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Author Topic: The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic
Seneca
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I decided to finally make a post about this. This is about several things. Literally it is a recent book published by Mark Levin, my favorite Constitutional scholar, but also this is the answer to an important question: what can we do? This is it. This is what we can do. This is our final, last option. I encourage all of you to read the book, you can find it online, at a bookstore or get it for free from the public library. It's a great book.

To start with it would help if you read Liberty and Tyranny and Ameritopia to understand the basis and thinking behind this, but I'll do my best to summarize.

For the last hundred years the Progressive Statists have waged a war on freedom in America. Beginning mostly with Woodrow Wilson, exploding under FDR, LBJ and even the Bushes (among many more), and currently under Obama, the progressives have been eroding personal liberty in favor of government expansion and regulation. The name of the Progressive movement itself is a reference to something their founders understood, that America would not tolerate a Bolshevik-type sudden revolution, and that to implement their statist agenda within the United States they must do it slowly, incrementally, "progressively." Interesting to note, the Progressives are opportunists. They have championed and dropped many causes and allies. When it was convenient to them they were racist, elitist, and have found themselves on all sides of issues over time. Their early history with eugenics, segregation, and the various causes they have picked up and dropped demonstrate their political opportunism. They've dodged back and forth between parties, organizations, controversial issues, etc. Most recently they've dropped the labor unions when the unions finally started to realize how much the new healthcare law screwed them over. In this way the Progressives ruthlessly pursue their agenda and are not afraid to use up anyone they need to and burn any bridge along the way as long as it furthers their goal of government expansion.

So for a hundred years we have seen regulations upon regulations. The CBO and GAO attempted to calculate how many statutes as well as administrative rules that have the force of statutes exist, and they gave up after reaching 100k, their final conclusion is that it is unknowable. Every aspect of our lives is regulated and controlled by the state. The state has encroached into the private sector and in some cases completely eradicated it and taken over. From the moment you wake up, to the moment you sleep, as well as lying in your bed all night, every single thing you do, see, hear, touch, smell and feel is controlled or regulated by the government in some fashion. And just as the Progressives planned, this incremental bondage has gone so slowly, that many people today are comfortable with the bloated Leviathan and how it effectively channels and controls their lives. The appropriate analogy here is the experiment with 2 frogs. One is dropped into a hot glass of water, and jumps out. The other sits in a cool glass of water that is slowly heated up until the frog is cooked, but the frog does not jump out.

To begin we look back to the Constitution itself, the document that has protected liberty within America. This document is under attack by the Progressives who despise liberty and the Constitution itself. Current proof: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights-constitution-free-zone-map

If we look back at the Constitution, Federalist papers, Declaration of Independence and other primary documents from that time, we see a major theme throughout all of them. The founders of our nation valued liberty above all else. This was the reason that Patrick Henry's clarion call of "give me liberty or give me death" resonated so well. When our founders first began to craft a state, they were so mistrusting of government that they started with the Articles of Confederation that created such a weak federal government that it could not function properly and civil unrest was rife. However, even upon drafting its replacement, the Constitution, they recognized the wisdom in constraining a central government as best they could. That is why the Constitution reads almost as a sentence of punishment or derision. It sets a tone of looking down upon government as subservient to the people, something relatively unknown in an age of monarchies. It shackled the government with lots of proscriptive orders and limitations, and went so far as to put in an over-arching order that anything NOT enumerated by it could not be a power held by the government.

Was it perfect? No. Nothing is. But the founders were wise enough to know that our nation would need to be able to change the document over time. They weren't angels, but they didn't perpetuate their faults onto future generations. They gave us Article V which became one of our most valuable tools. The initial draft of Article V only allowed the Congress to propose amendments. However, a few of the founders would not allow this and argued that Congress would eventually become corrupt and detached from the people, and that the people needed a way to bypass the federal government if it ever became corrupt, tyrannical and disregarded the Constitution regularly as our Congress does today.

What we have today is a government that is doing end-runs around the Constitution.
We have a President who disregards it as a matter of course, interprets laws as he sees fit, seizes powers that do not belong to him, and creates law where he does not have the power.
We have a Congress that has legislated in areas that it is not allowed to, that has delegated powers to the executive that it cannot delegate, and that has violated its trust with the American people to maintain open access to the legislative process.
We have a Court that has seized incredible power unto itself, power the founders never intended them to have.

What can we do? Our final recourse is to be found within the Constitution itself, in Article V. The second method of amending the Constitution, which has never been used, is our last legal resort. We can amend the Constitution to specifically stop these behaviors which have abused it and neutered it all these years.

Here is our only possible salvation:
quote:
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
The beauty of this method is that it requires only the legislatures of 2/3 of the states. The governors and courts within those states cannot interfere. Also, Congress's role is that of a clerk or records keeper who is compelled, they have no discretion to deny the implementation of the convention once 2/3 of the states call for it, and even if they tried I'm sure those 2/3+ of states would just go have one anyway.

So, how should we amend the Constitution to get us back to our first principles? To restore the Constitution to its intended purpose in protecting liberty and constraining government? This is what the Liberty Amendments is all about. Here they are:

1. Terms Limits for Congress
quote:
SECTION 1: No person may serve more than twelve years as a member of Congress, whether such service is exclusively in the House or the Senate or combined in both Houses.

SECTION 2: Upon ratification of this Article, any incumbent member of Congress whose term exceeds the twelve-year limit shall complete the current term, but thereafter shall be ineligible for further service as a member of Congress.

This is pretty self-explanatory. I think everyone here recognizes that our elected officials stay in office far too long, with the modern average of Congressmen/women being over 20-30 years. In the beginning of our nation, being a Congressman was looked somewhat down on and a real duty or chore to be performed. People could not wait until their terms were over and they could go back to their businesses and farms. Throughout much of our history, working for the federal government was not that prestigious. This has changed. Instead of businessmen and women or farmers "taking turns" to serve in Congress, we now have a dedicated political class of people that in many ways mirrors an aristocracy. This explains why several Bushes have been President and why we may get several Clintons. It explains why sons and daughters of Congressmen follow their parents into office. There are probably less than 5,000 people who effectively rule this country in a rotating basis, in essence, we are an oligarchy right NOW. Occasionally an outsider will come in, but they are either quickly assimilated into the ruling class or forced out.
Part of the strategy to break the stranglehold of America's aristocracy is to limit the amount of time they can be in office. This mitigates all kinds of corruption as well as helps dampen their ability to perpetuate their own power. There is no excuse for why, in a country of over 300 million people that all political power should be in the hands of a few thousand.
The founding fathers were actually quite in favor of limiting time in office, and if anyone is interested there is a lot of source material I can post about this, though I doubt anyone would challenge this point.

