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How are they doing?
Posted By Craige McMillan On 09/10/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
Following election of the historic Republican majority Congress in
we published this MEMO, to remind new members why they had been sent to
Washington, D.C. (Conservative Consensus, 30 Jan. 1995).
With primary elections in 1998 already taking place, feel-good
commercials are flooding the airwaves. Now might be an excellent time to
review what has been accomplished — and determine what yet remains to
be done. Feel free to pass this document on to candidates in your area.
We’d be most interested in their responses.
M E M O
TO: Newly Elected Majority
FROM: The Voters
SUBJ: The Election — Past and Upcoming
Confusion seems to have arisen as to precisely why we sent
you to the federal capitol. This memo will clear up any ambiguities.
You have been tasked with restoring federalism and the
balance of powers prescribed under the United States Constitution. All
other tasks, no matter how urgent, important, interesting or opportune
– are secondary.
As our elected representatives, you are expected to
understand and abide by the Constitution, chapter and verse. There
will be a final examination in 1996. Your entire future rests upon
your grasp of the concept of limited government contained in this
document. We suggest that you review the historical conditions that
led to its creation, as an aid to better understanding its present
The recent spirited debate on a balanced budget amendment
indicates that you have correctly identified excess spending as one of
our top concerns. We would remind you, however, that ACTION needs to
be taken now to bring spending into line with income. The cost of
money necessary to build our homes and factories is increasing at an
alarming rate, due to demand on your end. We trust that we made clear
to your predecessors last November our feelings about further, so-
called investments in welfare state spending. We suggest an immediate,
across-the-board, ten percent cut in ALL federal spending WHILE the
debate proceeds. We will make any necessary adjustments here at the
state level. Needless to say, the creation of any new programs,
bailouts to foreign governments, or money for distant so-called
peacekeeping operations is out of the question. Refer to priorities.
Before selecting you as our representative, we questioned
you extensively regarding your view of street violence, property
crime, violent crime against persons, and what needed to be done. Your
answers suggested to us that you had a firm grasp of this problem, and
that further direction would be unnecessary. Recent reports coming to
us from Washington, however, have caused us alarm.
One of the reasons your predecessor was dismissed without
notice is that he or she misunderstood our sentiment on this matter.
We are not without compassion for the circumstances that contribute to
criminals selecting the career field they do. The bulk of our
compassion, however, is occupied by comforting widows, fatherless
children, and parents who have lost their children to rampant,
violent, senseless criminal acts, unrestrained by any sense of
morality, social responsibility, or Christian charity.
Much of this comfort rendered consists of increased payments
from the public purse, to provide subsistence for these destroyed
families. This is a poor substitute, but one which, as a Christian
community, we feel obligated to provide. We find now, however, that
often the perpetrators of the worst of these crimes were known
beforehand to the authorities, through the commission of less hurtful
crimes. Need we remind you that all this expense and personal tragedy
would be unnecessary, were that same offender to have been put in
prison, and kept there, for a suitable length of time?
Your predecessor’s approach to this problem — disbursing
large (are the reports of $30 billion correct?) amounts of public
moneys to these offenders, in the vague hope that being so indulged
they would not commit further crimes — while at the same time
abridging the rights of honest, law-abiding citizens to defend
themselves against such outrages with appropriate weaponry, provoked
much anger and outrage among us. Refer to the aforementioned document
to determine the federal role in solving this problem. While you study
the matter, we suggest, at a minimum, complete repeal of your
predecessor’s ill-conceived “crime-bill” and its drain on the public
treasury. See finances.
During our extensive interviews, you made clear your
commitment to reducing the size of government. Since you were to serve
in a federal office, we supposed you meant to reduce the size of the
Many of us here operate schools, businesses, and social
enterprises. We understand that there is sometimes value in
centralizing control over certain operations. It may well be that that
was the reason we encouraged your predecessors to take the same
approach when they went to Washington some forty years ago.
Events subsequent have made it abundantly clear to us that
whatever economies were to be achieved have long since been lost
through excessive regulatory expense, administrative costs, and sadly,
bureaucratic corruption. Here in our own operations, we have achieved
significant savings simply by ELIMINATING many centralized functions.
Governmentally, the following operations in particular appear to be
completely unnecessary, since they are duplicated here at the state
– All welfare spending, with the exception of Social
Security and Medicare. These later two will be reviewed and phased
into a less-intrusive retirement system a few years hence. We do not
appreciate alarmist suggestions that we will not honor our contract
with older Americans. Bite your tongue.
– All education spending. Schools are, and always have been,
locally controlled. We desire to inculcate the values of our community
in our youth.
