DownsizeDC.org
October 6, 2008
What the bailout means for our future
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day:

"There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action."
-- Bertrand Russell

Subject: What the bailout means for our future

The first House vote, in which the Big Bailout failed, showed the power of overwhelming pressure. The second House vote, in which the Big Bailout passed, showed the weakness of waiting to apply such pressure at the last minute.

Human psychology is such that we always want to wait to the last moment, when a deadline looms, to take action. We must overcome this aspect of our psychology if we are to prevail. If we do not, then we will always lose.

It really is that simple.

Things would be vastly different if the same pressure applied to Congress on the Big Bailout had been exerted much earlier to end the government policies that caused the housing bubble.

Had the pressure citizens brought to bear on the Big Bailout been applied earlier, and for a long period of time, to . . .

* Close the Department of Housing and Urban Development
* Liquidate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
* Repeal the "Community Reinvestment Act"
* Curtail or end the Federal Reserve's power to inflate credit
* And repeal top-down federal accounting rules such as mark-to-market
* Then there never would have been a housing bubble, a housing bust, or a justification for the Big Bailout

There would have been no crisis that corporate America, the media, and the politicians, could exploit to raid the Treasury and expand government power.

It really is that simple.

And had the same pressure that Americans brought to bear on Congress at the time of crisis, been employed earlier to pass the "Read the Bills Act," the "One Subject at a Time Act," and the "Write the Laws Act," then it's very unlikely that the Big Bailout could have passed even after the crisis hit. Congress could not have . . .

* Larded the Big Bailout bill with favors to buy the votes needed to secure passage -- the "One Subject at a Time Act" would have prevented it
* Endured the public reading of the 400+ page bailout bill -- the requirement in our "Read the Bills Act" that all legislation be read out loud before a quorum of the House and Senate, would have made such a reading unendurable
* Conferred power on the Treasury Department to determine so many of the details of the Big Bailout -- our "Write the Laws Act" would have prevented that, forcing Congress to make the bailout bill more detailed, and even less conducive to passage

Had the same pressure that was brought to bear when the crisis struck, been brought to bear beforehand to . . .

* End the government policies that create bubbles, and . . .
* Pass the Downsize DC Agenda
* There never would have been a crisis, and no Big Bailout bill either

It really is that simple.

We must stop playing defense at the moment of crisis, and start playing offense, forcing Congress to change bad policies IN ADVANCE, in order to AVOID crisis. This means . . .

* We must recognize and control our own psychology, which leads us to put-off action until its too late. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Action in advance must become the psychology of the DC Downsizer.
* We need a huge army to apply the kind of pressure that was brought to bear against the Big Bailout bill, in advance, and relentlessly, for a longer period of time
* The financial resources to make our proposals seen and heard by everyone, everywhere, every day -- to counter the fear mongering of the "drama queen" media and the crisis-exploiting politicians

It really is that simple.

In addition, the example of the Big Bailout fight does NOT mean that we need to elect the "right people" to office.

* Many of the "right people" voted the wrong way on both the policies that created the crisis, and on the Big Bailout bill.
* The "right people" will almost always be corrupted by the "wrong ways" of Capitol Hill.
* Even if you can find that mythical beast known as the "right person," and elect a majority of such persons to office, you will still need relentless, overwhelming, resistance numbing pressure to make the "right people" do the right thing.
* Many of the "wrong people" in Congress voted the right way on the Big Bailout -- because of the pressure

So why not just cut to the chase and focus on the crucial requirements -- a huge army, universal visibility, and relentless, overwhelming, resistance numbing pressure?

It really is that simple.

What does the Big Bailout mean for our future? It means we must execute "The Downsize DC Vision." That strategic vision is partially summarized in this message, but vital details are explained more fully in our 16-page booklet of the same name. You can receive a copy of "The Downsize DC Vision" by making a contribution or starting a monthly credit card pledge.

We can prevail, if we do the right things. And you can do another right thing right now by "thanking or spanking" your House Representative based on how they voted on the Big Bailout. You will find a list of the Roll Call vote below our signatures. You can send your "thank or spank" message using our free Educate the Powerful System.

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

Jim Babka & Perry Willis
President & Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Here's how the House voted . . .

The correct list can be found here.

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

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