2. Restoring the Senate to its original election format.
quote:
SECTION 1: The Seventeenth Amendment is hereby repealed. All Senators shall be chosen by their state legislatures as prescribed by Article I.

SECTION 2: This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

SECTION 3: When vacancies occur in the representation of any State in the Senate for more than ninety days the governor of the State shall appoint an individual to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

SECTION 4: A Senator may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the state legislature.

When I initially read this I was torn. I thought it might make government less representative of our people. But then I began to think about how the Senate currently works. It can be logically argued that the more people voting for an office, the less representative that office is of those people as so many positions, accommodations and much political bundling occurs. In this way the President is the least representative of Americans while local city and county council members are probably the most representative. Right now our Senators are essentially elected in a small mirror of the way that Presidential elections go. It is celebrity, name recognition and the amount of access that your average constituent has to a Senator is virtually nil. Removing this politicization would improve the performance of the Senate by a lot.
Also, it would empower the states. The states originally had the Senate to represent their interests. By taking the Senate to the popular vote the states lost power to the federal government. I'm sure many here might see this as an anti-democratic move, but I want you to seriously think about our current Senators and how representative they are of the people and how qualified they are.

3. Term limits for Supreme Court Justices and super-majority legislative override
quote:
SECTION 1: No person may serve as Chief Justice or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court for more than a combined total of twelve years.

SECTION 2: Immediately upon ratification of this Amendment, Congress will organize the justices of the Supreme Court as equally as possible into three classes, with the justices assigned to each class in reverse seniority order, with the most senior justices in the earliest classes. The terms of office for the justices in the First Class will expire at the end of the fourth Year following the ratification of this Amendment, the terms for the justices of the Second Class will expire at the end of the eighth Year, and of the Third Class at the end of the twelfth Year, so that one-third of the justices may be chosen every fourth Year.

SECTION 3: When a vacancy occurs in the Supreme Court, the President shall nominate a new justice who, with the approval of a majority of the Senate, shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term. Justices who fill a vacancy for longer than half of an unexpired term may not be renominated to a full term.

SECTION 4: Upon three-fifths vote of the House of Representatives and the Senate, Congress may override a majority opinion rendered by the Supreme Court.

SECTION 5: The Congressional override under Section 4 is not subject to a Presidential veto and shall not be the subject of litigation or review in any Federal or State court.

SECTION 6: Upon three-fifths vote of the several state legislatures, the States may override a majority opinion rendered by the Supreme Court.

SECTION 7: The States’ override under Section 6 shall not be the subject of litigation or review in any Federal or State court, or oversight or interference by Congress or the President.

SECTION 8: Congressional or State override authority under Sections 4 and 6 must be exercised no later than twenty-four months from the date of the Supreme Court rendering its majority opinion, after which date Congress and the States are prohibited from exercising the override.

When the founders wrote the Constitution they intended the courts to be the weakest branch. They did not intend the courts to have the power to interpret the Constitution in the binding fashion that they seized in Marbury v Madison. Even Madison himself, who benefitted from that decision, came to regret that power grab and wrote that we should rectify that problem before it got out of hand. Our founding fathers did not intend for the entire nation to sit on the edge of their seats every June and wait breathlessly to see how 9 people, often just 1 swing vote in an arbitrary 5-4 decision, was going to reshape the lives of over 300,000,000.
Term limits would prevent justices from getting senile on the court, as well as building up power bases as the current public financial portfolio as well as political organization membership of our current roster shows us.
Allowing the Congress as well as the states to override SCOTUS decisions by supermajority votes will help stop bad decisions and is reasonable given the time limit placed on it.

4. Limits on Federal Spending and Taxing.
quote:

SPENDING
SECTION 1: Congress shall adopt a preliminary fiscal year budget no later than the first Monday in May for the following fiscal year, and submit said budget to the President for consideration.

SECTION 2: Shall Congress fail to adopt a final fiscal year budget prior to the start of each fiscal year, which shall commence on October 1 of each year, and shall the President fail to sign said budget into law, an automatic, across-the-board, 5 percent reduction in expenditures from the prior year’s fiscal budget shall be imposed for the fiscal year in which a budget has not been adopted.

SECTION 3: Total outlays of the United States Government for any fiscal year shall not exceed its receipts for that fiscal year.

SECTION 4: Total outlays of the United States Government for each fiscal year shall not exceed 17.5 percent of the Nation’s gross domestic product for the previous calendar year.

SECTION 5: Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States Government but shall not include those derived from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government except those for the repayment of debt principal.

SECTION 6: Congress may provide for a one-year suspension of one or more of the preceding sections in this Article by a three-fifths vote of both Houses of Congress, provided the vote is conducted by roll call and sets forth the specific excess of outlays over receipts or outlays over 17.5 percent of the Nation’s gross domestic product.

SECTION 7: The limit on the debt of the United States held by the public shall not be increased unless three-fifths of both Houses of Congress shall provide for such an increase by roll call vote.

SECTION 8: This Amendment shall take effect in the fourth fiscal year after its ratification.

TAXING

SECTION 1: Congress shall not collect more than 15 percent of a person’s annual income, from whatever source derived. “Person” shall include natural and legal persons.

SECTION 2: The deadline for filing federal income tax returns shall be the day before the date set for elections to federal office.

SECTION 3: Congress shall not collect tax on a decedent’s estate.

SECTION 4: Congress shall not institute a value-added tax or national sales tax or any other tax in kind or form.

SECTION 5: This Amendment shall take effect in the fourth fiscal year after its ratification.

Setting Constitutional deadlines for budgets will stop the nonsense we see now with both parties failing to produce budgets on time, and if they don't, adopting the previous year's budget with 5% across the board cuts to it is a good substitute. Therefore even if Congress fails to pass a budget, we still achieve stability and manage to shrink government and get better deficit control over time automatically.
This would also be a balanced budget amendment, which has been sorely lacking and works well in many state Constitutions already.
Limiting the federal government's spending to 17.5% of GDP is a good way to keep government growth from being an undue burden on the private sector and the American people.
Congress can still go into debt if needed but only by supermajority vote, this will help prevent
High-time a flat tax limit ceiling was adopted.
Get rid of the death tax. It's an unfair tax that harms the legacy and ability for families to deal with death.
I am torn on the final provision. I'd almost rather see a flat national sales tax and no income tax than visa-versa. This would allow people to choose how they are taxed through their shopping habits. What do you think?

