.

In addition to sending your message, please consider joining the Read the Bills Act Coalition. By joining the Coalition, you will point visitors of your website to the RTBA, and we will in turn mention you in a Downsizer-Dispatch and list you at our blog. More information is here.

Today we welcome three new members to the Coalition:

Politically Spastic

The Liberty Marketplace

Paul Congress

Lastly, we keep a record of the number of bills, and pages of legislation, Congress passes each week. For the latest information, scroll to below my signature in the home blog version of this Dispatch.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President

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