Tag: Article V

Use Article V to Solve the Debt Crisis

 

Over the last few decades, no force on earth has been able to halt the explosive growth of US federal debt.

At the conclusion of WWII, fiscal conservatives were aghast that our national debt had ballooned to $259 billion. By the end of the Vietnam war it stood at $533 billion and, despite urgent warnings, was over $5,674 billion by the end of the century. Today it stands at $30,000 billion ($30 trillion) after the Biden administration’s horrific spending spree conducted on the pretext of limiting the fallout from Covid.

The reason is pretty simple. Spending other peoples’ money is politically popular. Taxes are not and budget cutting is risky.

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  As has been suggested severally previous, the US can rescue its future from Leftist radicals via an Article V Convention of States. The eminent Mark Levin has written about the same,(The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic) proposing legislation to put the country back on course.  In my opinion it could be done in […]

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Because I was in the right place at the right time a few weeks ago, I got to attend a taping of the “Uncommon Knowledge” Podcast Monday night. The invitation didn’t specify a dress code, but I asked ahead and found out a suit and tie was expected, which meant my normal evening attire wouldn’t cut it. After work […]

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A New Constitutional Convention Is Not the Conservative Option

 

citizenshipday09The other day Peter Robinson asked what I thought of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for a constitutional convention. (Peter will be interviewing Gov. Abbott for Uncommon Knowledge early next month.)

The conservative in me thinks a constitutional convention is a bad idea because of the inability to limit the convention’s work. We could go in with a Constitution with a separation of powers, federalism, and a Bill of Rights, and emerge with a wholly new framework of government that merges all state power into one government, as in Great Britain or Europe. A convention’s work would still have to gain three-quarters approval of the states under Article V, though the Convention could reject that process too.

Think of where a majority of the nation is right now. Majorities regularly disapprove of the rights in the Bill of Rights, not just those protecting criminal defendants, but also the First and Second Amendments. I don’t see Citizens United and Heller surviving a majoritarian convention. My sense is that a majority of the country probably would do away with federalism (if indeed a majority would still support the welfare state) and much of the separation of powers (judging by Trump’s success, the people would support transferring more power to the President from Congress).

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Cuts are off the table. I just saw a post from the loveable JP, which reads that Trump’s plan requires 11% growth. I’m not so concerned with the peculiarities of that conversation. But, let’s zoom out a bit and enlarge the frame. No proposition for reduced taxes can be paid for. Ever. Because, the strict preemptive […]

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Scalia Would Have Wanted the States to Use the Article V Amendment Power Responsibly

 

Compact-for-America-logoBy Paulette Rakestraw and Mead Treadwell

A month ago, the editorial board of USA Today issued a warning urging the states to resist the call by Sen. Marco Rubio for a “constitutional convention” to draft amendments to balance the federal budget and impose term limits on judges and members of Congress. As the two current commissioners of the Compact for a Balanced Budget, we agree with the editorial board (and its reference to remarks that the late Justice Antonin Scalia had given years ago): a “constitutional convention” conducted outside the scope of Article V of the US Constitution would be inappropriate.

But there’s a big difference between conducting a constitutional convention of the kind that took place in Philadelphia in 1787 versus offering a single amendment as provided for in Article V. Currently, Congress can propose a constitutional amendment when two-thirds of both the House and Senate approve it. And the states can propose an amendment too, when at least two-thirds of them (34) submit a common application to Congress that details the amendment to be proposed. Once Congress receives the completed application, it is then required to call a convention where the states will formally consider the amendment. The vote of a majority of states at this convention would send the proposed amendment out for ratification, which requires the approval of three-quarters of state legislatures (38).

Russia, Turkey, and Article V

 

20150707_collective-defence-img2Two particularly interesting comments came up at the tail end of my post about Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian jet. Let me reproduce them:

Pilgrim wrote:

I’ll just say it. Dump Article 5. Mutual defense obligations are either doomsday machines or paper tigers. If the treaty is wrongly considered a paper tiger, then it becomes a doomsday machine. The treaty is no stronger than the capabilities and resolve of the allies and both are open to question.

What Good Is Another Parchment Barrier?

 

e48202_c9245fe6b9db46f592ca1450e15e3049.jpg_srb_p_397_335_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srbAmericans are tired of Washington. We keep sending new politicians who promise to get our finances in order, but every year the national debt goes up. The fundamental problem is that the United States faces an overconcentration of power in Washington, D.C. The ability to incur limitless amounts of debt is what enables politicians to get away with promising to spend limitless amounts of money. That power is easily leveraged by special interests to enrich themselves at the expense of current and future generations. As a result, Washington has not — and will never — control its addiction to debt.

Fortunately, the Founders gave us the power to solve the problems caused by “Washington gone wild” in Article V of the Constitution. Article V empowers state legislatures to originate constitutional amendments. This authority was meant to be used as a crucial failsafe to protect our liberty from an overconcentration of power in Washington, D.C. In Federalist No. 85, the last Federalist Paper, Alexander Hamilton urged skeptical states to ratify the Constitution because they retained ultimate authority over the federal government through Article V’s state-initiated constitutional amendment process.

Those who oppose states using their power to originate amendments under Article V often start with the question, “Why amend the Constitution when nobody follows the Constitution as written?”

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A number of conservatives have supported efforts to call an amendatory convention as provided in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. At the same time other conservatives are adamantly opposed to such a convention. I am curious to know how the intelligent, articulate, and civil members of Ricochet feel about the subject, and why. Preview […]

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