DownsizeDC.org
January 26, 2009
Stop Tax Bribery
By Jim Babka

Quote of the Day: "The Greeks...labored under the delusion that their democracy was a guarantee of peace and plenty, not realizing that unrestrained majority rule always destroys freedom, puts the minority at the mercy of the mob, and works at cross-purposes to the effective use of human energy and individual initiative." -- Henry Grady Weaver, "The Mainspring of Human Progress"

Subject: Using the taxes you pay to bribe members of Congress

It's a crime for citizens to bribe members of Congress. But it's perfectly legal for members of Congress to use your tax money to bribe each other. It's called logrolling. One Congressperson says to another, "I'll vote for your spending bill if you'll vote for mine."

What else could this be called, but an attempt to use tax money to buy a legislative outcome? In a word, a bribe.

Could we have a law to make this kind of bribery illegal, to be punished by jail-time, fines, and expulsion from office?

It's an exciting idea. If we could figure out how to do it, we might. But unlike the political class we're humble in our ambitions to engineer human behavior. We know that the actions of individuals, especially politicians, are far more slippery than any grand design for regulation can easily comprehend.

A law prohibiting tax bribery would probably be too easy to evade, and too hard to enforce. Besides . . .

We already have a proposal that would accomplish most of the goal with a lot less difficulty. It's called the "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA).

OSTA would prohibit legislation like the proposed stimulus package. Congressional leaders couldn't group unrelated appropriations into one bill. Various kinds of spending would have to be presented as individual bills. This would make it much harder to trade votes.

We wouldn't even have to be be fighting the pork-laden stimulus package if we had OSTA.

Please use our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System to send Congress a message asking them to introduce and pass DonwiszeDC.org's "One Subject at a Time Act."

Use your personal comments to mention the stimulus package as the kind of legislation that shouldn't be allowed. Ask your elected representatives to present all of the stimulus package spending items as individual bills, so that each can receive its proper consideration and debate.

If you didn't send a message last week about the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report indicating that most of the spending in the so-called stimulus package will come too late to serve it's intended purpose, please send an extra message on that subject.

Use your personal comments to tell your elected representatives that you know about the CBO report. Tell them to vote no on the stimulus package.

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

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

P.S. I can't let this moment pass without making an appeal for MORE DC DOWNSIZERS. That's right, more members of the Army! Remember, our budget is covered. Now it's time for serious outreach! Your donation will expand the Downsize DC Army and get the news out about the One Subject at a Time Act. And since "God tends to be on the side of the bigger battalions," that means we can win even more victories in Congress. Please, give generously now. 

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: