Saturday, October 31, 2015

Article V Convention: If A Balance Budget Amendment is All They Accomplish – They May As Well Stay Home!

By Rich Kozlovich

“Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.”—Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775

Unlike many, I'm not that enamored with Thomas Jefferson, but this statement is telling. Below are two posts by Rob Natelson regarding a much talked about Title V Convention of the States to address a constitutional amendment. Please read these two articles first before going on.

First: Planning for a Convention of the States for Proposing Constitutional Amendments- Advocates of a federal balanced budget amendment are closing in on the 34 states necessary to require Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments. Other groups, such as the Convention of States project, are working assiduously toward the same goal. If they succeed, it will be a constitutional milestone, and a tribute to the dedication of millions of Americans who recognize that the federal government is sorely in need of reform….

Second: Voting Rules at a Convention of the States - In a recent post, I examined suggestions that a convention of the states for proposing amendments adopt a supermajority rule for proposing any amendment. Most commonly suggested is that the convention replace the traditional “majority of states decides” standard with a two-thirds requirement. I explained that this departure from history was politically unnecessary, would make it very difficult for the convention to propose anything, and likely would destroy the convention’s popular support. This post answers other questions about the issue-- including the possibility of a convention that fails to propose because it chokes on its own rules. No statesman will want to be part of such a convention.....

Is there really a need for such action? Here are some statements from the Declaration of Independence. Please see if there is anything that seems familiar to you.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…..

That has been a concept the federal government has long abandoned.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good…..

The federal government is out of control. Nothing short of cutting off the purse strings and stripping Congress and the Administration of their of unbridled power can fix this.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

Starting with the Wilson administration and continuing with the FDR administration the federal government has grown to such gigantic proportions it's unmanagable and out of control with regulations, fines, confiscation of property and imprisonment of honest citizens.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power……

Even the EPA has created its own standing army, much like other federal agencies, and unaccountable to civil authority.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

Can we have any doubt the EPA, the BLM, the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corp of Engineers has done these things with their regulations?

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us…

Can we doubt liberals have incited racial and class hatred for years?

….and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

The leftists have been promoting this kind of thing with immigration polices that are clearly detriment to the nation, including the immigration of known radical Islamist groups.

Although such a Convention may or may not produce a Balance Budget Amendment, but it occurs to me even if such a Convention occurs and such an amendment passes – it will fix nothing! Why? Because it will not place a cap on taxation or spending, that would be irrational and poor management practice. No one can predict what costs may occur in the future. However, merely balancing the amount taken it to be in line with what goes out isn’t a solution – it’s a bandage – a loose bandage, and it certainly won't fix the abuses by government imposed on society. If they wish to go through this process what they need to do is fix what’s wrong with the Constitution – and there’s been a lot of clabber added over the years. Here’s what needs to be done!

First – repeal the Sixteenth Amendment. This amendment gave the Congress the power to tax income. That’s been a disaster – we now know it’s a disaster in every way possible, including fairness and abuse of power by the IRS at the behest of many administrations from both sides of the aisle – get rid of it and pass a national sales tax, and for this to work the 16thamendment must be repealed first.

Second – Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment. The founding fathers saw the need to prevent a central government from running rough shod over the states and the nation’s citizens. As a result Senators were originally chosen by the states to represent the state as ambassadors from the states to the central government. The House of Representatives were to represent the people, not the Senate. Once the 17th Amendment passed the balance of power disappeared.

Third – Add a Twenty Eighth Amendment. No part of the federal government has been so destructive to America as the federal judiciary. We need to place restrictions on the federal judiciary starting with age and term limits. The founding fathers created lifetime appointments for federal judges because they wanted them to be unafraid about losing their jobs for unpopular decisions. There were some differences between then and now.

First of all there were few federal judges and nowhere in the Constitution does it exactly outline their duties. Originally the Supreme Court handled very common cases. Their authority developed over time and they pretty much created their own parameters of responsibility.

Secondly, the federal government was amazingly small compared to today and everyone pretty much thought it would stay that way. However the passage of the 16th amendment (income tax) and 17th Amendment (popular elections of Senators) pretty much laid the foundation destroying the checks and balances between the branches of government and the vision of a limited central government, which the founding fathers believed was essential to individual liberty. They couldn't have been more right.

Although it’s true judges can be removed by impeachment. It’s also true the federal judiciary is filled with political hacks that have made decisions that can’t be construed as anything but high crimes. The high crimes of the Constitution means a “crime of high office”, which can simply mean they’ve failed to perform the duties they have sworn by oath to perform. It’s clear the federal judiciary no longer believe they have to "solemnly swear (or affirm)they will administer justice……under the Constitution and laws of the United States."They’re clearly not following the Constitution, and they clearly don’t believe they need to “preserve and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic” since they are Constitution’s greatest enemy. If that’s so – and it is – and it’s so obvious – and it is –why aren’t more judges impeached? Because getting a two thirds majority to vote for conviction from the Senate is almost impossible.

As historian Dr. Clarence Carson wrote:"Jefferson doubted that the fear of impeachment was little more than a paper tiger, or as he put it frequently in private correspondence, “not even a scarecrow.” He put the danger this way: “We already see the power, installed for life, advancing with a noiseless and steady pace to the great object of consolidation. [“The engine of consolidation,” he had said, “will be the federal judiciary . . . .”]The foundations are already deeply laid by their decisions for the annihilation of constitutional state rights, and the removal of every check, every counterpoise to the engulfing power of which themselves are to make a sovereign part.”

If the Constitution is going to really be the document that governs government, and is the real and legitimate law of the land, it's in serious need of reinforcements. It’s time for a 28th Amendment that would impose strict term and age limits on the federal judiciary.

There are three levels of the federal judiciary- the District level, the Appeals level and the Supreme Court. Each level should have a ten year limit with a review after five years requiring a majority approval by the Senate. At each level each nominee would have to go through the same process, even if nominated to a higher court before they finish their term in a lower court. If their tem runs out and they’re not nominated to a higher court they may be nominated at some point in the future. No jurist can return to a lower court if their term runs its course at a higher level, and no jurist can ever be appointed to a court if their nomination to any court has ever been rejected by the Senate. No jurist may serve after the age of seventy.

If those three things occur there will no need for a Balanced Budget Amendment and we can begin to dismantle these overweening Federal Departments and Agencies that trample citizens rights and everything else will fall into place.  If these three Constitutional actions aren't addressed nothing will change. If they're going to go through all that work - make it worthwhile or stay home!

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