"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

Markup

Not so much for the specifics noted – which seem incomplete and sometimes, to non-wonks, a little unclear – as for the basic approach, take a look at what the Oregon Democrats did with the economic proposal put forth by Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Dudley.

They took an original version of the file (PDFed originally, probably) and effectively used a red pen to editorially mark it up. (Writers who have worked with editors will immediately grasp the approach.) It makes for a visually arresting approach.

One comment here on one of Dudley’s 26 proposals, the one being part of number 3: “He will budget the way Oregon families and businesses budget, by determining how much money the state will have and then building a “Priorities First” budget within existing revenues.” First, that’s actually not so very different from what’s done now in times of revenue downturn. Second, it assumes something sacrosanct about the current revenue levels: What’s the argument for why they should not be higher or lower? But we’ll return to some of this in another day. The Democrats, as you might imagine, didn’t take quite that approach in their markup.

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