5. Limiting the federal bureaucracy.
quote:
SECTION 1: All federal departments and agencies shall expire if said departments and agencies are not individually reauthorized in stand-alone reauthorization bills every three years by a majority vote of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

SECTION 2: All Executive Branch regulations exceeding an economic burden of $100 million, as determined jointly by the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office, shall be submitted to a permanent Joint Committee of Congress, hereafter the Congressional Delegation Oversight Committee, for review and approval prior to their implementation.

SECTION 3: The Committee shall consist of seven members of the House of Representatives, four chosen by the Speaker and three chosen by the Minority Leader; and seven members of the Senate, four chosen by the Majority Leader and three chosen by the Minority Leader. No member shall serve on the Committee beyond a single three-year term.

SECTION 4: The Committee shall vote no later than six months from the date of the submission of the regulation to the Committee. The Committee shall make no change to the regulation, either approving or disapproving the regulation by majority vote as submitted.

SECTION 5: If the Committee does not act within six months from the date of the submission of the regulation to the Committee, the regulation shall be considered disapproved and must not be implemented by the Executive Branch.

Far too much of Congress's powers have been unconstitutionally delegated to the executive branch, and the executive branch has grown like a cancer to infest almost all of our society. In addition to much of it being redundant to state agencies and efforts, elements of these executive agencies never seem to go away, but rather always grow.
Forcing the Congress to re-authorize these agencies as stand-alone legislation every so often means that we are taking a serious look at what these agencies are doing and whether it is worth it. The travesty of what is going on today with the NSA would not continue if they had to justify their existence every 3 years publicly.
Also, forcing Congress to assume approval responsibility for executive branch actions have an effect of over $100,000,000.00 on the economy will ensure that such actions are not taken as lightly as they are now. Important to note here is that inaction on Congress's part will ensure defeat of any such measures.

6. Promoting free enterprise.
quote:
SECTION 1: Congress’s power to regulate Commerce is not a plenary grant of power to the federal government to regulate and control economic activity but a specific grant of power limited to preventing states from impeding commerce and trade between and among the several States.

SECTION 2: Congress’s power to regulate Commerce does not extend to activity within a state, whether or not it affects interstate commerce; nor does it extend to compelling an individual or entity to participate in commerce or trade.

This amendment would refocus the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution to be what it was originally intended to be: a power of the federal government to encourage and foster trade among the states. Instead, we have seen the federal government use the interstate commerce clause as a catch-all device to attempt to regulate almost anything that it can't justify regulating through other parts of the Constitution. This is one of the most important of the liberty amendments.

7. Protecting private property.
quote:
SECTION 1: When any governmental entity acts not to secure a private property right against actions that injure property owners, but to take property for a public use from a property owner by actual seizure or through regulation, which taking results in a market value reduction of the property, interference with the use of the property, or a financial loss to the property owner exceeding $10,000, the government shall compensate fully said property owner for such losses.
This formalizes and embeds within our Constitution a measure to deal with terrible administrative takings that occur right now that are now always dealt with or resolved fairly. Can anyone really argue against this?

8. Amendment to grant the states the ability to directly amend the Constitution.
quote:
SECTION 1: The State Legislatures, whenever two-thirds shall deem it necessary, may adopt Amendments to the Constitution.

SECTION 2: Each State Legislature adopting said Amendments must adopt Amendments identical in subject and wording to the other State Legislatures.

SECTION 3: A six-year time limit is placed on the adoption of an Amendment, starting from the date said Amendment is adopted by the first State Legislature. Each State Legislature adopting said Amendment shall provide an exact copy of the adopted Amendment, along with an affidavit signed and dated by the Speaker of the State Legislature, to the Archivist of the United States within fifteen calendar days of its adoption.

SECTION 4: Upon adoption of an Amendment, a State Legislature may not rescind the Amendment or modify it during the six-year period in which the Amendment is under consideration by the several States’ Legislatures.

The reason for this amendment is simple. Our Constitution has two ways to be amended. It has been amended only one way 27 times. This amendment seeks to make the 2nd method easier to accomplish as the fascist progressives have sought to stop the states from exercising this method and will drag their feet as much as possible. if the states manage to get an amendment convention going and manage to start ratifying amendments, this amendment will serve as keeping their "foot in the door" to make sure the statists never manage to slam the door shut on them again.

9. Amendment to grant the states oversight over Congress.
quote:
SECTION 1: There shall be a minimum of thirty days between the engrossing of a bill or resolution, including amendments, and its final passage by both Houses of Congress. During the engrossment period, the bill or resolution shall be placed on the public record, and there shall be no changes to the final bill or resolution.

SECTION 2: SECTION 1 may be overridden by two-thirds vote of the members of each House of Congress.

SECTION 3: Upon three-fifths vote of the state legislatures, the States may override a federal statute.

SECTION 4: Upon three-fifths vote of the state legislatures, the States may override Executive Branch regulations exceeding an economic burden of $100 million after said regulations have been finally approved by the Congressional Delegation Oversight Committee [see Chapter 9: An Amendment to Grant the States Authority to Directly Amend the Constitution].

SECTION 5: The States’ override shall not be the subject of litigation or review in any Federal or State court, or oversight or interference by Congress or the President.

SECTION 6: The States’ override authority must be exercised no later than twenty-four months from the date the President has signed the statute into law, or the Congressional Delegation Oversight Committee has approved a final regulation, after which the States are prohibited from exercising the override.

This amendment would revolutionize legislation. Forcing the federal Congress to publish bills and wait to vote on them for 30+ days would be an amazing change. Consider how quickly Obamacare was rammed through to the point where we got the infamous quote from Pelosi: "we need to pass it to know what's in it." There is provision to bypass this for emergency bills.
This bill would give the states recourse against despotic federal legislation that is widely unpopular among most states. The same goes for the states and executive orders.
This amendment also prevents the courts from interfering in state overrides. It also sets a reasonable time limit for such actions to be taken.

10. Protecting the vote.
quote:
SECTION 1: Citizens in every state, territory, and the District of Columbia shall produce valid photographic identification documents demonstrating evidence of their citizenship, issued by the state government for the state in which the voter resides, as a requirement for registering to vote and voting in any primary or general election for President, Vice President, and members of Congress.

SECTION 2: Provisions shall be made by the state legislatures to provide such citizenship-designated photographic identification documents at no cost to individuals unable to afford fees associated with acquiring such documents.

SECTION 3: Early voting in any general election for President, Vice President, and members of Congress shall not be held more than thirty calendar days prior to the national day of election except for active-duty military personnel, for whom early voting shall not commence more than forty-five calendar days prior to the national day of election.

