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November 15, 2008

How to Cure Political Loneliness

Quote of the Day: “In the long run men hit only what they aim at.” — Henry David Thoreau

Subject: How to cure political loneliness

* How many Americans want smaller government?
* How many Americans would support the “Read the Bills Act” and the “One Subject at a Time Act,” if they were introduced to them?

In today’s Dispatch we’ll answer the first question, and explain how we can use $50,000 in pledges made by two generous donors to answer the second question. We’ll also tell you how you can see and receive our new “I Am Not Afraid” t-shirt.

We start by tipping our hat to David Boaz at the Cato Institute for constantly calling attention to the kind of data we’re going to share below, and to Ramesh Ponnuru for providing a good recent summary of this information.

CBS pollsters have been asking the following question for decades, “Would you say you favor smaller government with fewer services, or larger government with many services?”

From 1996 through Jan. 2001 the smaller-government side had an average lead of a whopping 20 points. This lead has slipped in the current decade, but as of March-April of this year the sides were tied.

For most of the past three decades a majority of Americans (often a vast majority) have favored smaller government. And even now, when the propaganda drumbeat for more government in areas such as health care and the financial system has been extremely loud, the support for smaller government is close to a majority, according to this poll.

But there are other polls . . .

A similar Washington Post/ABC poll tells the same story. Public opinion swung strongly toward smaller government in the 1990s, and then back the other way in this decade. “But smaller-government has maintained a consistent advantage!”

According to this poll, as of June 2008, the public still favors smaller government 50% to 45%. But there’s more . . .

For many years Gallup, ABC and the Washington Post have asked Americans, “is government trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses” or “should government do more to solve our country’s problems?” The answers have usually been in favor of smaller government . . .

* By 8-points in September 1992
* By 12-points in October 1998
* By 7-points in September 2002
* And by a whopping 12-points this September, during the height of the financial hysteria!

But it gets even better, because these poll questions are actually rigged in favor of the big government position, and we still win anyway! As David Boaz points out, these poll questions offer a benefit of larger government (more services) without mentioning the cost (higher taxes).

A fair poll question would mention both the cost and the benefit for each side. Has any polling operation asked the question this way? The answer is yes. When Rasmussen asked the balanced version of the question the results were . . .

* A whopping 64% in favor of smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes,
* 14% undecided
* And only a tiny minority of 22% in favor of more government and higher taxes

But these results are even more inspiring than they seem. What’s truly amazing is that the vast majority of Americans favor smaller government in spite of the fact that . . .

* They all learned in government schools that government is the font of all things good
* The drama-mongering media constantly promotes the idea that the latest “crisis” is a cataclysmic danger that only government can solve
* Tax-funded “intellectuals” in our universities are constantly at work, pimping for the State
* Politicians spend billions every election telling us that they are the answer to every problem

The case for small government is hardly ever heard by anyone, and yet it still wins in the minds of the American people!

Can you imagine what could happen if our message was heard to the same extent as the propaganda for big government?

How can we make this happen? We think it would only take the organized assistance of a small portion of the 50-60% who already favor smaller government. How could these people be recruited and organized? We have a simple idea — JUST ASK THEM!

We want to . . .

* Rent lists of politically engaged people
* Send them a letter describing RTBA and OSTA  
* Ask them to join Downsize DC for free, by subscribing to the Downsizer Dispatch
* Make a pitch for funds so we can send more RTBA/OSTA letters to more potential recruits

We think this simple plan could make the Downsize DC Army grow very rapidly. Two major donors agree and have pledged a total of $50,000 to help ignite this fire. Their $50,000 is the final piece necessary to raise our entire 2009 budget of $186,000.

At present, we raise $97,000, annually, through monthly pledges (and the rest through one-time donations, with little to spare for advertising outreach).

To get the $50,000 in major donor pledges, and to achieve the goal all we need is the help of our supporters to “Close the Gap” of $39,000.

There are two ways you could help . . .

Close the $39,000 Gap from the top down by making a large pledge in concert with the two supporters who have pledged $50,000. Could you join them by pledging something on the order of $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000?

If you choose this route, with a minimum $500 donation, you won’t have to fulfill your pledge until we have all the money raised. That way there’s no risk of your contributing a large amount and then wondering if the goal will really be met. When the goal is met we’ll tell you, and only then cash your check or process your credit card.

Better yet, we’ll use your pledge, along with the $50,000, as a matching fund to encourage smaller donations to help Close the Gap from the bottom up. If you want to join our top donors by making a larger pledge please go to our secure contribution forms and choose the page for top down pledges.

On the other hand, if the above amounts don’t fit your budget, could you help Close the Gap from the bottom up by making a smaller cash donation, or by starting a monthly credit card pledge? You can do this using the special secure contribution form we’ve created for this fundraising drive. Pick the bottom up page.

Please note, smaller bottom up contributions and monthly pledges are immediate donations, not pledges to be fulfilled later. It’s a cash or credit card contribution now. In return, we’ll send you a special gift as our way of saying, “Thanks.”

Everyone who makes . . .

* A one-time donation of $76 or more, or . . .
* A new monthly pledge of $12 or more, or . . .
* A $5 or more increase to an EXISTING monthly pledge . . .

We’ll send you our new “I Am Not Afraid” t-shirt (you can see a picture of the t-shirt on the contribution page).

Thanks to the help of our two enthusiastic donors we’re suddenly $50,000 closer to being able . . .

* Tap intro the vast majority that favors smaller government
* Benefit from the wide appeal of RTBA and OSTA
* Grow at a very rapid rate

All we need to get that final $50,000 is raise another $39,000. We hope you can help.

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

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

P.S. There is also a Downsize DC lapel pin available for higher levels of support. And, IF YOU’RE CURRENTLY PLEDGING MORE THAN $50 PER MONTH, just tell us your T-shirt size, and we’ll send you one as our way of saying thanks for all that support. See the special Close the Gap contribution form for details.

P.P.S. If tax-deductibility is important to you, or you wish to donate securities, you can make your contribution to the “Downsize DC Foundation.”

P.P.P.S. Also, in terms of closing the gap, a monthly credit card pledge is worth the amount of the pledge times 12 months, so this is a particularly powerful way to help Close the Gap.

P.P.P.P.S. If you’re going to send a check please print out one of the forms for this in our secure contribution pages. Our mailing address is located on both the Top Down and Bottom Up form. 

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