As one year ends and another year starts, I am more aware than ever that some changes need to be made. Our Founders wrote the United States Constitution in such a way that it could best safeguard our liberty. They tried to foresee every problem that might arise and wrote a solution to the problem in the Constitution. Then they realized that they couldn’t foresee every change that would be needed; therefore, they wrote into the document the very way that changes could be made.
Article V gives the process of amending the Constitution: “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.”
Our federal government is far removed from the language and intent of the Constitution. We are in the midst of a Constitutional crisis. We may need to pass some amendments to our Constitution in order to bring our federal government back under the control of the people and to keep our government from going bankrupt. There is no problem with the Constitution but in the interpretation of what it says. We are in this situation because progressives have evolved the interpretation to be a “living” Constitution that requires our government to provide social services never expected by our Founders.
Ideas for several different amendments are floating around in the circles of patriots who want to take our country back from the progressives who are trying to turn it into a socialist nation. Here are a few of the ideas.
Pass a balanced-budget amendment. Congress does not seem to have the knowledge or ability to keep expenses within the income of our nation. Thomas Jefferson must have foreseen a problem like we are experiencing: “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its constitution; I mean an article taking from the Federal government the power of borrowing.”
James Buchanan, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, said that there is a structural flaw in our fiscal politics that requires a structural correction – something that will change the way the game of politics is played: “Politicians prior to World War II would have considered it to be immoral (to be a sin) to spend more than they were willing to generate in tax revenues, except during periods of extreme and temporary emergency… There were basic moral constraints in place; there was no need for an explicit fiscal rule in the written constitution.” Now the moral restraints are gone, and an Amendment to the Constitution is probably needed.
Pass a term limits amendment. When the Constitution was written, the Founders were of the idea that public service was to be service to the public – not being served by the public. Gentlemen served in public positions for a few years but never made it a lifetime career. None of the early politicians were getting rich off serving the public, and so they needed to return to their former occupations. Now we have career politicians who wear expensive clothes, live in expensive homes, take expensive trips – and fail to even read the bills they are voting for. It appears that more of our career politicians are in public service for the salaries and benefits than for patriotic reasons. The Constitution was amended to keep the President from becoming a lifetime President; it appears that the Constitution needs to be amended to keep Senators and Representatives from “feeding at the public trough” for their entire lives. I believe that Senators should be limited to two terms or twelve years and Representatives should be limited to three terms or six years.
Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina proposed such an amendment in November 2009. His bill currently has three sponsors: Senators Brownback, Coburn and Hutchinson. Senator DeMint sees the problem clearly: “As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buy off special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fund-raising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork – in short, amassing their own power.”
Since many politicians use an office as a stepping-stone into lobbying the government, we should also make the amendment state that politicians cannot become lobbyists until at least four years after they leave office. Also, the amendment should state that family members of anyone in Congress cannot be lobbyists.
Pass a line-item veto amendment. Congress loves to add their favorite projects to legislation that has wide support. If the President had the ability to carve fat out of any bill, then we could lessen the chances of Congressmen adding pork. This amendment might give a President more power than we would like him to have, but not giving him this power has brought serious problems.
Pass an amendment to make all laws applicable to everyone. Suggested wording for this amendment is: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.” I believe that the best place to make this applicable is in equalizing the pay between our representatives in Congress and the men and women who serve in the military. Why should the people who are spending our nation into bankruptcy make eight to ten times more money than the men and women who are putting their lives on the line every day to serve and protect our nation?
Pass an immigration amendment that clearly states, “No baby born to parents illegally in the United States shall be given birthright citizenship.” An amendment such as this should lessen the flow of traffic over the border.
This list contains a lot of amendments that we need, but few of these amendments will be passed. Why? Congress is the organization that we need to control, but Congress is also the organization responsible for amending the Constitution. Any amendment to our Constitution will need to come from the people to the state legislatures. Our Constitution clearly states that the state legislatures can begin the amendment process: “… or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States…”