Thursday, June 02, 2005

Read the Bills Act is an outfit dedicated to, well, pretty much what its name says: cutting the size of the federal government. I subscribe to its newsletter and today I received an appeal to send an e-mail to my Congress critters in support of the “Read the Bills Act 2005,” (RTBA) which was constructed by DownsizeDC. There are times that I'll play along and send an e-mail, and other times I won't. Depends on whether the spirit moves me.

Today Jim Babka, the author of the e-mail, made me look at writing my Congressmen in a new way: is not a waste of time because the lobbyists who want more government handouts are there on Capitol Hill every day and you are not. Congress thinks they can ignore the taxpayer. They believe you have a short attention span and will forget about RTBA. You must prove them wrong.

You must be like the big government lobbyist who is always there, begging, begging, begging for another handout. Only you are asking not for a handout, but for reasonable relief from Congressional irresponsibility. Remember, Congress works for you! Think of something new to say about RTBA and say it. And do it week after week until you get your way.
That is reasoning that speaks to me! So I wrote the following on the DownsizeDC WYC (Write Your Congressman) web site:
I was happy to see Downsize DC prepare the RTBA. I feel strongly that far too many (most? all?) bills are NOT read before passage. If my Representative and Senators insist on adding yearly to the mountain of legislation that is proposed and passed in Washington, DC, then I insist that every single piece of legislation passing through their hands—YOUR hands—be read in its entirety.

P. J. O'Rourke in “Parliament of Whores” posed the question: “So when can we quit passing laws and raising taxes? When will our officers, officials and magistrates realize their jobs are finished and return, like Cincinnatus, to the plow or, as it were, to the law practice or the car dealership?” I suspect that a partial answer, at least, can be found in the ‘Read the Bills Act.’ If our elected representatives must actually read every word of every bill, then they just might cut back on the number of bills they introduce. I hope that day comes soon.
I urge you to write your Congressman and Senators, too. Get your start by going to the web site and pick a bill about which to badger your elected representatives.

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