– All so-called public broadcasting, funding for the arts,
humanities, etc. These are a matter of local taste, and the purview of
We hear alarming reports that you are holding discussions
about “downsizing” various of these programs and turning their
responsibilities over to other agencies within the federal government.
If such measures alone would have been sufficient, we would have
instructed your predecessors to take that action. They created the
programs and agencies; as such, they understood their operation far
better than you. You are there now because it was clear to us that
ELIMINATION of these agencies, decent notice (30 days is common here)
to their staff of impending unemployment, and disposition of their
buildings and lands is necessary. See disposition of federal assets.
PUBLIC LANDS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
All federal environmental laws and wildlife regulations must
be eliminated. Circumstances vary dramatically from state to state. We
would remind you that those of us living here in the state you now
represent have a very decent regard for the quality-of-life in our own
backyard. We will take care of the matters of pollution, natural
resources, and wildlife management here at the local or state level.
We trust our fellow citizens in other states to do the same. In
certain instances, the governors of adjacent states may find it
advantageous that you undertake regulation of some specific aspect of
these matters. Otherwise, do not spend ANY funds on regulating any of
DISPOSITION OF FEDERAL ASSETS
Inasmuch as the federal government does not actually own any
land or buildings, save those concerned with military matters, and the
federal capitol, you may notify the governor in the appropriate state
when you have closed down each of these unnecessary operations and
vacated the building and property. We will take it from there.
National Parks, wilderness areas, and land being managed by
the Bureau of Land Management or the Agriculture Department may be
immediately returned to state control. Simply de-fund the agency and
notify the executive (President). Also notify the governor of the
appropriate state. Federal staff in those departments, when given
their termination notices, should be encouraged to put their
employment applications in at the state level.
Naturally, state expenditures will increase as we once again
assume these responsibilities. Therefore, an IMMEDIATE REDUCTION in
federal taxes is in order. We suggest the one-half of the savings (see
disposing of federal assets) be returned in the form of tax cuts. The
other half should be applied to debt reduction. Do not confuse debt
reduction with the deficit. The deficit will have been eliminated by
the ten percent, across the board cut. Finally, do not concern
yourselves with so-called block grants or other state-funding
mechanisms. We will raise the necessary moneys here.
The reason the our several states formed the federal
government was to enjoy good relations with other nations, facilitate
trade and commerce, and to protect ourselves from unwarranted
aggression and acts of war by neighboring nations.
Need we remind you that the world is a dangerous place? Even
today we are receiving reports of war breaking out in Europe, to our
south in Mexico, and deeper in South America, most recently in Peru
and Ecuador. Furthermore, conditions in the former Soviet Union have
been deteriorating steadily since that totalitarian government
collapsed; indeed, we are receiving reports that civil war has already
begun. What is the status of the nuclear arsenal they possess? Did you
purchase the weapons as we advised upon its collapse?
We advise a prudent amount of research and development in
the field of weaponry, to assure that we remain free to govern
ourselves, practice our religious faith as God leads us, and engage in
our chosen trades for the betterment of our lives and in the service
of our fellow citizens. We desire good relations with all foreign
nations, for the furtherance of commerce and the betterment of living
conditions. Do not take any action that would involve us in these
religious, ethnic, or national conflicts!
To the extent that HUMANITARIAN relief seems to you prudent,
and helpful to alleviate suffering, you may provide food and medicine
in our name, using a modest amount of our public money. Do not, under
any circumstances, favor one side above the other!
We trust that you are now “getting a handle” on your new
job, and that the compensation we are providing you is sufficient for
your expenses while you are away representing us in Washington. We
desire regular reports of your progress. Be assured that you will find
good cooperation at the state and local level for your efforts; at the
same time we replaced your predecessors, we replaced local officials
whose performance indicated to us that they would not be able to
function under the restored federalism.
Finally, do not be overly concerned with the philosophical
inclinations or daily pronouncements of the executive we put into
power two years ago. Although his office appears impressive, his
powers are quite limited, save during wartime — a matter upon which
you have the final say. We are searching for a more suitable
replacement. Do not let our search distract you from your own tasks.
In closing, we bring to your attention one more item. Rumors
have reached us of the most savage abuses of federal authority, in
which our fellow citizens, women and children included, have been
murdered by agents of the federal government. We refer you to
incidents in Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho. In due time, as our
representatives, it will fall to you to investigate these rumors in an
open and public hearing. If true, the officials responsible must be
returned to the states where the crimes took place, where justice will
be carried out. The agencies responsible must be dismantled, for all
citizens have a presumption of innocence, and must be treated with all
Please let us know if there is anything you need in the
furtherance of the tasks we have outlined above.
Your Faithful, Fellow Citizens,
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