By John K. Piper
The current Constitution is broken. The proof is in the pudding: the federal government is borrowing 43 cents of every dollar it spends, the debt ceiling keeps being raised by Congress, spending keeps going up, legislation can be rammed through Congress by a combination of bribes and members who forswear their oath, regulations can be loaded on businesses that are suffering through the longest period of no-growth since the Great Depression, 20% of people are unemployed when those who have just given up are factored in, economic growth is stagnant, certain companies get special favors while we taxpayers get the bill, oil companies are barred from producing new gasoline which has doubled the pump price to average people, a record high number of people are receiving food stamps, a the President is acting outside the law by defying the Courts and the Congress by issuing executive orders that contradict them, and new taxes, fees, and expenses are being added daily onto citizens.
Some people say “Well…if people just obeyed the Constitution, we wouldn’t be in this situation.” Yes, and if men were angels, no Constitution would be needed. The fact is: many people have been able to get around the Constitution, which is why it is happening. The Constitution needs to be updated or replaced, or this is going to continue happening, and with our debt problems mounting, it is going to come to a head soon.
Congress has recognized some of this: there was talk and some feeble efforts to getting debt under control and a very good proposal for a balanced budget amendment. Rep. Paul Ryan has put forth some good proposals. Former candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination Herman Cain put out his 9-9-9 plan to replace the current income tax. Other candidates have put out flat tax or tax reform plans which would attempt to replicate the tremendous economic expansion that occurred after Ronald Reagan’s tax reforms. There has been talk about reforming regulatory agencies or even abolishing them, as Rep. Ron Paul suggested. Thus far, none of this has gone anywhere, but at least there is a recognition that the United States is in a terminal financial condition that is getting worse while Congress plays its fiddle.
The problems are still structural, though! Almost all these proposals are temporary fixes that will be undone by the first bad Congress afterwards. I propose that not only does a balanced budget amendment need to be approved, but many others, which would be done by calling an Article V Constitutional Convention. These amendments would bind the Congress and Offices of the federal government and prevent them from taking away our rights and collapsing our system, which they appear helpless to stop under the current system. The amendments I suggest would deal with many areas: Balanced Budgets, Taxation, Regulations, prevent the Interstate Commerce Clause from being used intrastate or to force a person to buy something, granting a Presidential Line-item veto, preventing public sector unions from eating the budget, clarifying that aliens do not automatically become citizens, loser pays for lawsuits, clarifying that your home can’t be taken away from you for weak reasons, and adding some rules for Congresspersons. There are a few other areas, too. I lay these out in my pipe-dream-constitution.info site, which is completely non-commercial and exists solely to explore how to solve our current fiscal and freedom crisis.
The Authors Site: Pipe Dream Constitution