DownsizeDC.org
November 28, 2007
Incentives
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer Dispatch . . . Subject: Incentives The headline on Politico.com reads "Lobbying lucre awaits Lott." That sums it up. Senator Trent Lott, the Minority Whip, is almost certainly retiring a year earlier than expected because he has an incentive to do so. Congress recently passed a law extending the time members of Congress must wait before taking jobs as lobbyists. By retiring before this law takes effect Lott can cash-in quicker on his years of service as a special interest looter of the taxpayers. Incentives explain so much, but only if you know what the real incentives are. Readers of "The Downsize DC Vision," our ground-breaking, 16-page report, know what incentives motivate politicians -- and which ones don't really matter. The mainstream media (MSM) wants to convince you that campaign contributions are the evil cause of Congressional looting behavior. But the MSM is very wrong, and self-servingly so. The demand for campaign finance restrictions was generated, almost entirely, by the MSM and incumbent politicians. They had incentives to manufacture a cause for action where none really existed. We have campaign finance restrictions not because campaign contributions are "corrupting," but because they help to silence dissenting political voices that might otherwise threaten incumbents and compete with the MSM's preferred message. So imagine the perplexity of the MSM and the establishment political class in the face of something like the Ron Paul Revolution. He's no media darling. He serves no large constituency of tax looters. But he raises more money and generates larger crowds than the establishment candidates do. He accomplishes this in spite of the campaign finance laws and frequent media sneering. "Perhaps," they're thinking to themselves, "we need another campaign finance law!" In "The Downsize DC Vision" we explain the real reason politicians do what they do. And Senator Trent Lott's recent retirement is the latest evidence for one important part of our case. In fact, one reader, after reading her copy of "The Downsize DC Vision" wrote,
"I felt like I was being let in on a secret as to why they are behaving the way they do . . . it was a little like finding the grand unified theory. Their motive. It starts to make everything else make sense." L.C.
Would you like to know the "grand unified theory" of Congressional motivation, and how we can re-align the incentives to change and control their behavior? Well, we want every person reading this Downsizer-Dispatch to have their own copy of this glossy, two-color report. And fortunately, obtaining your own copy of "The Downsize DC Vision" is easy . . . PLUS, it helps advance the cause of Downsizing DC. We're at months end, and that means it's time for a budget check. We're $2,166 shy of our monthly goal. If you make a monthly pledge or one-time contribution to DownsizeDC.org -- if you help us keep moving forward -- we'll send you "The Downsize DC Vision." We'll also acknowlege you by name in an upcoming Downsizer-Dispatch (unless you want your name kept private). Recent new monthly pledgers: None Recent new one-time donors: Eric Lowry, John Wallis, Gavin Greer, Karen E Roubal, John W. Tobin, John E Kendrick, Valerie Marquis, Carol Crow Thank you for being a DC Downsizer. Jim Babka President DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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