While federalism and the rule of plain language law took a giant step backward with the Supreme Court's Rulings in the #SCOTUScare and #SCOTUSmarriage cases last week, I think those of us that seek to restore order and good governance can use these cases as a call to action.
All of this revolves around an Article Five Convention of States as outlined in the Constitution of the United States. I know the idea makes some folks' heads hurt, but follow along.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
Because the elected Congress critters(is my disdain showing?) in Washington, DC show no original thought(there are a few exceptions, but a majority is needed), we, as a self governing people, need to take it upon ourselves to make true national reform happen. I know there are rogue state houses, like Nebraska, that openly defy the will of the people(see here), but the people still have recourse at the state level with ballot initiatives and recall processes.
The only recourse at the national level is the ballot box. The ballot box at the national congressional level has shown to be ineffective when it comes to reigning in a government bent on usurping the rights of individuals and the states in which they reside to self govern. Lawmakers don't see their election as a chance to serve, rather they see it as a chance to lord over a dominion, accumulate power and pad their nest egg. The government in Washington, DC is no longer what Abraham Lincoln so eloquently stated in the emancipation proclamation, "government of people, by the people, and for the people". We have not ensured that this form of government would not perish from the earth. We now have a government of, by and for the government.
My proposals may differ from others slightly but any reform that serves to remove power from the federal government is something worth considering, in my opinion. Here are amendments I would propose for consideration.
- Term Limits and Compensation Limits for Congress
I also would entertain a limit on the number of staff members that Congressmen are allowed to have. All staffers do now is allow bills to balloon to thousands of pages because lawmakers don't actually right the bills they sign their names to.
- Repeal of the 17th Amendment
- Repeal of the 16th Amendment
The Fair Tax, as it has become known, is a system that would eliminate tax fraud and tax forms altogether. A "prebate" would be given to all legal residents paying the tax on all purchases up to the poverty level. The system would also make sure that those who came to this country illegally would not receive the benefit of being able live relatively tax free and illegal residents would not be eligible for the prebate.
The percentage would seem high but once the average person realizes the benefit of zero payroll, medicare or income taxes on income and no taxes on investment or savings, our financial footing would be much better, save for the tax preparation people and IRS agents, and I don't have much sympathy for them and neither should you. Economic freedom would spur a new entrepreneurial revolution, the likes of which this has not been seen in this country in generations.
- A Balanced Budget Amendment
The current situation in Greece is a great example of government spending run amok. While some will argue that a default situation couldn't happen here, if the US Dollar would lose its status as the world's reserve currency, we could be in the very same situation. Russia and China are already working toward that end. Our country needs to live within its means.
- Judicial Retention Elections
- Plain Language, Bill Length, Citizen Review and Recorded Voice Votes
All of these ideas serve to limit government in the way that our founders sought. They were afraid a day would come and we would need to fence the ever expanding government back in. They gave us the provision, we need to use it.
Of course, these are just my own thoughts, but I want to encourage everyone to think about what should be proposed during an Article Five Convention of the States. I know there are those on the far right that worry about a runaway convention. There is no chance in that because over half of all state legislatures are in conservative hands. Nothing is working at the Washington, DC level so the states need to seize the constitutional reigns and pull back on this unruly federal government. Senator Tom Coburn is leading the movement and I encourage you to visit the website established to help with the effort to make the Convention possible. This effort is, from my vantage point, the last stand for liberty and self government. Once liberty is lost, it will not be regained for generations and the time is drawing near.
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