SECTION 4: Where registration and/or voting is not in person but by mail, citizens must submit an approved citizen-designated photo identification and other reliable information to state election officials to register to vote and request ballots for voting, no later than forty-five calendar days before the primary or general elections for President, Vice President, or members of Congress. Registration forms and ballots must be returned and signed by the voter and must either be mailed or hand-delivered by the voter to state election officials. If delivered by a third party, the voter must provide written authorization for the person making the delivery and the third party must sign a statement certifying that he did not unduly influence the voter’s decisions.

SECTION 5: Electronic or other technology-based voting systems, for purposes of registering and voting in national elections, are proscribed unless a reliable identification and secure voting regimen is established by the state legislature.

We require photo ID to buy a gun.
We require photo ID to get on a plane.
We require photo ID to get a loan.
Why don't we require photo ID to vote? The Progressives would try and tell us it dissenfranchises the poor, however this is not the case. Most people in society have some form of government ID already, and there are almost no places where one cannot obtain some form of government ID at no cost to themselves. Even if there were, this amendment would eliminate that problem.
As a democratic republic, voting is our most important action that citizens can perform. Therefore we should take actions to protect it as such.

Those are the 10 Amendments from Levin's book. I would propose three more: to edit the 4th Amendment to protect all electronic data as being considered a person's papers and effects, to change the automatic-citizenship standards to require not just being born here but your parents being citizens as well (almost every other country does this), and to make English our national language.

It will be a tough road getting this to happen. The statist Progressives have worked 100+ years to erode our freedom and tear down the Constitution, so we must be equally patient in restoring them. However, the power is there and we only need 33 state legislatures to begin the process. Right now the GOP controls 32 state legislatures, and while many of those people are statist RINOs, it is a good start. Indeed, many of the few remaining classic "liberals" who aren't statists will find common ground here as well, so there is hope. But the greatest surge will be the push toward libertarianism that is going on in America as modern Americans find the tightening noose of the federal government to be uncomfortable and are pushing back against it.

I will close with Mark Levin's final words from the book:
quote:
I recognize the daunting task before us. But if there are better alternatives for effectively restoring the American Republic consistent with constitutional republicanism, not abstractions or novelties, they have hitherto not been presented. Perhaps, at a minimum, this project will kindle them. Let us hope so. There is no reason to be passive witnesses to societal dissolution, at the command of governing masterminds in the federal government and their disciples.
In the end, the people, upon reflection, will decide their own fate once their attention is drawn. As President Reagan stated, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us that we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”7
Let us do all that can be done. Let us be inspired by the example of our forefathers and their courage, strength, and wisdom. Let us be inspirited by the genius of the Constitution and its preservation of the individual and the civil society. Let us unleash an American renaissance in which liberty is celebrated and self-government is cherished. Let us, together—we, the people—restore the splendor of the American Republic.
Time is of the essence. Let us get started today!



[ October 13, 2013, 02:45 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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Greg Davidson
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Some quick responses (I have not read your whole posting):

Isn't Teddy Roosevelt the first progressive? I like him far more than I like Wilson, for all that he's a Republican and Wilson was a Democrat.

Second

quote:
What we have today is a government that is doing end-runs around the Constitution.
We have a President who disregards it as a matter of course, interprets laws as he sees fit, seizes powers that do not belong to him, and creates law where he does not have the power.

We have a Congress that has legislated in areas that it is not allowed to, that has delegated powers to the executive that it cannot delegate, and that has violated its trust with the American people to maintain open access to the legislative process.

We have a Court that has seized incredible power unto itself, power the founders never intended them to have.

This speaks to today, but over how much of American history is this referring to? Just the Obama Administration? The last 100 years? 150 years? The majority of Americans who have ever lived have been alive in the last 100 years - are the precedents they have lived under incompatible with your view of Constitutional originalism?

Secondly, the founders were in favor of slavery, as written in the Constitution. Does their favoring slavery mean that subsequent Amendments were wrong? Or are areas where the Constitution is silent, such as debt peonage, child labor, unsafe working conditions such as those that caused the shirtwaist fire in 1916 among the things that you believe are unjustified intrusions on your Copnstitutional principles

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PSRT
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quote:
For the last hundred years the Progressive Statists have waged a war on freedom in America. Beginning mostly with Woodrow Wilson, exploding under FDR, LBJ and even the Bushes (among many more), and currently under Obama, the progressives have been eroding personal liberty in favor of government expansion and regulation.
Believing that this is true is flat out stupid. The definition of liberty that makes this true is one which is horrible for the vast majority of people, as in order to make this true, you have to believe that having money allows you to do whatever you want to people who do not have money. That is, money=freedom, lack of money=lack of freedom. And, since what this style of freedom does is suck money from the many to the few, what you end up with is a situation where teh vast majority of people are not free, and a few people can do whatever the hell they want to everyone else.
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TomDavidson
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But that's what all the guns are for, PSRT! [Wink]
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TomDavidson
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In all seriousness: some of these proposed amendments I could get behind; others are just arbitrary -- like most of the ones involving numbers, where the numbers are pulled out of a hat rather than based on anything sensible -- or meanspirited. The first of Seneca's is quite good; the other two are as bad as might be expected.
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Pete at Home
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Limiting total time seems foolish. Better to eliminate consecutive terms. Corruption stems from incumbents running for election. Stupid to prevent someone from running on a strong track record.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Limiting total time seems foolish. Better to eliminate consecutive terms. Corruption stems from incumbents running for election. Stupid to prevent someone from running on a strong track record.

I think that has the tendency to create revolving door issues where between terms they go to work for lobbying firms or related industries and then back into office. We've actually seen this occur.
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TCB
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There's a simple logical problem with the original post. The problem (as stated) and solution are disconnected.

-The problem: Progressives ignore the Constitution.
-The solution: Add more amendments to the Constitution.
-The disconnect: If progressives ignore the current Constitution, they'll simply ignore the modified Constitution as well.

Additionally, if Tea Party Republicans won big in two consecutive elections they'd be able to enact items 4, 5, 6 and maybe 10 legislatively, no amendments necessary. Those are probably the items the Tea Party cares about the most, anyway. You should try winning some elections before you start tweaking the Constitution.

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AI Wessex
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Odd that to return the Constitution to the people, one of the primary objectives is to take the (s)election of state Senators out of the hands of the people and give it to the legislatures. That would seem to be based on the wishful hope that legislature's are comprised of honorable statesmen-like figures. I don't believe that has been the case for the vast majority of the time of the Republic, and the 17th Amendment was created to overcome just that kind of corruption.

Otherwise and more generally, the premise of this movement is to effectively make participation in the union more or less voluntary. That would usher in the end of the American status as a superpower, and probably accelerate the decline of the US economy.

Remember, it now takes two wage earners to earn slightly less than it took just one 40 years ago.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
There's a simple logical problem with the original post. The problem (as stated) and solution are disconnected.

-The problem: Progressives ignore the Constitution.
-The solution: Add more amendments to the Constitution.
-The disconnect: If progressives ignore the current Constitution, they'll simply ignore the modified Constitution as well.

Additionally, if Tea Party Republicans won big in two consecutive elections they'd be able to enact items 4, 5, 6 and maybe 10 legislatively, no amendments necessary. Those are probably the items the Tea Party cares about the most, anyway. You should try winning some elections before you start tweaking the Constitution.

Merely electing more politicians is not working. Too often the choices are between:
-Professional self-serving politician #1
-Professional self-serving politician #2

Even when you get someone with pure intentions they are usually corrupted fairly quickly.
That's the problem with national politics. As the states get larger and larger, this problem will also become more and more pronounced within the state legislatures as well. So the clock is ticking.

Amending the Constitution is:
-better than nothing
-good if done in a specific and direct way that specifically targets a certain behavior and very directly says "do not do X or do X." It will be hard for the legal technocrats to wiggle around such direct language as they've manage to do with the 18th century wording of the Constitution. But even if they did, it would be a much more clear violation of the Constitution that everyone would have to acknowledge and hopefully the powers that be that have the authority to stop those people and hold them accountable would move to do so. (ie: Presidential impeachment, etc.)

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KidTokyo
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The irony continues unabated -- libertarian conservatives fail to grasp the fundamental tension between individual rights and "state" rights. They don't grasp it historically and they don't grasp it constitutionally.

Seneca's post is vast, and riddled with self-contradiction. There is no connective tissue between symptom and remedy.

Furthermore -- the premise is wrong. The growth of individual liberty directly correlates with the increased power of federal courts and federal government to override state police power. Most laws and regulations are state laws.

A much simpler solution to our ills would be one constitutional amendment providing strict and standardized federal regulations for creating a corporation, and establishing its bylaws, responsibilities, etc.. Attack the problem at its root. Delaware has ruled the Earth long enough.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
From the moment you wake up, to the moment you sleep, as well as lying in your bed all night, every single thing you do, see, hear, touch, smell and feel is controlled or regulated by the government in some fashion.
This was even more true 200 years ago in any state of the union.
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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

1. Terms Limits for Congress
quote:
SECTION 1: No person may serve more than twelve years as a member of Congress, whether such service is exclusively in the House or the Senate or combined in both Houses.

SECTION 2: Upon ratification of this Article, any incumbent member of Congress whose term exceeds the twelve-year limit shall complete the current term, but thereafter shall be ineligible for further service as a member of Congress.

This is pretty self-explanatory. I think everyone here recognizes that our elected officials stay in office far too long, with the modern average of Congressmen/women being over 20-30 years. In the beginning of our nation, being a Congressman was looked somewhat down on and a real duty or chore to be performed. People could not wait until their terms were over and they could go back to their businesses and farms. Throughout much of our history, working for the federal government was not that prestigious. This has changed. Instead of businessmen and women or farmers "taking turns" to serve in Congress, we now have a dedicated political class of people that in many ways mirrors an aristocracy. This explains why several Bushes have been President and why we may get several Clintons. It explains why sons and daughters of Congressmen follow their parents into office. There are probably less than 5,000 people who effectively rule this country in a rotating basis, in essence, we are an oligarchy right NOW. Occasionally an outsider will come in, but they are either quickly assimilated into the ruling class or forced out.
Part of the strategy to break the stranglehold of America's aristocracy is to limit the amount of time they can be in office. This mitigates all kinds of corruption as well as helps dampen their ability to perpetuate their own power. There is no excuse for why, in a country of over 300 million people that all political power should be in the hands of a few thousand.

I'm actually not in favor of term limits for congress. I don't see it helping things that much. If you think politicians who view their office as a career are willing to screw over their constituents in favor of a special interest group, imagine a whole group of lame duck politicians who need a retirement plan. Term limits throw out the good with the bad and do nothing to make sure the replacements are any better.

Also I think this fails to address why there are so few people running for and winning office to begin with. Running for a congressional office is basically a full time job. Unless you have a job that allows you to take a few months off and you have enough money to afford doing so running for office is not financially possible. You also needs friends with enough money to help fund your campaign. This is why congress has a majority of millionaires.

What I would propose for this is:
1. Full public financing of elections.
2. Elimination of primaries. Every election should be held on election day (which I would make a federal holiday). In the event a candidate did not reach a plurality there would be a run off 2 weeks after the initial election (also a federal holiday).

This removes a lot of private money from elections and removes the credibility of the threat of being primaried from someone more extreme in your party. Turnout and hopefully choice will be increased for the average voter.

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EDanaII
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I, personally, am leaning towards the repealing of the 17th Amendment. I think it simply changed who the sycophants sucked up to and eliminated a check and balance on our political system.

Probably ain't gonna happen, though, but I can dream. [Wink]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Limiting total time seems foolish. Better to eliminate consecutive terms. Corruption stems from incumbents running for election. Stupid to prevent someone from running on a strong track record.

No- corruption stems from trying to ensure a plum job after leaving office. Winning reelection is a means to an end, but as a payof, it can't hold a candle to the top level exevutive, consultant, or speaking gigs that are used as the real payoff once the person in question is out of office.

Term limits only serve to exacerbate the problem by increasing the pressure to get the next job properly lined up in a more limited sppan of time.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
In the event a candidate did not reach a plurality there would be a run off 2 weeks after the initial election (also a federal holiday).
Runoffs, in general lead to bizarre results (a significant minoirty with a strong top preference can easily force a fring candidate into the runoff because of split tickets on canidates with more overall appeal to the majority). Instead, remove the limitation on how many candidates a person can vote for. Let them mark every candidate they find acceptible and you'll get a true measure of who is the most acceptable candidate across the entire electorate in question.
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Paladine
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quote:
Believing that this is true is flat out stupid. The definition of liberty that makes this true is one which is horrible for the vast majority of people, as in order to make this true, you have to believe that having money allows you to do whatever you want to people who do not have money. That is, money=freedom, lack of money=lack of freedom. And, since what this style of freedom does is suck money from the many to the few, what you end up with is a situation where the vast majority of people are not free, and a few people can do whatever the hell they want to everyone else.
No, not really. One can oppose the growth of the administrative state and of government spending and regulation without wishing that "a few people can do whatever the hell they want to anyone else".

quote:
Limiting total time seems foolish. Better to eliminate consecutive terms. Corruption stems from incumbents running for election. Stupid to prevent someone from running on a strong track record.
I'm not sure being a legislator is something that should to be a 20 or 30 or 40 year long career, with or without breaks in between; it seems to me that we have enough good people in this country that we don't need someone there for fifteen congressional terms.

quote:
-The problem: Progressives ignore the Constitution.
-The solution: Add more amendments to the Constitution.
-The disconnect: If progressives ignore the current Constitution, they'll simply ignore the modified Constitution as well.

