Tea Anyone?

I have suggested here and there that the most succinct solution to the current problems with our government is repealing the 16th Amendment, which allows the federal government to tax income. From the bailouts to the intrusions into education, banking, business and health care, not one of these could be implemented by the federal government without control over your money. Your government is using your money to subdue you. Your government is using you as collateral for loans.

The proposal to repeal an amendment to the Constitution generates more concern than the tax abuses. That surprised me, so I started doing some research to find out what all of those people know that I didn’t know by reading Article V. of the Constitution. It appears this issue must be addressed before we can engage in sincere debate of the merits of repealing the 16th Amendment.

There is quite a back story dating back to the 1980’s when an amendment to require a balanced budget was under consideration. All amendments to the Constitution so far have been by Congressional action. The other means of amending the Constitution is the “convention” or “conference of states” method, by which 2/3 of the states (34) would pass resolutions calling for a convention to propose amendments. From the earlier balanced budget initiative, it appears that we are only a few states shy of the necessary number of states with active resolutions to convene a conference of the States.

The alarm over the convention method of amending the Constitution appears to come from the idea that once a constitutional convention is convened, the delegates are at complete liberty to re-write the entire document. The concern has some merit. The last time such a convention was called was in the 1780’s and sure enough, the Articles of Confederation were scrapped entirely and the Constitution produced.

Ratifying any amendment requires the approval of ¾ of the States. It is my opinion that is an adequate safeguard against convention delegates getting too slap happy with their text editors. The Constitutional Convention is the sole mechanism that we, the people, have to exert our authority over Congress. Who would want to stop us from using it and why?

In 1911 the number of Representatives in the House was limited to 435. Two years later, the 16th Amendment granted the Federal Government the right to tax “income” (though the exact definition of “income” remains in some dispute).

These two events created two corresponding statistics, one going up and one going down, that have reached critical mass in their relationship. The two statistics are:

1. Per capita representation in Congress which is going down. At present, with a population of over 306,000,000 and approximately 535 members of Congress, we have 1 legislator for every 570,000 people. When the Constitution was written, it stated “The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;”

2. Federal revenues from income tax are going steadily up. The liberal desire to “spread the wealth” may have some merit. We currently have, by one revenue chart, as much as 40% of the GDP of our entire nation under the incontestable and un-monitored control of 535 people who are more answerable to campaign contributors and lobbyists than to their constituents.

This is a recipe for tyranny. Whether it results in an oligarchy that engages in socialism, communism or any other ism is immaterial. Losing our right to control our individual and national destiny is a problem that warrants some attention, even some action.

Here is the text from Article V. of the:

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.

A little research on the internet unearthed an interesting article from the Heritage Foundation that is a little kinder to my very sincere proposal:

“Amending the Constitution by the Convention Method”, March 8, 1988 by James L. Gattuso http://www.heritage.org/Research/PoliticalPhilosophy/bg637.cfm

This article, makes a very interesting statement:

“While Congress may in most cases be counted upon to propose constitutional amendments when needed or desired by the American people, the framers knew that Congress would be reluctant to do so if that would lead to a reduction in its own powers. The convention method thus provides a “safety valve” to propose needed amendments in cases where federal lawmakers might ‘impede needed reform.”

We are in a condition where federal lawmakers are impeding needed reform. It is our Constitution. An amendment ratified 100 years ago has granted our government unanticipated authority over many more aspects of our lives than the framers ever envisioned and more than we should tolerate. It is not only our responsibility but our duty to do what is necessary to restore the proper balance of government.

If we are going to allow the Judiciary to “interpret” the Constitution, rendering decisions in clear violation of the Constitution and it’s own limits;

If we are going to allow Congress to escalate taxes to confiscatory levels that can then be used to indebt our entire nation for generations and erode personal property and liberty alike;

If we are not going to hold our President accountable to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States’ in his dealings with foreign nations;

Exactly what good is the Constitution? If we are not going to abide by it, nor demand that our judges, legislators and executives abide by it, what does it matter if it is “altered”? Our rights are not resident in that document. Our rights are not bestowed upon us by our government. Our rights are inalienable and endowed by our Creator.

If we are so afraid of breaking our Constitution that we refuse to use it, it has become nothing more than a pretty piece of literature, an historical curiosity.

It is our constitution folks, are we going to take it out for a spin or let it dry rot in the garage while our government reduces us to serfdom?

Publius

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