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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %POLITICAL REVOLUTION 1997 CONGRESS BALANCED BUDGET+950129 %PRIORITY VOTE MEDIAN RECOMMENDATION POWER CORRUPT+950129 %CONCENTRATION DISTRIBUTE EVENLY FAIRLY JUSTICE 950129 How shall we understand the 1991 political revolution in the U.S.A.? Democrats have often promised too much to too many. Republicans have often promised too much to too few. Both parties have concentrated power too narrowly. Any concentration of power invites corruption. We need to distribute our power broadly and fairly. There are new ways to distribute power more broadly and fairly than has been done in the past. These new ways have been used informally in many political conventions in Iowa and in political caucuses in the Iowa General Assembly and in the U.S. Congress. I refer to these new ways as "priority voting". Many national organizations now ask potential contributors to send in their "priority votes" with their contributions. The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to amend the U.S. Constitution with a "Balanced Budget Amendment". How will the power to balance the budget be distributed? Who will cut the pie and distribute the portions? What small group will make the key decisions and ask the many to say "Yes"? Power can be distributed more broadly and fairly by wider and more formal use of "priority voting". Consider the following way to balance the budget: 1. Ask each member of congress to recommend how big each major "line item" in the federal budget should be; both for federal tax income and federal tax expenditures. 2. Identify the few members of congress who made recommendations closest to being in the middle for each major "line item", at the median; half the recommendations being larger and half smaller than the median. 3. Adjust all medians of federal tax expenditures by a common percentage so as to balance the budget relative to the anticipated total of all medians of recommended federal taxes. 4. Publish the tentative budget with the name of the members of congress recommending closest to median values. 5. Ask for citizen input and repeat the process a few times. 6. When in the above process the Congress can muster an appropriate majority of votes to adopt a refined prioritized budget, do so. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================