That might happen. If it does then we're out of political solutions and things are going to get settled by force one way or another. As it is, many "progressives" have a mistaken but good faith belief that their preferred form of government is consistent with what's provided for in the Constitution. Clarifying these provisions and putting them in contemporary language would remove that illusion.

quote:
Additionally, if Tea Party Republicans won big in two consecutive elections they'd be able to enact items 4, 5, 6 and maybe 10 legislatively, no amendments necessary. Those are probably the items the Tea Party cares about the most, anyway. You should try winning some elections before you start tweaking the Constitution.
Not really. The basic problem conservatives have over the long term is that liberals by their nature move much more quickly. It's a lot harder and more complicated through the normal electoral process to drastically reduce the size of scope of government than it is to grow it. A liberal administration might implement a new vast entitlement program tomorrow, and the conservative administration which follows would have a difficult or impossible task in rolling it back given that millions would come to depend upon it.

One of the benefits to a government limited by a written constitution is that there's a structural impediment to growth beyond a certain point or beyond certain functions. The whole reason our system of government is set up the way it is was to mitigate the damage caused by that natural desire of government to expand. Divide the power up between federal and state, executive, legislative, and judicial, split the legislature into two bodies that work differently and represent different constituencies.

It worked pretty well for awhile, but now everything's become fused. The federal government has assumed many of the roles of the state. The executive branch has vast legislative and judicial functions through the administrative state, promulgating and interpreting tens of thousands of pages of "regulations" carrying the force of law every year. The courts assume legislative functions by rewriting statutes and enacting policies which no democratic body ever voted to make law prior to their decision.

quote:
The irony continues unabated -- libertarian conservatives fail to grasp the fundamental tension between individual rights and "state" rights. They don't grasp it historically and they don't grasp it constitutionally.
I'm not a libertarian, and I get that states can act tyrannically and sometimes have throughout history. What you don't seem to get is that people have much more ability to influence what happens in their state than they do in the federal government, and much more ability to move from one state to another than they do to leave the country.

You're quite right that New Jersey left to its own devices might regulate, legislate, and micromanage even more than the federal government does. But I get to decide whether to stay in this state or whether to move to one whose laws and policies better suit my ideas about good government. I also have dramatically more ability to get together with other people and make a difference in local and state elections than I do in federal elections.

The Constitution doesn't provide for a libertarian government, but it does provide for a federalist one. The point behind the 9th and 10th Amendments is that the political center of gravity should be close to the ground, that people and their state and local governments should do most of the work of governing, with a few critically important functions delegated to the federal government.

What's happened has been the opposite. Policymaking and administration have floated progressively upward, away from the people and towards the federal government. We can aruge about whether the reasons for this happening have been good or bad, but on a systemic level what we have is today is a government far less accountable to the people as a matter of principle, one in which the ability of citizens to choose between a variety of "laboratories of democracy" is diminished along with their ability to influence policy impacting their everyday lives.

Your argument basically seems to be that the philosopher-kings we've impaneled in the federal judiciary have done a good job of making people more free. What you seem to ignore in that analysis is the whole idea of freedom on which the Constitution was founded, which isn't that one should live without government but rather that people should have a choice to live under a wide variety of possible state and local governments which would be subject to their influence. California may not be for everyone, and so not everyone has to live in California. The move towards nationalism and away from federalism has eroded that vital democratic freedom, instead implicitly saying that there is one set of correct policies under which everyone should be made to live.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
it seems to me that we have enough good people in this country that we don't need someone there for fifteen congressional terms
While you're probably right, I can't think of a single good argument against letting voters decide this for themselves.
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DonaldD
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If one thinks that term limits are problematic, then even before going there I would suggest that the ability of partisan groups to control the gerrymandering process (excuse me, the redistricting process) is a much bigger problem.

The experiment has been tried, and the current process has shown itself to be not just open to manipulation, but it encourages the parties to corrupt themselves in the pursuit of disenfranchising voters.

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TomDavidson
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Oh, yeah, non-partisan districting is at the top of my list of priorities.
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AI Wessex
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I don't see why intra-state districts should have their own representation in the House. The "people" as used in the Constitution refers to states as a collective. Here is the relevant section of the Constitution in Article I, Section II:
quote:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

Nowhere does it talk about districting.

I can see a better solution either being that the Representatives are elected by statewide ballot, as Senators are (and should be), or by reducing the number of actual Representatives and giving them weighted votes according to their state's population. Either of those solutions would eradicate gerrymandering without diminishing the clout the state has in the House.

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yossarian22c
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I agree non-partisan redistricting would be good. Also some from of range/rank voting is logically preferable. However with the number of spoiled ballots with the simple system we have I fear that a significant percentage (I would guess around 20%) of ballots could be marked in a way that would make them uncountable or counted contrary to the voters intent.
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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

2. Restoring the Senate to its original election format.
quote:
SECTION 1: The Seventeenth Amendment is hereby repealed. All Senators shall be chosen by their state legislatures as prescribed by Article I.

SECTION 2: This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

SECTION 3: When vacancies occur in the representation of any State in the Senate for more than ninety days the governor of the State shall appoint an individual to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

SECTION 4: A Senator may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the state legislature.


With the current level of polarization in Washington this would all but assure every Senator voted the party line every time. Senator's would only be political insiders with high party loyalty. I can't see how this would improve the quality of people in the Senate at all. This also just raises the stakes for gerrymandering state house races.
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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
3. Term limits for Supreme Court Justices and super-majority legislative override
quote:
SECTION 1: No person may serve as Chief Justice or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court for more than a combined total of twelve years.

SECTION 2: Immediately upon ratification of this Amendment, Congress will organize the justices of the Supreme Court as equally as possible into three classes, with the justices assigned to each class in reverse seniority order, with the most senior justices in the earliest classes. The terms of office for the justices in the First Class will expire at the end of the fourth Year following the ratification of this Amendment, the terms for the justices of the Second Class will expire at the end of the eighth Year, and of the Third Class at the end of the twelfth Year, so that one-third of the justices may be chosen every fourth Year.

SECTION 3: When a vacancy occurs in the Supreme Court, the President shall nominate a new justice who, with the approval of a majority of the Senate, shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term. Justices who fill a vacancy for longer than half of an unexpired term may not be renominated to a full term.

SECTION 4: Upon three-fifths vote of the House of Representatives and the Senate, Congress may override a majority opinion rendered by the Supreme Court.

SECTION 5: The Congressional override under Section 4 is not subject to a Presidential veto and shall not be the subject of litigation or review in any Federal or State court.

SECTION 6: Upon three-fifths vote of the several state legislatures, the States may override a majority opinion rendered by the Supreme Court.

SECTION 7: The States’ override under Section 6 shall not be the subject of litigation or review in any Federal or State court, or oversight or interference by Congress or the President.

SECTION 8: Congressional or State override authority under Sections 4 and 6 must be exercised no later than twenty-four months from the date of the Supreme Court rendering its majority opinion, after which date Congress and the States are prohibited from exercising the override.


I can agree to term limits for SC justices. Although I would make them 18 year terms so that no President (barring retirement or death) would ever get to appoint a majority of the SC.

Congressional overrides with a 3/5 majority with no possibility of a presidential veto is scary. That would allow the government to blatantly and legally violate the constitution. Imagine if one party ever got those margins in both houses they could legally outlaw the other party and have them rounded up and arrested (or simply suspend elections indefinitely), without actually violating the constitution. That is scary. The court process may be frustrating and messy but it is there to protect us from the worst abuses of government. Likewise 30 state legislatures overruling the SC is scary as well. Would Brown vs. Board have been overruled that way? How about Loving vs. Virginia? Rights are rights because they are not subject to majority overrule. I thought the idea was to restrict the power of government, not give the majority (or a majority of states which may represent a minority of the population) the right to do whatever they want.

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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
4. Limits on Federal Spending and Taxing.
quote:

SPENDING
SECTION 1: Congress shall adopt a preliminary fiscal year budget no later than the first Monday in May for the following fiscal year, and submit said budget to the President for consideration.

SECTION 2: Shall Congress fail to adopt a final fiscal year budget prior to the start of each fiscal year, which shall commence on October 1 of each year, and shall the President fail to sign said budget into law, an automatic, across-the-board, 5 percent reduction in expenditures from the prior year’s fiscal budget shall be imposed for the fiscal year in which a budget has not been adopted.

SECTION 3: Total outlays of the United States Government for any fiscal year shall not exceed its receipts for that fiscal year.

SECTION 4: Total outlays of the United States Government for each fiscal year shall not exceed 17.5 percent of the Nation’s gross domestic product for the previous calendar year.

SECTION 5: Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States Government but shall not include those derived from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government except those for the repayment of debt principal.

SECTION 6: Congress may provide for a one-year suspension of one or more of the preceding sections in this Article by a three-fifths vote of both Houses of Congress, provided the vote is conducted by roll call and sets forth the specific excess of outlays over receipts or outlays over 17.5 percent of the Nation’s gross domestic product.

SECTION 7: The limit on the debt of the United States held by the public shall not be increased unless three-fifths of both Houses of Congress shall provide for such an increase by roll call vote.

SECTION 8: This Amendment shall take effect in the fourth fiscal year after its ratification.

TAXING

SECTION 1: Congress shall not collect more than 15 percent of a person’s annual income, from whatever source derived. “Person” shall include natural and legal persons.

SECTION 2: The deadline for filing federal income tax returns shall be the day before the date set for elections to federal office.

SECTION 3: Congress shall not collect tax on a decedent’s estate.

SECTION 4: Congress shall not institute a value-added tax or national sales tax or any other tax in kind or form.

SECTION 5: This Amendment shall take effect in the fourth fiscal year after its ratification.

Setting Constitutional deadlines for budgets will stop the nonsense we see now with both parties failing to produce budgets on time, and if they don't, adopting the previous year's budget with 5% across the board cuts to it is a good substitute. Therefore even if Congress fails to pass a budget, we still achieve stability and manage to shrink government and get better deficit control over time automatically.
This would also be a balanced budget amendment, which has been sorely lacking and works well in many state Constitutions already.
Limiting the federal government's spending to 17.5% of GDP is a good way to keep government growth from being an undue burden on the private sector and the American people.
Congress can still go into debt if needed but only by supermajority vote, this will help prevent
High-time a flat tax limit ceiling was adopted.
Get rid of the death tax. It's an unfair tax that harms the legacy and ability for families to deal with death.
I am torn on the final provision. I'd almost rather see a flat national sales tax and no income tax than visa-versa. This would allow people to choose how they are taxed through their shopping habits. What do you think?

A balanced budget amendment for the Federal Government is a death sentence for our economy. Money is only created from debt. If the Federal Government cannot have debt then all debt to grow the economy has to come from the private sector. There is no unsustainable Federal dollar denominated debt. Check out Japan's debt to GDP ratio and their bond rates if you don't believe me. Balance budget amendments for states aren't as bad for the economy because they do not have printing presses and therefore the states must eventually have balanced budgets. Having them balance every year regardless of economic conditions isn't the best solution but only causes minor economic harm when compared to the Federal government.

The arbitrary 17.5% of GDP would turn a recession into a depression. See the paradox of thrift. paradox of thrift wiki

Why a 5% cut from previous levels without a new budget? Why not a continuation of the previous years level (which is a cut when adjusted for inflation)? This writes into the constitution that the default assumption is that the government is always too big. Maybe you believe that now but how about in 10, 20, 50, 100 years? Could things change to the point where that is a bad default?

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Pete at Home
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I am suspicious if anyone who says they need to rewrite so much of the Constitution in order to save it.
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KidTokyo
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Yup.
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Pete at Home
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I'm waiting for "Thomas Jefferson" to post a parallel thread: "The Slavery Amendments: Restoring the American Republic"
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yossarian22c
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quote:
5. Limiting the federal bureaucracy.
What a bunch of nonsense. Having to re-establish the FBI, CIA, DOD, EPA, NASA, SEC, et. al. every 3 years would be a logistical disaster. Congress would spend all of their time managing the re-authorization of agencies and overseeing the regulations they gave them the authority to create. It would make the agencies harder to run and it would make it harder to get good people to work for the government. With the current political climate it is safe to say that many of the agencies would face an uphill battle to get reauthorized but the cost to recreate them if once they were disbanded would be enormous. Imagine that the EPA fails to be re-authorized. Consider the impact, China is a good example for what unregulated industrial practices lead to in terms of environmental impacts. If you think that states can do the job themselves keep in mind that states are much easier for a big industry to impact the regulations (see West Virginia and coal mining). Environmental impacts go downstream and across state lines, this is a good area for the federal government to create a solid baseline to prevent states from competing in a race to the bottom in order to attract companies (see Delaware and incorporation laws). So after a few environmental catastrophes (rivers catching fire, smog so thick you can't breath) the EPA would get recreated but the clean up costs to undue the damage done would be enormous.
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scifibum
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I think some of these proposed amendments are more like alternate history fiction concepts than workable ideas for what we should do in this country.
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D.W.
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quote:
In this way the Progressives ruthlessly pursue their agenda and are not afraid to use up anyone they need to and burn any bridge along the way as long as it furthers their goal of government expansion.
Can you spend a moment outlining, a bit more clearly, what the Progressives are attempting to progress us towards? Their flexibility and ability to stay detached from whichever political force can further their goals is a provocative and spooky notion. Without understanding the “end game” I find it hard to not also consider it ridiculous fluff. Surely there is a point to keeping the behemoth growing in power and size. They MUST intend to direct the beast to some goal correct?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Progressive Statists have waged a war on freedom in America.
I love the smell of black helicopters in the morning.

War on freedom? What freedom? How am I measurably less free than my counterpart back in the time of Woodrow Wilson? What could I have done during Woodrow Wilson's time that I can't do today that shows my loss of "freedom"?

quote:
If we look back at the Constitution, Federalist papers, Declaration of Independence and other primary documents from that time, we see a major theme throughout all of them. The founders of our nation valued liberty above all else. This was the reason that Patrick Henry's clarion call of "give me liberty or give me death" resonated so well
FYI, Patrick Henry voted AGAINST the 1787 constitution, so I'm not sure he's an authority on restoring its meaning. [Big Grin]

Agreed that distrust of government is the central theme of the 1789 constitution. hence federalism, hence separation of powers.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
quote:
In this way the Progressives ruthlessly pursue their agenda and are not afraid to use up anyone they need to and burn any bridge along the way as long as it furthers their goal of government expansion.
Can you spend a moment outlining, a bit more clearly, what the Progressives are attempting to progress us towards? Their flexibility and ability to stay detached from whichever political force can further their goals is a provocative and spooky notion. Without understanding the “end game” I find it hard to not also consider it ridiculous fluff. Surely there is a point to keeping the behemoth growing in power and size. They MUST intend to direct the beast to some goal correct?
The scary thing about the Progressives is that, to most observers, they are not a coherent organization or movement and do not have any specific target goals. It is more of a philosophy than any kind of group you can identify, unless you are one of those people who believe in an Illuminati attempting a world government, and frankly I haven't seen enough proof for that.

Indeed, the Progressives would be EASIER to counter and stop if they actually WERE an identifiable group. As it is they fill their ranks from different groups, different people with different agendas.

There is no universal goal among the Progressives other than one very vague and loosely-defined goal: to always expand government. This comes from their inherent belief that government can solve problems and that government should coerce "preferred living methods" onto others.

This is a major problem as the Progressive movement is constantly renewed with fresh blood and fresh surges for government expansion. There is no end game, at least not until we are all automatons and our very sub-atomic structure is regulated by a central authority some millions of years into the future. But until then I am sure the Progressives will always have a constant stream of "good ideas" on how to require people to do certain things and bend their knee to the state.

[ October 14, 2013, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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D.W.
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Ahh, that clears things up. No wonder I'm not afraid. I'm apparently a Progressive. At least for the moment...
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Pete at Home
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Seneca, what about a ban on nonconsecutives, coupled with a ban on running for office within, say, 10 years of working for any lobbyist group? Because I do agree with you that the politician/lobbyist thing is a danger.

Also, we could have a rule that pension and all benefits cancel out the moment any expolitician goes to work for lobbyists. They retain Secret Service bodyguards, if they have them but the bodyguards LOSE their obligation of confidentiality if the expol goes to work for any foreign corporation or organization. (take that, Ronald Reagan [Big Grin] )

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
This comes from their inherent belief that government can solve problems and that government should coerce "preferred living methods" onto others.
This is particularly hilarious coming from someone who, just the other day was up in arms about EBT recipients who happened to have alcohol or candy in their house, while the more Progressive members of the board noted that there was likely little connection and defended the freedom of those people to make their own choices.

About the only freedom restriction that was supported was your freedom to use deprivation to try to use your moralistic dictates to restrict the freedom of people in need of community support.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Indeed, the Progressives would be EASIER to counter and stop if they actually WERE an identifiable group.
I actually believe the opposite: that progressives would be far more politically effective if they weren't a bunch of kneebiting protesters, each with their own tiny pet cause, constantly sniping at each other over internecine disputes.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Seneca, what about a ban on nonconsecutives, coupled with a ban on running for office within, say, 10 years of working for any lobbyist group? Because I do agree with you that the politician/lobbyist thing is a danger.

Really, the ban should be on any public official leaving office to work in the private sector for a significant term of time, and perhaps a requirement that all their personal investments go into a blind trust while they're in office and for that period of time after that. Violation should at least cancel their pension and benefits, if not probably require paying back previously received compensation if they're going to work in a field that they exercised regulatory control over, and immediately trigger a full investigation for corruption.
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AI Wessex
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Seneca: "This is a major problem as the Progressive movement is constantly renewed with fresh blood and fresh surges for government expansion. There is no end game, at least not until we are all automatons and our very sub-atomic structure is regulated by a central authority some millions of years into the future. But until then I am sure the Progressives will always have a constant stream of "good ideas" on how to require people to do certain things and bend their knee to the state."

Do you believe that any of that automatom sub-atomic manipulation by Progressives is taking place now?

Tom: "I actually believe the opposite: that progressives would be far more politically effective if they weren't a bunch of kneebiting protesters, each with their own tiny pet cause, constantly sniping at each other over internecine disputes."

I agree. There used to be a very active liberal political movement in this country that flourished from post-war II through the early 70's. There's no reason it can't happen again, and frankly, the current crop of right-wing fanatics in Congress are beginning to rouse some of the old-timers and lots of young people just waking up to political life to do something about it. I think the current conservative backlash is about to trigger a massive progressive (aka liberal) backlash to beat it back down.

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TomDavidson
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God, I can't imagine what someone like Seneca would do if they saw a real Labor movement. *laugh*
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