Compare and Contrast

One way to evaluate government documents is by their ability to define a subject and state the rule in a straightforward manner.  A great example from history is the Ten Commandments.  “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”  Quick, easy, to the point.

My favorite is the Gettysburg Address http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm.  In a few sentences, President Lincoln articulates the moral purpose of the Civil War. 

Of course, the most recent addition to the Great Documents is the Transportation Act of 2007.  This Act is touted as the vision for transportation in Virginia.  Let’s compare and contrast the Act to the Gettysburg Address:

Number of Pages:

Gettysburg Address:              1
Transportation Act of 2007:   63

Number of New Tax or Fee Increases Authorized

Gettsyburg Address:               None
Transportation Act of 2007:      32

References to Supreme Being:

Gettysburg Address:               1
Transportation Act of 2007:      None (unless you count the Sec’y of Transportation)

Target Demographic

Gettysburg Address:               all Americans
Transportation Act of 2007:      residents of Northern Virginia, if 6 of their 9 jurisdictions approve

Universal Sacrifice Required of General Population:

Gettysburg Address:             immeasurable
Transportation Act of 2007:   $10 annual registration fee

Closing Inspirational Message:

Gettysburg Address: 

“government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth”

Transportation Act of 2007:

“If any portion of this act be held unconstitutional … the remaining portions shall remain in effect.”

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