James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Downsizers vs. Upsizers


Quote of the Day:
“Congress seems to want to cure every ill known to man except unconstitutional government and high taxes.” - Charley Reese

Subject: Downsizers vs. Upsizers

The media tells us that the Presidential campaign is bitter and nasty. They tell us the partisanship in Congress is poisonous.

But the real poison is that Washington isn't partisan enough. If it actually was partisan, our work at DownsizeDC.org would be a whole lot easier.

To illustrate, here are the roll call votes for eleven pieces of legislation that have defined the Bush Era of big, unlimited, unchecked government, the "Upsize DC Agenda:"

107th CONGRESS (2001-02)

* P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act

* No Child Left Behind

* creating the Dept. of Homeland Security

* Iraq War authorization

* Sarbanes-Oxley

* Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform (McCain-Feingold)

108th CONGRESS (2003-04)

* Medicare Drug Benefit

109th CONGRESS (2005-06)

* P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act II

* Military Commissions Act

110th CONGRESS (2007-08)

* FISA Amendments Act

* Big Bailout

35 Democratic Senators have served throughout all four terms. Of the 35,

* Just one, Russ Feingold, voted against the Republican President as many as nine times
* Only four others voted against the President as many as six times: Akaka, Byrd, Leahy, Levin
* 21 - 60% - voted against the President three or fewer times, including Majority Leader Reid, Majority Whip Durbin, Vice Presidential nominee Biden, Presidential candidates Clinton and Dodd, John Kerry, and the iconic "liberal" Ted Kennedy.

Among others who did not serve all four terms,

* Former Majority Leader Tom Daschle voted against the President once in seven opportunities.
* As did presidential candidate John Edwards.
* Barack Obama voted against the President just once in four opportunities.

Does this look like an "opposition" party to you?

Had the Democrats been more "partisan" and rejected bills that went against their supposed liberal and progressive principles, they would have filibustered and defeated at least seven of the measures. No Iraq War. No Patriot Act. No Bailout. If they had their way, perhaps only Campaign Finance Reform, Sarbanes-Oxley, and No Child Left Behind would have passed.

But if Republicans held to their conservative principles of smaller government, they would have defied their President and defeated these bills as well.

Had either party behaved according to their supposed principles, they would in many ways do Downsize DC's work for us. They would defeat the other's attempt to "upsize" government power.

But because they are all DC Upsizers, they often work together in "bi-partsian" fashion to take away our liberty and waste our money.

And they are relentless, which means we must be even more relentless.

In one week, Sept 22-26, the Senate passed an astonishing 73 bills totaling 1,031 pages. The House went far beyond that, passing 113 bills and 1,744 pages. (The list of bills is featured in the blog version of this Dispatch, below my signature.)

Some of the bills seem to be technical, housekeeping measures. A large number, however, continue the work of Upsizing DC. No doubt, many terrible specifics in the bills will come to our attention after the fact, leading us to wish we could have done something to stop them sooner.

But we can't stop every bad bill, one-by-one. There are too many. We must instead strike at the root.

The Read the Bills Act strikes at the root. The Read the Bills Act forces Congress to pay the price of Big Government. Under the RTBA, every bill must be read before a quorum in Congress. If Congress wants Big Government, Congress will have to stay in session more hours per day, more days of the year.

It's only fair. If the people have to pay for the programs and obey the laws contained in a bill, the least their representatives can do is explain what was in the bill. They shouldn't be excused by saying "I didn't have time to read the bill but was pressured by the President and party leaders to support it."

The Read the Bills Act forces them to either make the time to read the bills, or to pass fewer bills.

Congress won't pass the RTBA, unless it faces growing, relentless, overwhelming pressure to pass it.

And so we ask you to:

* Tell Congress to pass the Read the Bills Act, stating your objection to the massive number of bills it passed in the last few weeks.
* Get a Digg account, and then go to our blog and Digg this message.
* Spread this message by forwarding to friends and posting it on your blog.
* Add your blog or website to the Read the Bills Act Coalition by contacting us at RTBAcoalition@downsizedc.org

We welcome the newest additions to the Read the Bills Act Coalition.

Minuteman Society

B. Keith Brumley

this is no place

The Usual Suspects


MMJ News

Thank you for being part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President

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