Washington Apple Pi

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Your Government: Downsizing

As the 20th century draws to a close, Washington has been the focus of an intense "government downsizing" effort. Claiming that "the people" want a smaller government, politicians have tried to shrink or reduce government programs, with little success.

"The people," as it turns out, don't really want a smaller government, they just don't want to pay taxes for the government they want, or in some cases they want parts of the government they don't use to go away. This inevitably leads to conflict as users of one government agency campaign for the expansion of "their" part while advocating the elimination of an agency promoted by some other, presumably less important and less deserving group.


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Rather than boldly admit that "what the people want" is, to be blunt, stupid, members of Congress have decided to reinterpret downsizing, and have started with their own branch, the legislature. No committees have been eliminated or anything silly; instead, aiming for a "visible" symbol of downsizing, they shrank the Capitol Building itself.

This, as it turned out, was not a good idea, and an effort is now underway to re-expand the building. The narrower doorways and halls were a bit too narrow for many important lobbyists who, as the Fates would have it, quite literally are "fat cats." Oops.


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Washington Apple Pi Virtual Tours, October 12, 1997 lic