DownsizeDC.org
February 16, 2012
How to End Earmarks
By James Wilson

I sent this letter to my Representative and Senators, telling them to end earmarks by following the Constitution...

The Washington Post recently published a report on how members of Congress used earmarks to apparently benefit themselves. According to the story... (http://wapo.st/AuMfyZ)

* 33 members directed more than $300 million in earmarks and other public works spending near their own properties and businesses, increasing the value of their own property
* 16 members sent tax dollars to companies, colleges, or community programs where their spouses, children, or parents work as salaried employees or serve on boards.

But that's just a smidgeon. In 2010 there were 11,320 total earmarks worth $32 billion.

That's the equivalent of mugging my family for $300!

Is using earmarks for personal financial gain corrupt? Of course.

Is using earmarks to "bring jobs to the District" and buy votes corrupt? Definitely.

But these outcomes are to be expected, because the REAL corruption is your refusal to follow the Constitution. After all, EVERY bill with earmarks must be passed by a majority in both the House and the Senate.

If you just upheld your oath of office, we would be taxed lightly and the budget could be easily balanced. The limited, enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution are there for a reason. It lists what Congress CAN do. The Tenth Amendment is also there for a reason. It says Congress CAN'T do anything except what the Constitution authorizes it to do.

I've looked in the Constitution, and I see NO delegation of power to Congress or the Executive Branch to give some communities...

* bike lanes
* bus terminals
* "scenic byways"
* traffic circles

Are these things useful to the communities that receive them? Maybe. But if states or local communities wouldn't have built them without federal dollars, then they weren't a high priority. Where does the Constitution allow Congress to meddle in local decision-making? Why am I being required to pay for them?

Perhaps $32 billion for earmarks doesn't sound like much in an era of $4 trillion budget and $1.5 trillion deficits. But they are indicative of the larger problem. Building bike lanes for preferred constituents demonstrates that Congress that knows no restraint -- including the limitations of the Constitution. 

That's why it's not surprising that Congress has...

* bankrupted the nation by providing pensions and healthcare for retirees,
* weakened the nation with undeclared wars and foreign aid,
* told us what foods and drugs we are "permitted" to ingest,
* and authorized the President and military to kidnap anybody with the NDAA indefinite detention provisions.

None of these things were authorized by the Constitution. NDAA clearly violates it.

If Congress can't follow the Constitution on the little things like earmarks, I'm not surprised that you don't follow it on the big things.

Uphold your oath of office. Follow the Constitution. That means, don't authorize earmarks and other pork-barrel spending. Just stop the petty meddling and vote buying you're doing with my money.
 
END LETTER

You can send your own letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

Feel free to borrow from or copy-and-paste the letter above.

And we encourage you to follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/DDCDispatch

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

NOTE: Lots of things compete for your support. How do you manage them all?

Here are two simple ideas, taken from the world of investment. First, diversify. Second, think long-term.

1) You can invest your activist dollars in several different aspects of the market: Think tank research. Public education. Political candidates. Direct action.

2) Weight your budget based on effectiveness and long-term value. Political campaigns draw a lot of energy, but they won't be here next year. And even if your guy wins, he'll need an activist army at his back.

Now, can you see why diversifying is so important?

DownsizeDC.org offers a simple idea. Give $1, each month. That would definitely fit in your portfolio! If every subscriber gave DownsizeDC.org $1 per month, on average, then DownsizeDC.org's budget would increase by more than 40%. That would fund a whole bunch of new outreach and speed the growth of your Downsize DC Army!

Obviously, not everyone is going to give, and one-time contributions are needed each month too. So, please invest farsightedly in our national future: https://secure.downsizedc.org/contribute/  

Blog commenting is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can send an email if there's something you'd like to tell us.

What Can We Do For You?

We can help you downsize the federal government, if you want that. All you have to do is join. It's free! In return...

We'll give you an army.

We're recruiting a huge army of supporters to work for what you want.

We'll give you influence.

The Downsize DC Army will exert relentless, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress.

We'll make your voice heard.

We'll use our growing army to make your beliefs heard by everyone, everywhere, every day.

We'll give you winning strategies.

Ideas like our "Read the Bills Act" and the "One Subject at a Time Act" will give you the leverage to win the public debate, control Congress, and Downsize DC!

We'll give you powerful tools.

  • Your free membership includes a subscription to our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle, which national talk show host Jerry Hughes calls by far the best newsletter he receives.
  • You'll be able to use our Educate the Powerful SystemSM to pressure Congress. It's easy. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. You can do it in your bathrobe while you're drinking your morning coffee, or during a break at work.
  • You'll also gain access to our 16-page strategy document, "The Downsize DC Vision." You'll learn about important insights like "ignoring an axiom," and powerful strategies like "picking off the herd." One reader called this document "the unified field theory" of political change.

To gain these benefits, just enter your email address in the box below and hit Subscribe!

Subscribe to the Consent Chronicle
Enter your email address twice: