Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap

By Publius Huldah.

You can not responsibly support a proposed Amendment to Our Constitution unless you have read and understand the proposal and how it would change our Constitution. You must look behind the nice sounding name!  Will the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) really “rein in” the federal government? Will it really “show them” that they have to balance their budget the same as we do?

Or does it actually legalize spending which is now unconstitutional?  Is it actually a massive grant of new constitutional powers to the President and the federal courts – a grant which will cut the Heart out of The Constitution our Framers gave us?

Amending the Constitution is serious business – and you are morally bound to get informed before you jump on The Amendment Bandwagon.

So, lay aside your giddy joy at the fact that all 47 U.S. Senate Republicans are co-sponsoring the Balanced Budget Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 10 (March 31, 2011).  Let’s go through it.  What you believe the BBA will do, and what it will actually do, are two very different things indeed.

But First:  How Did We Get a National Debt of $14.4 Trillion?

Congress gave us a debt of $14.4 trillion which increases at the rate of $4 billion a day.  Let us look at a few of the items which comprise this $14.4 trillion debt:

Congress spent $2.6 million to teach Chinese prostitutes how to drink responsibly. Congress appropriates $147 million a year to subsidize Brazilian cotton farmers.  Congress spent $3.6 million to fund a study of the sex lives of dope-smoking, menstruating monkeys.  Congress paid $500,000 to paint a salmon on an Alaska Airlines passenger jet.  Congress appropriates $6.9 billion a year for the National Science Foundation where they fund such research as that which revealed the amazing fact that sick shrimp do not perform as well on stamina tests as do healthy shrimp.Citizens Against Government Waste’s pig book shows Congress spent $16,547,558,748. on pork projects last year.  In Sen. Tom Coburn’s Waste Book 2010, which lists 100 spending projects, he shows that $1.5 million was spent to spruce up apartments in Shreveport, La. before they were torn down.

All this spending – every penny of it – and trillions more which is not here listed – has one thing in common:  It is all unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress in the Constitution.  Congress has no constitutional authority to spend money on these projects.

So!  It was Congress’ unconstitutional spending which put us in the mess we are in today.

What Does Our Constitution Permit Congress To Spend Money On?

WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established a Constitution wherein the powers WE delegated to the federal government are limited and defined – “enumerated”.  Read the list at Art. I, Sec. 8!  Basically, all WE gave Congress authority to do for the Country at large is international relations, commerce & war; and domestically, the creation of an uniform commercial system (weights & measures, patents  & copyrights, a money system based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & road building.)  Some Amendments authorize Congress to make laws protecting civil rights. That’s about it, Folks!  The list of objects on which Congress may lawfully appropriate funds is short.  The only significant authorized expense is the military.  James Madison, Father of the U.S. Constitution, said in Federalist No. 45 (9th para):

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.  [boldface added]

Note that Madison contemplated that the federal government would be financed in large part by taxation on foreign commerceThat is because the constitutional powers of the federal government are so limited & defined!  The States and the People are to handle everything else.

Do you now see that Our Constitution does not authorize Congress to pay for a museum for neon signs ($5.2 million),  to archive memorabilia for a rock group ($615,000), or to post poems in zoos ($997,766.)?  [See Sen. Coburn’s Waste Book 2010].  Congress has no lawful authority to do most of what they do. They just do it because they want to, they have been doing it for a long time, and WE haven’t known enough to stop them.  Our $14.4 trillion debt was caused by Congress’ spending in thousands of areas where they have no constitutional authority to spend.

My dear Friend Mark said it best  here:

…the federal government’s expenditures are limited by the Constitutional grants of authority, NOT THE AMOUNT OF REVENUE THEY CAN GENERATE. [caps are Mark’s].

Is the BBA Really the Solution? 

So!  These 47 Senate Republicans (and some in the House) are showing you how much they now “care” about fiscal responsibility by supporting the BBA.  But think:  Why don’t they control their spending now?  The Republicans control the House – NO spending can get through the House unless the Republicans approve it.  So if the Republicans really wanted to control spending and balance the budget, they could do it now. Why don’t they do it?  Because they don’t want to.

Furthermore, the BBA they support with such broad smiles and glib promises of future fiscal responsibility, doesn’t make them control their spending.  Instead, it would legalize spending which is now unlawful and would markedly increase the powers of the federal government. And it would do nothing to reduce spending.  In short, the BBA is a Scam and a Terrible Trick.

What Would We Get From the BBA ?

In plain English, this is what the 10 Sections of the BBA mean  [but read it yourself –  it’s very short]:

Section 1: They won’t spend more than they take in unless they vote to spend more than they take in.

Section 2: They won’t spend more than 18% of the GDP unless they vote to spend more than 18% of the GDP.

Section 3: The President will write the budget: He will designate the taxes, and what the money will be spent on.  He won’t spend more than he decides to tax you for, and he won’t spend more than 18% of the GDP.  The GDP is a computation made by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the Department of Commerce, an agency under the control of the President. [Do you see?  The President controls the agency which computes the number which limits his spending.]

Section 4: Congress won’t make a law raising your taxes unless they vote to raise your taxes.

Section 5: Congress won’t raise the debt limit unless they vote to raise the debt limit.

Sections 6 & 7: Congress can waive the above provisions of the BBA (except for Sec. 4 which says they can’t raise your taxes unless they vote to raise your taxes) when there is a declared war or  a “military conflict” which they think justifies their waiving the above provisions of the BBA.

Section 8Courts can’t order your taxes to be raised. [But you can bet your life that this section, together with section 3, will be seen to authorize the President to order that your taxes be raised.]

Section 9: I leave this to others to explain. But be assured the President’s minions will define stuff however he wants; make stuff “off-budget” or “on-budget” to fit his agenda.

Section 10:  Congress can make laws to enforce the BBA, and can rely on numbers provided by the President who is to be given constitutional authority to order tax increases & decide how to spend the money.

So!  Do you see?  You get no benefit from the BBA.  But it will cause us irreparable harm.

How Would the BBA Cut the Heart Out of Our Constitution?

1. It would Transform Our Constitution From One of Enumerated Spending Powers To One of General (“Unlimited”) Spending Powers.

Congress’ Powers are enumerated.  Thus, the objects on which Congress may lawfully appropriate funds are limited to those listed in the Constitution.  Congress has ignored the limitations on its powers for many decades – but at least the limitations are still in the Constitution, to be invoked if We The People ever repent. 2

But the BBA, by ignoring the unconstitutional objects of Congress’ spending, and by merely limiting the amount of such spending to 18% of the GDP & the taxes the President assesses, repeals the enumerated powers aspect of our Constitution.  Furthermore, if Congress limited its appropriations to its enumerated powers, they could not possibly spend a sum as vast as 18% of the GDP.  Thus, the BBA is clear intention to repeal the enumerated powers, and transform the federal government into one of general and unlimited powers.

Congress’ idiotic spending is now unlawful & unconstitutional. But with the BBA, it would become lawful & constitutional, as long as the total spending doesn’t exceed the limits (unless they waive the limits).  With the BBA, it will become lawful for them to appropriate funds for whatever the President (who will write the budget) says3

2. The BBA Transfers Control of the “Purse” from Congress to the President.

The federal government didn’t even have a budget until Congress passed the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. That “law” purported to grant budget making power (taxes & appropriations) to the President.

But the Budget Act of 1921 is unconstitutional: The Constitution places the taxing & appropriations powers squarely in the hands of  Congress – not the Executive Branch; and contrary to the beliefs of indoctrinated lawyers, Congress may not “amend” the Constitution by making a law. 4

Article I, Sec. 8, cl. 1, grants to Congress the Power to lay and collect Taxes; and Art. I, Sec. 9, next to last clause, grants to Congress the Power to make the appropriations:

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

Accordingly, for most of our history, Congress made appropriations as the need arose; determined the taxes, and kept records of  both. [See Bruce Bartlett’s excellent history of the budget process.]

Our Framers gave us an elegant system of separated powers, where Congress commands the purse – not the Executive Branch and not the Judicial Branch!  In Federalist No. 78 (6th para), Alexander Hamilton outlines this separation of powers:

…The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules …  The judiciary … has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society… 5

In Federalist No. 58 (4th para from end) Madison explains why the House alone is granted power to propose taxes (Art. I, Sec. 7, cl. 1):  To protect The People from overreaching by the other branches of the federal government:

…The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing … all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may … be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance…

Ponder Hamilton’s and Madison’s words. You must understand what they are saying if we are to restore our Constitutional Republic.  Otherwise, the BBA will usher in a totalitarian dictatorship.

Pursuant to the unconstitutional Budget Act of 1921, the President has been preparing the budget. Since the Budget Act is unconstitutional, the President’s preparation of the budget has been likewise unconstitutional.  Section 3 of the BBA would legalize what is now unconstitutional and unlawful.

But Section 3 of the BBA does more than merely legalize the unlawful. It actually transfers the constitutional power to make the appropriations and to determine taxes to the President.  Congress will become a rubber stamp.

Now look at this pretty little snare:  Section 8 of the proposed BBA says:

No court of the United States or of any State shall order any increase in revenue to enforce this article.  [emphasis added]

Our Constitutiondoes not grant to courts the power to “order” tax increases.  So why does Sec. 8 of the BBA say they can’t do it?

It’s a trap!  There is an ancient maxim of  legal construction which goes like this:  “The Expression of One Thing is the Exclusion of Another”:

An implied exclusion argument lies whenever there is reason to believe that if the legislature had meant to include a particular thing within the ambit of its legislation, it would have referred to that thing expressly. Because of this expectation, the legislature’s failure to mention the thing becomes grounds for inferring that it was deliberately excluded. Although there is no express exclusion, exclusion is implied. …[emphasis added]

Why does Sec. 8 of the BBA exclude the President?  From this exclusion, one may reasonably infer that the intent of Sec. 8 is to permit the President to order tax increases.  If the BBA is ratified, you can be sure that Presidents will claim power under Sec. 8 of the BBA to order tax increases. That inference is strengthened by the fact that Sec. 3 of the BBA transfers constitutional power over the Budget to the President.

So!  The BBA surrenders the purse to the President!  Our Framers understood the danger of having the sword & the purse held by one person.  That is why our Constitution provides for Congress to make the decisions on taxes & appropriations; and, as pointed out in Federalist No. 72 (1st para), the President is to apply and disburse “the public moneys in conformity to the general appropriations of the legislature”.

With the BBA, Congress’ sole remaining constitutional function over taxing & spending will be to rubberstamp the dictates of the President.

3. The BBA grants judicial power over taxing & spending to the federal courts.

Article III, Sec. 2, cl. 1 states:  “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases…arising under this Constitution.”

If the BBA is ratified, it will become an Amendment to the Constitution which is subject to the judicial authority of the federal courts.

You say the BBA won’t transfer power over the purse to the President?  You say Congress won’t become a mere rubberstamp whose sole remaining function over taxing & appropriations is to enact into law the dictates of the President?

Who will decide?  Since this would be an issue “arising under the Constitution”, the supreme Court will decide. The Judicial Branch – a branch which Hamilton took care to point out should have no power whatsoever over The Purse.

And so five (5) people on the supreme Court will decide an issue which goes to the heart of our Constitution – an issue which the People clamoring for the BBA don’t even know exists.  And remember:  Our supreme Court is filled with fallen people who looked at Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment and said it means that women may kill their babies. They looked at the 1st Amendment and said it means that Congress may regulate political speech, and courts may ban Christian speech in the public square, but it gives Westboro “baptists” a “right” to spew their filth & hate at private funerals of dead American heroes.

If the BBA is ratified, do you really want five (5) of those judges deciding this issue? 6

What is the Solution to The Financial Plight Congress has put us in?

We have 47 Republican U.S. Senators who don’t understand [or do they?] the ramifications of the BBA which some of them (most notably Senators Jim De Mint & Mike Lee) are determined to cram down our throats.  Many supposedly conservative talk show hosts & pundits  (most notably, Redstate.com), are carrying their water.  Whether these people are fools or tyrants, I do not know; but you must learn that you can not trust anybody. You must insist that people prove what they say!

WE THE PEOPLE must reclaim our glorious Heritage. We must find & support candidates who understand the Constitution, obey it, and agree to work to dismantle the unconstitutional federal apparatus.  We can eliminate the trillions of dollars of unconstitutional spending by restoring constitutional government.  In an orderly fashion, we can dismantle the multitude of offices and agencies and departments of the last 100 years which harass us and eat out our sustenance.

Oh my People!  The grinning politicians and pundits who promise you “fiscal responsibility” with their BBA will actually strip you of the protections of Our Constitution. Their BBA will legalize a totalitarian dictatorship.  Do not be deceived by them – they are leading you astray, and their BBA will destroy us.

Oh you Proponents of this thoroughly Evil Scheme:  I throw my glove in your face:  Show me, if you can, where I am wrong.  Or rethink your position. PH

End Notes:

1  Our Constitution does not authorize Congress to fund scientific research. Congress’ only power in the areas of the arts and sciences is to issue patents and copyrights (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 8).  If Congress obeyed Our Constitution and stopped funding “scientific” research, the proponents of these idiotic studies would have to do something useful instead of sucking at the taxpayers’ teat.

2  We must repent of  our desire to live at other peoples’ expense. This is the contradiction which undermines the Tea Party.  Many don’t want a constitutional government of limited & enumerated powers. They just want to eliminate funding for programs they don’t like. They want their social security, their Medicare, their government retirement pensions, their perks.  I beg each of you who is now living at other peoples’ expense:  Are you willing to sacrifice your grandchildren so that  you can keep your handouts?  Or will you accept an orderly & gradual dismantlement of the unconstitutional “entitlement” programs?

3  Are you aware that federal executive agencies are forming their own SWAT teams?  Are you aware that DHS is federalizing our local police and using their fusion centers to turn them into a national secret police – America’s version of the STAZI?  Building Obama’s “civilian national security force” which is “just as powerful just as strong just as well funded as the military” takes money.  Lots of it!  The BBA will permit the President to write into the Budget the funding needed to build this armed force; and it will be under his sole & personal control.

4  Article V sets forth the exclusive methods of amending The Constitution.

5  In Federalist No. 26, Hamilton addresses how Congress is to determine (after public deliberations) the appropriations for the military; and warns that the President must never be given power over the purse respecting armed forces

The legislature of the United States will be OBLIGED, by this provision [Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 12], once at least in every two years, to deliberate upon the propriety of keeping a military force on foot; to come to a new resolution on the point; and to declare their sense of the matter, by a formal vote in the face of their constituents. They are not AT LIBERTY to vest in the executive department permanent funds for the support of an army, if they were even incautious enough to be willing to repose in it so improper a confidence…. (9th para) [capitals are Hamilton’s; boldface mine]

It has been said that the provision which limits the appropriation of money for the support of an army to the period of two years would be unavailing, because the Executive, when once possessed of a force large enough to awe the people into submission, would find resources in that very force sufficient to enable him to dispense with supplies from the acts of the legislature…. (12th para)

Do you see that Hamilton warned us not to trust the President with power to determine the funding for the armed forces?  Learn from Hamilton & Madison. Or perish.

6  If the President disagrees with the supreme Court’s decision, he – who would, thanks to the BBA, hold both the sword & the purse – could ignore it with impunity. PH

June 27, 2011; revised Sept. 9, 2011
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June 27, 2011 - Posted by | Balanced Budget Amendment, Jim DeMint, Sen. Mike Lee | , , , , , , ,

165 Comments »

  1. Hmmmm….

    Isn’t suggesting we need a BBA equivalent to saying “Our law enforcement officers are driving while drunk…we need tougher drunk driving laws.”

    As I recall, ALL of them take an oath to support and defend the Constitution we have RIGHT NOW–to see that it is enforced, and that includes the Enumerated Powers.

    I see no reason to believe those who have redefined “dereliction of duty” will suddenly turn into fire breathing originalists with the passage of a BBA.

    How dare they even suggest that they are not at fault, but our Constitution is.

    God bless
    “We may be tossed upon an ocean where we can see no land nor, perhaps, the sun and stars. But there is a chart and a compass for us to study, to consult, and to obey. The chart is the Constitution.” — Daniel Webster

    Like

    Comment by Sapient | August 4, 2011 | Reply

    • Very nice, Sapient! Wise, catchy, profound, and brief.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | August 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. You can not sue the Federal Government, you can only vote them out, please corect me if i am wrong P.H.
    Danny Kirkpatrick

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    Comment by Danny Kirkpatrick | August 2, 2011 | Reply

    • Yes, Danny, what you said is basically correct.

      1. The federal government takes the position that it is immune from lawsuits by us unless they “graciously” permit us to sue them for wrongs which THEY specify. Courts call this the doctrine of “sovereign immunity”. Note that they claim that THEY are the sovereign; but our Framers saw WE THE PEOPLE as the sovereign, and the federal government as merely our “creature”. My papers are filled with quotes by Alexander Hamilton
      in The Federalist Papers where he says this!

      2. So Congress has made laws which “grant” limited “rights” to individuals to sue the federal government in certain civil rights matters and tort matters affecting them directly & personally – E.g., federal prisoners can sue for alleged violations of their rights in prison (overcrowding, etc.) ; and people can sue the federal government in cases of certain violations of their civil rights. E.g., remember the infamous case of Ruby Ridge where trigger happy jack-booted thugs from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms – an executive agency of the federal government – shot (& killed) Vicki Weaver in the head (she was standing at the door of her house holding her infant baby in her arms) and shot & killed her 13 year-old unarmed son, Sammy Weaver, in the back as he was running away from the federal agents? The widower of the murdered nursing mother and the father of the murdered 13 year old boy sued the federal government for money damages. The case was settled out of court with the payment of several million dollars to the Father. I think Jerry (Gerry?) Spense was the Father’s counsel.

      3. However, the federal government does not permit us to sue them to force Congress, or the President, or the judges, to obey the Constitution – to stay within its enumerated powers.

      4. So! Our remedies are defeat the faithless representatives in the next election and Nullification! See my 3 papers on nullification.

      But first, WE THE PEOPLE must repent of our desire to live at other peoples’ expense. We must return to personal responsibility. We must provide for our own childrens’ education, our own retirements, our own medical care, etc. It was – is – our dependency on the federal government for handouts which gives them this power over us.

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      Comment by Publius/Huldah | August 2, 2011 | Reply

  3. If what youa re saying is true, then why on earth dont you, or some of your lawyer buddies file a class action suit in federal court against the Congress of the United States and force them to (1.) Stop spending for anything that is not constitutionally mandated, and (2.) Force them to repay the federal government for monies spent that were unconstitutional?

    Like

    Comment by Ken Hodges | August 1, 2011 | Reply

    • Ken, Do read what I have said throughout my various papers about the federal courts. They are the last place to look for restoration of the Constitution. The law schools are nothing more than indoctrination centers where the students are indoctrinated into a statist secular world view.

      Then, there is the old bug-a-boo of “standing” – the judges’ recognition or denial of a plaintiff’s right to sue.

      But most important: We need to disabuse ourselves of the false notion that the answer to every problem is to run to court and let the judges decide! We need to man up and handle these problems ourselves.

      We need to learn the enumerated powers of the federal government, and we need to elect people to office who understand those limits and obey them.

      Read my 3 papers on nullification.

      See also my answer to Danny Kirkpatrick where I go into more detail about the issues of “standing to sue” and “sovereign immunity”.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | August 2, 2011 | Reply

    • This is a really great question. It is one that until a couple of years ago I would have been asking myself. Not being a lawyer, I was surprised to recently discover that the American people have no standing in court to challenge the federal government for federal violations of the Constitution. I discovered this by observing the outcomes of dozens of lawsuits challenging the constitutional eligibility of the current occupant of the office of President of the Unit States to serve in that office. Rather than ruling on the merits or lack thereof of the suits, virtually all the judges dismissed the cases saying that American citizens’ lack standing to make such a challenge.

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      Comment by The Originalist | August 2, 2011 | Reply

      • A little more about the doctrine of “standing” to sue: If I live in Ken’s neighborhood, and he never mows his grass, his yard is filled with old tires where mosquitoes are breeding, and snakes are multiplying, I have “standing” to sue Ken to abate a nuisance – b/c I am directly affected by his unsightly & unhealthy yard. But if I have no property in his neighborhood and live in a different State, then I have no “standing” to sue him – what he does doesn’t affect me. So the doctrine of “Standing” isn’t necessarily a bad doctrine – in fact, it is a needed doctrine to stop meddlesome busybodies from filing lawsuits about things which do not concern them.

        But as to lawsuits against any branch of the federal government: Except in those limited circumstances where the federal government has “graciously” permitted us to sue them (civil rights violations, primarily), the federal courts have developed a set of rules to determine “standing to sue” which effectively deny citizens the right to sue. So yes, in those cases where citizens have filed suit against The Indonesian alleging he is not a “natural born citizen” w/in the meaning of Article II, Sec. 1, clause 5, U.S. Constitution, the courts have said plaintiffs “lack standing” to bring the actions. What those federal courts – and the supreme Court as well b/c the supreme Court has denied cert (review) in all such cases – are really saying is this: YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHETHER THE PUTATIVE PRESIDENT MEETS THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUALIFICATIONS TO HOLD OFFICE.

        Congress has not “graciously” granted to us the “right” to file lawsuits challenging a president’s eligibility to hold office; so the federal courts knock us out on the ground that we lack “standing” to bring the actions.

        Originalist, as usual, you fill in the gaps, for which I am always grateful. I realized after reading your very accurate comment about “standing”, that my answer was far too sketchy.

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        Comment by Publius/Huldah | August 2, 2011 | Reply

        • No decent, patriotic American wants to believe the federal government would ever just ignore the US Constitution. After all, it is the supreme law of the land and we were all told that in America nobody is above the law. Even the government is bound by it. We have faith in our institutions and it is this faith that makes it difficult for us to accept they may be corrupt. The sad fact is, however, that all three branches of the federal government, including Congress, will violate the Constitution whenever they can get away with it and they get away with it all the time.

          Here’s another example. Section I, article VII requires that all revenue bills must originate from the house.

          “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

          The framers did this to keep the power of the purse as close to the People as possible. They considered the power of the purse to be a strong check on government power and against tyranny. However, revenue raising bills routinely originate out of the Senate. What they do is take a dead bill from the House that the Senate does not intend to act on, reassign the House bill number to the Senate bill and pretend the bill came from the House. The worst example of this unconstitutional practice is the Obamacare bill. That is a revenue raising bill that not only originated in the Senate, but is 100% written by the Senate with not one word of it written by any member of the House. Then, if you can believe it, Congress wanted to send the bill to the President to be signed into law without the House even voting on it. The House called that “deemimg it passed.” It was only the fact that thousands of Tea Party American citizens were marching around the capital building shouting at them Congress not to “deem it passed” that it didn’t happen. A Republican congressman came out onto the capital steps in the afternoon to announce that a couple of Democrat congressmen told the House leadership that they could not go along with that scheme because of the thousands of Americans outside the capital calling them on it.

          If people truly understood how Congress views and treats the Constitution, they would understand that a Congress intent on deficit spending is not going to let something like a Balanced Budget Amendment stop them. If the amendment says the budget must be balanced, they will figure out a way to move government spending “off budget”, or some such play with words to allow them continue spending our children’s money unabated.

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          Comment by The Originalist | August 3, 2011 | Reply

          • Hello? Hope you are doing well. Miss you.

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            Comment by Publius/Huldah | September 10, 2011

  4. This is so frustrating, especially for me as a tea party conservative. Conservatives and Tea Party groups are pushing hard for passage of a balanced budget amendment. Their hearts are in the right place but their heads aren’t. A balanced budget amendment will do more harm to our republic than any amount of irresponsible borrowing and spending. The debt will only bankrupt the country and cause all the misery and suffering that goes along with it. The BBA would end federalism by making the federal government’s current unconstitutional excesses constitutional. The latest Boehner plan divides the borrowing into two parts and requires that a balanced budget amendment be sent to the states before the president gets the money. This is even worse than the Cut, Cap and balance bill previously passed by the house. That bill according to my understanding only required a vote on a BBA. We all need to start calling and emailing the 25 “Tea Party” freshman and let them know that trying to solve the debt problem by abandoning America’s founding principles.

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    Comment by The Originalist | July 29, 2011 | Reply

  5. If I can elucidate my objective without being sarcastic or insulting it will be a miracle, but try I must. You see folks, what I have to say is something that every American should have found out on their own before this rotten BBA bill was ever proposed. But instead, most people still cling to the myth that the constitution should protect us, and everything would be alright if only our elected representatives would follow it. You call them liars and scumbags, among other more colorful names, and rightfully so, but you never seem to ask the most important question. How do they get away with it, why do they feel confident enough to risk their standing with their voters and the law? Afterall we are supposed to be a nation of laws, right? Well folks they are not worried because they are following the law, namely the war powers act and several quotes within the patriot act. As many people have testified, the war powers act is still in affect, and it takes precedence over the constitution. Our law is being converted to public policy by the U.N. Agenda 21, thanks to wild Bill, and implemented by N.G.Os., who infiltrate local governments who are constitutionally obtuse, and dumb enough to support anything green. Public private partnerships are gaining control of natural resources and utilities as I right this, all over America, and few are knowledgeable enough and willing to oppose them. They send in the best debaters with silver-tongued rhetoric that sounds like it came from heaven, and very few citizens are intellectually capable of exposing their surreptitious intent, which is to dismantle America slow enough to prevent cognition by the public. They have controlled the public beginning with public education, and following through your whole life with the media industries, and now, many so-called Americans believe their garbage with a passion. It all sounds so great and necessary to prevent future catastrophic climate changes, and depletion of natural resources. Any American that is not studying U.N. Agenda 21 with a passion is shirking their duty to preserve the republic. PH has the intellect and the creditability to defend the constitution, and few there are who can debate with her, (THANK GOD) but the battle does not stop with the constitution, it has never had the ability to defend itself, and without another branch of government to be responsible for it’s protection the Bankers have scorned and ignored it. It is the bankers goal to replace the constitution completely with a regional government answerable only to a world government, so arguing about this proposed amendment is not going anywhere with calls and letters to the scumbags in office, because they are protected by their masters who are dismantling America with impunity. An internet revolution is in affect and it needs to grow fast enough to morph into a take-charge revolution sooner better than later, which is something the obtuse will fight with all their might.
    I and many others have thousands of articles on our hard drives that needs to be organized into a comprehensible, chronological presentation, but only someone like PH has the intellect to organize it. The public needs a comprehensible book that explains what is going on in the world before they use debt to bury us forever. It is my great shame to not have the intellect and education to accomplish what is needed, when all the ammo to win the war is at my fingertips. Consider these words I have written with great care, and do your best to become capable of educating your neighbor.

    Like

    Comment by James P. Harvey (aka OldDog) | July 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you for your kind words, James. I expect your analysis of what is going on is as accurate as any – and more accurate than most.

      But no “law” made by Congress, or treaty ratified by the Senate, or executive order issued by a President, or opinion issued by the supreme Court, takes precedence over The Constitution. The Constitution is the “fundamental” law of this Land – IT is THE standard by which the acts of the Congress, the Executive Branch and the federal judges are measured.

      Anything in the Patriot Act which is not authorized by the Constitution – or which is contrary to the Constitution – is unlawful. And anybody who implements such unlawful provisions is acting lawlessly. Same goes for the Agenda 21 treaty. The Constitution does not authorize the President and Congress to make laws on the objects of that UN treaty!

      WE THE PEOPLE are the ones who are charged with enforcing The Constitution. Hamilton & Madison make this clear – over & over – in The Federalist Papers. WE dropped the ball. Now WE must pick it up again.

      Oh yeah! NO ONE can debate PH on The Constitution! Well, maybe Dr. Alan Keyes – but we sing off the same sheet of music.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 28, 2011 | Reply

  6. What is the best interim solution to FORCE spending be lower than revenue? I demand a balanced budget somehow someway!

    Like

    Comment by Larry | July 27, 2011 | Reply

    • THINK, Larry. They do not obey The Constitution we have now – they ignore the enumerated powers limitations on their spending, and so spend trillions of dollars on unauthorized objects. So why would they obey an Amendment to the Constitution?
      Furthermore, the various versions of the BBA do not “force” them to balance the budget. All the spending “limits” are numbers which are finagled by the executive branch and /or Congress – they can make the numbers (tax revenue and GDP) come out any way they want. And the “limits” can be waived by vote of Congress.
      We can not FORCE those spineless wusses in the Republican Party to do anything. All we can do is vote them out of office and replace them with people with moral character who understand & OBEY The Constitution. People who commit (in blood) to actually cut spending, close down unconstitutional departments such as the Departments of Education [if we had he-men & she-women in Congress, the Dept. of Education would be shut down by this Friday at 5:00 p.m. E.T.], Energy, Agriculture, etc. Other unconstitutional departments should be phased out gradually.
      We keep electing people who lie to us b/c we are morally blind. We keep re-electing John Boehner and his ilk b/c we are creatures of habit. John Boehner is the first Republican who should be kicked out of office at the next election – b/c he is a completely useless human being. Except to the extremist Progressives – to them he is a useful idiot.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 27, 2011 | Reply

      • Thanks for the non-answer to my thoughtfully serious question. Come on, you can’t boil the ocean. Last election shows we are doing better electing constitutionalists. States have BBAs, just want your idea likewise.

        Like

        Comment by Larry | July 27, 2011 | Reply

        • I apologize for my reply. Your answer was very thoughtful. I am just thinking about this current “crisis”. I actually think we should possibly shut the government down as happened in Minnesota. I was just wondering what plan constitutional conservatives should support until the president is weary of a shut-down government. What is the best idea given our current reality?

          Like

          Comment by Larry | July 27, 2011 | Reply

          • Apology fully accepted.
            I don’t know many “constitutional conservatives”, but my suggestion is that we CUT spending and dismantle all the unconstitutional programs, departments, etc. I suggest we return to our Constitution of enumerated powers!

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 27, 2011

        • Larry, I do not know of a single “constitutionalist” in Congress. The TP candidates paid lip service to The Constitution when they were running for office, but that’s all it is. Apparently, none of them have troubled themselves to learn it; and none of them act on it.

          There is nothing wrong with spending no more than one takes in. That is generally a good thing. Before the Progressives took over, Congress usually did “balance the budget” – i.e., spend no more than they took in. And in those days, they generally stayed within their enumerated powers. And so didn’t spend much.

          One way to “balance a budget” is to increase taxation to equal the spending. Is that what you want? Another way to “balance the budget” is to CUT SPENDING to match income. Eliminate unconstitutional departments, bureaus, agencies, programs, etc. I suggest we CUT SPENDING – starting right now.

          Amendments to the Constitution are very dangerous. Look at what the supreme Court has done with Sec. 1 of the 14th amendment: They redefined “liberty” to mean baby killing and homosexual contact are “constitutional rights”. Look at what they did to the 1st Amendment! So if there is anything you treasure, do not seek to protect it, or mandate it, or prohibit it by making it an Amendment to the Constitution – because after those judges get their hands on the amendment, you won’t recognize it’s original intent.

          Like

          Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 27, 2011 | Reply

          • I do not want unconstitutional spending. I respect the Constitution and the principles it was built on. I also want Conservatives to make progress rather than staying in a corner dreaming of perfection (I am not saying you are). I would like to know there is a workable road-map taking us to constitutional governance (CG). It is frustrating for all of us watching the ship go down and I am not willing that that should happen. Is there a feasible plan to return to CG?

            I ran across this guy’s plan. His past is questionable and the plan sounds radical, but I wonder if the plan is near the mark of what is feasible. I am not promoting, just asking. Here is the link: firstclassamerica.com/fca-plan-intro.

            Is the slower alternative to somehow influence some Universities to teach these things so future leaders know where we need to be? I think I will see what the Heritage Foundation has to say about this issue, though I am thinking I heard one of their representatives promote CCB. Please forgive the rambling.

            In His service, Larry

            Like

            Comment by Larry | July 28, 2011

          • Larry, I’d also add that the “plan” is looney-tunes, silly & dangerous. I would avoid him and his scheme like the plague. He doesn’t know what he is talking about, and he can lead people seriously astray with his misinformation and schemes.

            Our problems are moral and educational. The American People wanted the handouts – our national motto is now, “Take it from somebody else and give it to me!”. We abandoned the Faith of our Fathers. We neglected our Founding Principles. We forgot the Constitution. We just wanted our handouts. We abandoned Principles. We elected people with NO Principles to Congress. B/c of our own moral blindness and inattention.

            The people in Congress reflect The People who put them there. Moral & constitutional regeneration must begin with us – The People – WE are the problem. Those corrupt weaklings we send to Congress are merely the symptoms of our own moral rot.

            And the Churches! Instead of dealing with this moral collapse, they are sitting around thinking about how they are going to be “raptured” out of here any day now. They have been absorbed by the federal government! Surrender to Caesar and let Caesar decide what they can preach! Retreat. Withdrawal. Cowardice. No salt or light there!

            Our Country IS on the brink of collapse. We have ignorant corrupt people in Congress leading other ignorant corrupt people in Congress. They don’t know what they are doing, but they are determined that they will NOT do the ONE thing they need to do right now: CUT SPENDING! THAT IS THE IMMEDIATE SOLUTION. But their power and their opportunities for increasing their personal wealth stem from their ability to spend. So they will NOT give it up. And we keep sending them back to Congress! We don’t have anyone there who has backbone, moral principles, and who understands the Constitution – that I know of.

            The Universities were taken over by the hard left long ago! All our institutions have been taken over by the hard left. This has been obvious to a number of people for a very long time. But they were all laughed at and ridiculed until the Indonesian was elected president.

            The Heritage Foundation is just an establishment republican group.

            As you know, God can heal our Land. How many of us are willing to seek his Face and repent?

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 28, 2011

    • The only solution is the people. We have to let our representative know that we understand what will happen if we don’t get our debt under control and that we also understand that we will lose “benefits” from the government and that we’re ok with that. The Republicans are scared to death to propose real cuts. Neither side is talking about reducing the debt or even not increasing the debt. Both sides are talking about massive and unsustainable increases to the federal debt.

      I was at the “Hold the Line” rally in Washington DC today where several Republic Congressmen and Senators were talking about spending “cuts” where a “cut” is defined as an increase that is slightly smaller than the increase proposed by the other side. It was actually very discouraging.

      Like

      Comment by The Originalist | July 27, 2011 | Reply

      • Why don’t you write about this issue and send it to Canada Free Press for publication? The TP People clamoring for passage of “Cut, Cap and Balance” believe it provides for actual “cuts” in spending, i.e., that the Republicans propose to spend less this year than last. They don’t know that CC&B passed by the House provides for a $2.4 trillion INCREASE in spending. Have we ever seen such instances of blatant LYING to the American People as that which is now being done by the Republicans?

        Like

        Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 28, 2011 | Reply

        • I plan to do writing and publishing in the future. For the moment I am focused on starting a company which I am currently funding out of my savings. Once I have my first patent filed and have secured an income stream I will be able expend more effort on saving the country. lol

          The liberals have been very successful at taking control of the vocabulary and using it as a means to deceive. They take words that have a positive connotation and give those words new definitions. The effect is that the positive connotation transfers to a new concept which is always something that would be considered bad by its real name. You’ve identified the underlying problem which is the cultural shift away from a belief in absolute truth and its replacement with a belief in relativism, where “truth” can be molded into whatever suits the purposes of anyone who claims to be in charge of it.

          Like

          Comment by The Originalist | July 28, 2011 | Reply

          • Originalist, I wish you the greatest success!

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 28, 2011

  7. […] to restrain spending that includes within its very text numerous exemptions and loopholes. For reasons listed here, this is not just an ineffective idea; it’s a bad […]

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    Pingback by Fiscal Malfeasance and Political Footballs | Connor's Conundrums | July 27, 2011 | Reply

  8. Will a “Super Congress” Gut the Constitution – Just Like the Federal Reserve?
    In all probability the super congress is a false flag move to divert our attention from the (BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT WHICH IS A HOAX AND A DEADLY TRAP)

    The super congress are well aware they would never again go outside without an army escort.
    A massive and fast education of the people is our only usefull endeavor.
    Congratulations on the number of commenter’s who are politically astute.

    Like

    Comment by James P. Harvey | July 26, 2011 | Reply

  9. […] it. For a more in depth look at the Balanced Budget Amendment, have a look at this post by Publius Huldah, she nails it. Posted by Van at 2:34 AM Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to […]

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    Pingback by Blogodidact: The Amendment to balance the budget would unbalance the Constitution | July 23, 2011 | Reply

  10. Dearest Ms. Huldah, I discovered your blog via OathKeepers on facebook last night. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I stayed up until 3am reading every word of your blog post and all of the comments. You are national treasure and a gift to liberty lovers everywhere. I am grateful to have stumbled upon such a wonderful resource such as yourself. Thank you for your willingness to share your wisdom with the masses. I have posted this article on my own facebook page (ShareTheConstitution), my twitter account @ShareLiberty and with several large liberty-minded organizations & politicians for the last several hours (Freedomworks, Big Government, etc.) via facebook.

    My husband and I created a site ShareTheConstitution.com which launched this past Memorial Day. We wanted to apply our particular skill set to a project that would actively promote the restoration of our great Republic. The site is free to all as the purpose is to educate. My elevator pitch: Read & share the US founding documents & principles with friends [& politicians] via social media. We are a 2-person shop so we aren’t as fast rolling out everything we want to do as quickly as we’d like. In the next week or so, members will be able to sign up for a daily or weekly e-mail for each of the founding documents so they will read them in their inbox (skip the effort of remembering to do it). We will soon have badges for completing entire documents, sharing with others and, eventually, quizzes, establishing a greater understanding of the purpose of the documents. We hope to set up the ability for teachers & students and other groups to be able to do custom projects within the site.

    I have years of experience in contracts and negotiations, and I found myself consistently outraged by the progressive attempt (& success) to redefine the meaning of the US Constitution and continue to manipulate the Supreme Law of the Land. For instance, I am sure you know about the ACS (American Constitution Society). I am currently investigating them and learning of their well-funded machine to undermine individual liberty and redefine the the US Constitution’s meaning in the public arena. This manipulation is a cancer in our legal system that affects the entire system down to lawsuits. Well, that’s another discussion . . . Obama is the perfect example of a supposed constitutional scholar that only studied it to learn how to manipulate it for his ideological & political gain. It makes me so angry! (I plan to read your recommended Frustration blog next. ha!)

    I plan to read every word on your blog to educate myself and others. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with others. God Bless You!

    Respectfully,
    Wendy Hooper

    PS Originalist, I would like to get in contact with you . . .

    Like

    Comment by Wendy Hooper | July 22, 2011 | Reply

    • I can be reached at johnd@fairfaxcityteaparty.com.

      Like

      Comment by The Originalist | July 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you, Wendy! Yes, we have many enemies in sheeps’ clothing. One of the worst is the Heritage Foundation – a moderate “lite” group – but which pretends to be “conservative”, and so dupes millions. I plan to take them on directly on some issues b/c they are doing much harm.
      Re-education is the key. I have visited your web site. It looks great, and your concept is brilliant. As I get time (!) I’ll log in and explore. I hope you reach the young people. I don’t reach them. So glad you posted.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 24, 2011 | Reply

      • PH, good evening! Justin Amash has just proposed a new Balanced Budget Amendment. It can be seen here: thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112%3AH.J.RES.73.IH%3A. Does this one pass the mustard? We The People would love your insight!

        Like

        Comment by Wendy Hooper | July 27, 2011 | Reply

        • Justin Amash’s version of the BBA suffers from two of the three problems explained in my last paper on the BBA:

          1. It transforms our Constitution from one of enumerated spending powers to one of general spending powers. REMEMBER: Art. I, Sec. 8 ,U.S. Constitution, by listing the objects on which Congress may make laws for the Country at large, restricts spending to those enumerated powers!

          2. Any amendment to the Constitution becomes a matter over which the federal courts have jurisdiction because of Art. III, Sec. 2, clause 1 (the judicial power of the federal courts extends to all cases “arising under this Constitution”). So Amash’s version also transfers power over the budget to the federal courts!

          Our Constitution does not need amending. What we need is to elect people who obey the Constitution we already have. They ignore it, they have ignored it for 80 some years. Our debt problems have been caused by Congress’ spending money on matters the Constitution does not authorize them to spend money on!

          So Congress needs to reduce the spending! Cut out all the idiotic spending. Close down unconstitutional departments and agencies such as the Department of Education and Department of Energy. But they won’t because they don’t have the guts. They’d rather “blame it on the Constitution” by saying it needs amending.

          Do let me know if you have any questions. Stopping the BBA is extremely important.

          Like

          Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 27, 2011 | Reply

          • It appears to me that those who are proposing a BBA simply are ignorant of the damage it would do to the balance of power in our structure. Or, do you suggest that they are Constitution scholars and are purposely transferring their power? Or, is it a combination of things?

            I have been following Justin Amash. He posts every vote and action he takes on a daily basis via his facebook page. He has consistently voted to reduce spending and the size of government in the few months he has been in office.

            Also, what are your thoughts regarding the Democrats being against the BBA, but, in general, they are for bigger government and increased power. Based on 2.5 years of Obama’s actions, you would think that he would support a BBA. Please comment.

            Besides elections, what powers do the people have to enforce the US Constitution? What legal remedy is there if the branches of government are not holding each other accountable?

            Finally, can you suggest a resource that average people could study to get an in-depth understanding of the US Constitution, simply & quickly. If you happen to have a resource for young children that you recommend, I would love that information as well. If we don’t re-educate quickly, we are doomed!

            ALOHA!

            Like

            Comment by Wendy Hooper | July 27, 2011

          • Wendy, you raise good questions:

            (1) I have no idea why politicians who present themselves as “conservatives” support the BBA, and Democrats ostensibly oppose it. It seems as if we are swimming in a sea of Irrationality & blind Ignorance. I have never communicated directly with any of the pols who support the BBA [though many offers have been made by my side!], so I do not know whether they understand what they are supporting, or whether they are just going along with their party, or whether they are in a Machiavellian plot with the Dems to manipulate the TP people into supporting this massive undermining of Our Constitution.

            But it is obvious that the people we elect and send to Congress have no understanding whatsoever of our Founding Principles. And not a one of them can think. They react emotionally. They look at the horrible mess they created with their spending and intrusive legislation, and propose more of the same. But this is not surprising: As a People, we have abandoned Reason, Principles, and Morality.

            (2) Besides elections what powers do the people have to enforce the Constitution? I’ve written several papers on this. See the 3 papers on Nullification [click on Nullification in the categories]. Also see this: “What should states do when the federal government usurps power?”

            (3) Dear, I do not know of any existing resource which does as you ask. I have been meaning to write a book where I lay it all out. I now write so that intelligent laymen and lawyers can benefit. But I could add a re-write in each chapter for our Young People. But we are now in such grave & immediate danger that those who are now adults will have to stop what is going on.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 30, 2011

          • You won’t believe it, but Rep. Justin Amash reviewed the link to your blog that I sent to him. He responded to my facebook post with the following: “My BBA, H J Res 73, does not work this way.” What are your thoughts?

            Amazing that I was able to get a personal response from a Congressperson during this debt ceiling debate (or any other time for that matter)! I am giving him the benefit of the doubt at this point – that he does not realize the unintended consequences. Help me with a response to his quote above.

            Like

            Comment by Wendy Hooper | July 28, 2011

          • Of course, Wendy!
            Amash’s version of the BBA eliminates two of the problems with Senate J.R. 10: (1) Amash’s version does not transfer constitutional power over the purse to the president, and (2) Amash’s version eliminates the “limit” of the GDP (a number computed by the Executive Branch).

            But two other major problems remain; plus, Amash’s version introduces new problems.

            The problems which remain are the two major ones of (1) changing the constitutional criterion for spending from the limitations imposed by the “enumerated powers” in The Constitution to spending no more than the federal government takes in; and (2) since it’s an Amendment to the Constitution, it grants to the federal courts jurisdiction over budget & spending issues.

            The new problem in Amash’s version is that parts of it are simply incoherent! Were the People foolish enough to ratify it, the federal courts would “interpret” the confused language however they please.

            I suspect Amash’s difficulty lies in this: Like most Americans, he does not understand the concept of “enumerated powers” – that Congress’ powers are enumerated in The Constitution, and that Congress has NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to spend money on most of what it now spends money on. And since Amash is not a litigator, he does not understand the significance of the phrase in Art. III, Sec. 2, clause 1, U.S. Constitution, that the judicial power of the federal courts shall extent to “all Cases arising under this Constitution”.

            Re the muddled provisions: Good & clear writing is hard work; and clear thinking is a prerequisite to clear writing.

            Do you think I should write a formal paper on Amash’s version exposing all its terrible defects? Oh! If only he would withdraw it, repudiate the dangerous notion of a BBA, and push instead for an Enumerated Powers Act such as Congressman Shadegg introduced for several years.

            There is a BEST solution to our debt problems: CUT SPENDING – eliminate the idiotic spending referenced in my two papers. Dismantle unconstitutional federal departments and programs. But the Republicans don’t have the guts to do this. So they blame it on The Constitution – which they propose to “fix” by amending.

            Wendy, dear, feel free to use my comments herein in any manner which you deem appropriate.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 28, 2011

        • Sorry PH – our thread is discombobulated! I cannot reply to your reply about my numerous questions. You answered them thoroughly, as usual. I am grateful! I will read the articles/blogs you have written regarding Nullification.

          Update on ShareTheConstitution.com: My husband is nearly finished developing the learning by e-mail program for the site. As soon as that code is uploaded, he will be able to add your RSS feed to our site, an addition that is so very valuable! The reason we created the site was to provide a forum that was simple, social & technologically savvy so that Americans could learn about the US founding documents & principals and easily share them with others. “Educate your neighbor.” My poor husband cannot program fast enough for my litany of ideas. As you have expressed so many times, we are ignorant as a population and, therefore, easily manipulated. GOD HELP US!

          I have been learning so much from you… I am trying to translate this into “simple, effective & technology” to make our site a resource for all. You wrote, “But we are now in such grave & immediate danger that those who are now adults will have to stop what is going on.” I will discontinue any work I have done for the younger ones and focus only (in the shorter term) on the adult re-education. YOU ARE RIGHT!

          We plan to add badges, rewards, quizzes, levels of achievement – ways that individuals, students/teachers & groups can interact and really & fully grasp the Original Intent. I have an Early Childhood Education Major & have been a technology instructor to adults. I have 2 decades of technology experience (although I am not a “coder”). However, I am not a Constitutional scholar! I may be ahead of the curve compared to the population in general, but there are plenty of Constitutional geniuses for which I am no match. That being said, I am careful in my progression with our project.

          I wonder if you would have any interest in having a question of the week or month in a blog format on our site (with links back to your wordpress blog if you wish). For example, I have a new question for you (are you surprised?). There are claims by many that several if not all of the Amendments to the Constitution are not valid since 1861. For example, the 14th Amendment – which could seriously be invoked by the President in order to raise the debt ceiling in the coming days. Please review this at your convenience and give me your feedback if you are willing: barefootsworld.net/14uncon.

          Update on Justin Amash: Granted, he is tired with all the debt ceiling hoopla. However, he has not responded to your comment that I provided to him via his facebook page re; his BBA proposal. I am pretty sure he manages his social media accounts himself. We shall see. The “22” did the right thing in not supporting Boehner’s plan but many of them are still supporting a BBA. I did take the time to tweet & facebook as many groups as I could this blog article we are commenting on. I get so much positive feedback from individuals, but no other responses yet from politicians or groups supporting a BBA. Do I have this right: Does Rand Paul support a BBA but Ron Paul does not?

          OK, enough rambling. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, our national treasure PH!

          Aloha,
          Wendy Hooper

          Like

          Comment by Wendy Hooper | July 31, 2011 | Reply

          • Thank you, Wendy!
            I will be delighted & honored to have a weekly (if not more) Question & Answer section on your Website. People may ask whatever they like about the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, The Federalist Papers, etc.
            Will send you an email about some other issues!

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 31, 2011

    • I was not aware of the American Constitution Society. I am now. Aaron Klein was talking about it today on the radio, which prompted me to look them up.

      acslaw.org/about

      “The American Constitution Society brings together many of the country’s best legal minds to articulate a progressive vision of our Constitution and laws. Through its public programs (over 1,100 debates, conferences and press briefings across America each year), publications, and active on-line presence, ACS generates “intellectual capital” for ready use by progressive allies and shapes debates on key legal and public policy issues.

      The American Constitution Society is also debunking conservative buzzwords such as “originalism” and “strict construction” that use neutral-sounding language but all too often lead to conservative policy outcomes. Using both traditional and new media to communicate with policymakers, judges, lawyers and the public at large, ACS presents a compelling vision of core constitutional values such as genuine equality, liberty, justice and the rule of law.”

      Like

      Comment by The Originalist | July 24, 2011 | Reply

      • Infuriating, isn’t it?!!!!

        I was not aware of Aaron Klein. I am checking out his podcasts now…

        Like

        Comment by Wendy Hooper | July 27, 2011 | Reply

  11. Thank you, PH, for an awesome and mind-boggling half hour read. But dern you, now I have to think for myself. I hate it when people meddle like that. Sigh.

    Like

    Comment by 49erDweet | July 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Well, my dear! If you keep it up, you will find that thinking really is one of life’s greatest joys! And do you know, one of the moderators at The Federalist Papers group on Face Book objected to the title of my paper. And she patronized me. Oh my! We live in a fallen world.
      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  12. The truth about the BBA seems to slowly be getting out. I’ve heard at least two people airing their misgivings locally in the last week, and there was an article in the WSJ.

    Like

    Comment by Eric Neubauer | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  13. Please, educate me…Regarding Sect. 3, how would the President be able to “designate taxes” (PH)?

    “(1) total outlays do not exceed total receipts;…” I understand this to mean that total ‘proposed’ budget outlays (for the coming fiscal year) would not be able to exceed total ‘projected’ receipts (for the coming fiscal year), right? I think, when considered with Sect. 8, you are making the point that the Exec. Branch could essentially name any ‘projected’ receipts number they want by raising taxes.

    Is my understanding correct on that? If so, doesn’t Sect. 3, (2) still limit the outlays to 18% of GDP from the previous fiscal year? And, even if that amount was manipulated by the DOCs Bureau of Economic Analysis, doesn’t Congress still have to actually legislate any tax increase?

    I’m not posing an argument here. I truly am asking for help in processing through this! 🙂

    Like

    Comment by Kim M | July 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Dear, do not be shy about asking questions. Questions help me understand what troubles other people so that I can learn how to explain things better. See?

      1. How would the President be able to “designate taxes”? I provided a hyperlink in my paper to The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. Clink on the link – on page 2 of the act, it states that the President shall propose “taxes” to Congress. Ever since, Presidents have been doing just that! Remember when President George Bush (Sr.) said, “Read my lips – no new taxes!” At the time, I thought, “What is he talking about – he doesn’t have constitutional authority to raise taxes – only Congress does!” At that time, I didn’t know that the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 purported to give this power to the President.

      So “designating taxes”, along with designating spending, has been part of writing the Budget since 1921.

      But the constitutional power over the budget remained with Congress – Congress could accept, revise, or reject the President’s taxing & spending proposals as set forth in his Budget.

      What the BBA does is actually transfer constitutional authority over taxing and spending to the President. Congress will no longer have the power to reject or revise the President’s taxing & spending decisions.

      Since the President would determine the taxes (which is one of the “limits” on spending), and since an executive agency under his complete control computes the numbers for the GDP [there is a whole lot of room for finagling here!] (the other “limit” on spending), the President would be in complete control of the “numbers” which “limit” his spending.

      Yes, Congress’ sole remaining function over taxing & spending would be the mechanical one of enacting it into law – rubber stamping the decisions of the President. That is because Congress would have no constitutional authority left to question the taxing & spending decisions made by the President. The only remaining power left in Congress on this issue would be to make it a law. And in a short time, the legislative branch would wither away altogether and disappear …..

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 23, 2011 | Reply

      • Thank you for your reply. I read the portion of the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 you referred me to…wow. What were they thinking? Do you think they had a clue they were sowing the seeds of their own demise? I understand the underlying mechanics of your point much better now! I suspect it may take a few cycles to obtain a completely compliant Congress, but (sadly) very few. It is now frighteningly easy to envision how this proposed Amendment could be the final straw that breaks the back of our great Republic.

        Like

        Comment by Kim M | July 23, 2011 | Reply

  14. I am ECSTATIC to have found your site! I am no Constitutional scholar, and have only just begun reading The Federalist Papers, but this BBA has bothered me from the beginning. Now, I am (slightly, anyway) more capable of defending my misgivings. Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge. I think I will be spending much time reading your other articles in the near future! (And will be sharing this one in particular as far and wide as I am able!)

    Like

    Comment by Kim M | July 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you, my dear. I have two papers on the BBA – if you or your friends have any questions, just post them as a comment! And your encouragement helps me very much.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  15. “Furthermore, if Congress limited its appropriations to its enumerated powers, they could not possibly spend a sum as vast as 18% of the GDP.”

    They certainly can spend all that and more. The belief they can’t is exactly how we got into this mess in the first place. Never underestimate the ingenuity of your typical elected official and government bureaucrat to devise ways to grow their power and spend every last penny up to any arbitrary limit that may be set for any task that may be levied upon them and have them ask for more.

    Excellent post overall with some really good food for thought about the many implications of this act. I was also extremely pleased to see your end note about swat teams with the link to John Whitehead’s article which mentioned Radley Balko’s work studying police militarization. I’ve been reading his blog on and off for about eight years when he was involved in helping to fight the smoking ban battles in DC and he does a great job identifying the growing threat to our liberties by the militarization of police forces.

    Thanks.

    Like

    Comment by Frank Koza | July 21, 2011 | Reply

    • I think that John Whitehead is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind.

      Perhaps I didn’t make my point clearly. I’ll state it another way: If Congress spent money only on the objects the Constitution authorizes Congress to spend money on, the total sum spent would be very small (except for the military) – no where near 18% of the GDP (which is a vast sum).

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      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 21, 2011 | Reply

      • No, your point was perfectly clear, and I agree with you that it is a vast sum and just accomplishing JUST the enumerated powers certainly shouldn’t add up to that much. So why set a limit at 18%? In the old feudal days they fretted over the king taking a mere 10% of their fruit and grain to distribute among his officers and servants. The question is, just how much do the overlords really need to do what little it is they need to do?

        What I was trying to say is that it’s human nature that drives the system to constantly expand even within just the scope of the enumerated powers. There’s an old joke that if you hire someone and put them in an office with nothing to do, by the end of the week they’ll give you a comprehensive plan and budget showing how they need a secretary and staff to accomplish just that.

        Every government agency is full of fluff such as mandatory “be aware of the feelings of others” classes to provide jobs to college educated psychologists and doesn’t do anything that a good employee evaluation system won’t do, total quality management teams to empower employees to come up with bright ideas to become more efficient so money saved can be transferred to less efficient managers, and safety programs to warn how to avoid paper cuts and drive safely to work in wintry conditions to supposedly save on disability benefits. They have evaluation programs which don’t get rid of problem employees, but rather transfers them to other unsuspecting managers with the concept that bad behaviour is subdued while learning the terrain of a new work environment. They have award programs to hand out pieces of paper and trophies to those who show up for work every day and don’t piss off the boss. They even have awards for local businesses who serve their employees lunch. The list goes on and on and on…. One can write a book about it, probably as large as the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.

        It’s no secret that the government is exceptionally proficient at penalizing efficiency and rewarding inefficiency. After all, it’s not their money they’re spending and the more inefficient the system, the more the public service managers can grow their power and earnings potential for supplying little to nothing of value. If they go through their entire budget and still have backlog, they are rewarded with an increase the next year, but if they get all their tasks done and return unspent funds, their budget gets cut. I like to call it work for welfare. Those putting on the suit every day and driving to work are just as beholden to “the system” as those who sit at home and receive the scraps from the table. The bigger the government is, the bigger their support base to vote to keep the status quo.

        The fact is that technology and exploitation of energy resources has greatly increased productivity to the point that a few men can easily provide all the material resources to satisfy all basic human needs. Society can feed, house, and clothe the entire population of the world if it were so predisposed. The more you give government, the more they’ll spend.

        The two party system is a joke. It’s like you voting to keep any other suppliers out of your neighborhood except your two “favorites”. Absence of true competition drives up costs and that’s what we live with.

        Like

        Comment by Frank Koza | July 23, 2011 | Reply

  16. Michele Bachmann voted against “Cut, Cap, Balance”. I don’t think the BBA was the reason she voted against it but I am relieved anyway. I am going to continue to lobby her office on this issue.

    Like

    Comment by The Originalist | July 20, 2011 | Reply

    • Tears flowed from my eyes when I heard she made a pilgrimage to S.Carolina to meet with De Mint to sign his treacherous “cut, cap & balance” gimmick. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn she didn’t vote for the actual bill. Perhaps b/c the actual bill increases the debt limit $2 trillion and some.
      She does need some tutoring on the Constitution. She is too quick to chant the prevailing dogma – which is always WRONG. Yes, I am holding her to a higher standard that I do the others. B/c she does have a glimmer of an understanding of the concepts of “Rule of Law” & “Enumerated Powers”.
      IF only I had her youth, good looks, personality, etc. , I would be instructing the tea parties and the entire country about original intent and the basics of our Constitution. She has the brains to do it, but she lacks the knowledge. I hope she does not lack the guts. I have always found that you just do what is right, and somehow the courage arises to support you. And don’t worry about the political consequences.
      Keep after her. Educate her staff. I’m not able to travel much, but hope to make a trip to your area. We will meet if you like.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 20, 2011 | Reply

      • Her instincts are in the right place. She understands that Congress has the responsibility of the purse and she is stepping up to that responsibility to get the budget under control. The conservative Republicans in Congress are a bunch of cowards. They know the country is headed for disaster because of the out-of-control federal spending but they are afraid to take a stand and vote for a balanced budget. With their BBA scheme they are saying that they’re OK with being forced to balance the budget but they won’t do it UNLESS they are forced to.

        I’m looking forward to meeting you when you come to DC.

        Like

        Comment by The Originalist | July 20, 2011 | Reply

    • Michelle Bachmann needs some Constitutional training on the Patriot Act.

      Like

      Comment by dd745 | July 22, 2011 | Reply

      • I seem to be the only person in the entire Country who hasn’t read “The Patriot Act” – so, of course, I can not speak of it one way or the other. I do know that most people who speak of stuff deliberately or inadvertently mis-characterize it; so I know I have to read it before I can speak.
        But judging from the nice-sounding name – it’s probably bad.

        Like

        Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  17. […] Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap […]

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    Pingback by STOP!! OR I”LL SHOOT PARTS 1&2 « A NATION BEGUILED | July 19, 2011 | Reply

  18. […] Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap […]

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    Pingback by STOP!! OR I”LL SHOOT PART 1 « A Nation Beguiled | July 19, 2011 | Reply

  19. […] Original Post Share this:FacebookPrintDiggEmailRedditStumbleUpon […]

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    Pingback by Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap | Frank Talk | July 18, 2011 | Reply

  20. Looks like there will be a vote on this tomorrow. There is not enough time to get the Tea Party movement informed on this issue and mobilized against it before the vote. Everyone should call their representative today and tomorrow anyway. It is better to try and fail than to give up and give in.

    Like

    Comment by The Originalist | July 18, 2011 | Reply

    • Well, there has been some movement among The People; but the pols, and “leaders” in conservative & TP groups, are still blind. God protect us from the stupidity of our fellows. PH

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 18, 2011 | Reply

  21. I disagree with you. The BBA does not grant the president the power to make up whatever he wants in a budget. It only requires him (or her) to submit a budget to congress that they may approve or not at their own discretion. And this is something that the president has done for years. We don’t have a totalitarian dictatorship.

    Also, I do understand your concern about congress being able to override the requirements of the BBA, but I feel that requiring such a large majority to do so will go a long way towards balancing our budget. Consequently, I respectfully disagree with your entire post

    Like

    Comment by Ross | July 18, 2011 | Reply

    • Ross, you are morally obliged to think this through.

      1) What is your basis of knowledge on this subject? How much do you know about the Constitution and The Federalist Papers? How much do you know about supreme Court jurisprudence? You need not post your answers to this question, but you are morally obligated to assess (w/in your own mind at least), your qualifications to make judgments on this issue. [E.g., you won’t find me telling nuclear physicists that they are wrong about what they say , or (what would be even more absurd) that I “disagree” with them. Why? B/c I am ignorant of nuclear physics.

      2) Why would it be absurd for me to tell a physicist that I “disagree” when he speaks of physics? Because the Standards is NEVER whether a person “disagrees” or “agrees”. The proper standard is whether what one says is True or False. It is a testament to our abandonment of all objective standards that we actually believe that our “agreement” or “disagreements” have anything to do with anything.

      3) You also said, “…but I feel that….” [italics added]. One of the plagues of our time is that our People can’t think. They don’t know Logic. They don’t know how to analyze a problem. All they are able to do is regurgitate what they have been told, or consult their “feelings”. But “feelings” must always be governed by the head – by the mind trained in Logic.

      4) Did you see that part in my paper where I discussed The Budget Act of 1921 which purported to grant to the president the power to prepare the budget? Did you notice that the federal government didn’t even have a “budget” in former times? Think about my explanation of the enumerated powers & Madison’s quote in Federalist No. 45 (9th para): Why would the federal government need a “budget” if the federal government were restricted to its enumerated powers?

      Do you understand that The Constitution vests all power over the purse in Congress? And that the President is to apply funds in accordance with the appropriations made by Congress? I proved this in my paper. Did you see Hamilton’s & Madison’s warnings about why the Power over the purse MUST be kept separate from the Power over the sword?

      Do you really not see that the BBA transfers constitutional authority to determine spending from Congress to the President? Pursuant to the unconstitutional Budget Act of 1921, the president has been putting whatever he wanted in the Budget. But that has all been unconstitutional b/c the Constitution does not give this power to the President. But the BBA does give that power to the President.

      And I wonder just how much you know about totalitarian dictatorships. Just how much do you know about the organizations and workings of Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy, & NAZI Germany? How was Germany, the land of Beethoven, Schiller & Goethe, converted into a NAZI dictatorship?. Read up on the mechanics of how this was done. See how Hitler did it. Step by step.

      5) You say you “feel” that the BBA will help balance the budget. Why? You have no facts to support your “feeling”. There exist no facts which support your feeling. Or point to them, if you can.

      And think: You understand, don’t you, that the federal government can “balance the budget” by taking everything we have? That would “balance the budget” – for a while.

      Also, is “balancing the budget” the Goal? “$5.00 in – $5.00 out; $5 trillion in – $5 trillion out. Would that make you happy? The budget would be “balanced”, but from where would the $5 Trillion “in” come? The same place it always comes from! It’s taken away from the People. By force.

      So, “balancing the budget” really isn’t your Goal at all, is it? Don’t you really want Congress to REDUCE SPENDING and get rid of the debt? I suggested a way to do just that. Stop the unconstitutional spending. Phase out – gradually – the unconstitutional “entitlement” programs.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 18, 2011 | Reply

      • Thanks for the quick reply. I do appreciate your opinions, but here is why I disagree with them. Before I start, I’ll just make clear that I am a Conservative, but seeing how incredibly conservative everybody on this site is, you will probably consider me to be a RINO.

        1) That is a logical fallacy- argumentum ad verecundiam, or appeal to authority. Just because you happen to have more knowledge on a subject does not inherently give your arguments any more value than my own, when considered in terms of their logical value. But, since you ask, my expertise in this topic is purely as a hobby.

        2/3) You are absolutely wrong with these two. Your comparison to the physicist has no value. Yes, physics is true or false, but law is not. We have nine Supreme Court justices and nine distinctly different constitutional philosophies. These are the preeminent experts on US law in the world and they cannot agree on facts, so why should any of us. In fact, if law were fact we wouldn’t need judges- we could just have guidelines by which everything is judged. Obviously this is not the case.

        Also- with regards to your characterization of my statement “I feel” as not governed by the head, I disagree with that as well. By saying “I feel,” I am merely using a colloquialism that acknowledges that your _opinion_ on this topic is just as valid as my own.

        4) Yes, I do understand everything that you said here. However, I do not agree. This act is constitutional. It vests no formal power over the purse strings in the executive office. The president merely must propose a budget. It is the choice of congress whether to even allow this budget to the floor. There is no requirement that they pass it by a long shot. The same is true of the BBA. Again, there is NO requirement that congress pass this budget, just as there is NO requirement that members of congress show up to the State of the Union Address, or enact the reforms that the president recommends. Nobody had to pass TARP or the healthcare act; they simply chose to do so.

        4′) I know plenty about totalitarian dictatorships, having taken a Holocaust and Genocide Studies class and having been raised as a Jew. I studied this subject for at least a month once a year for fifteen years and I assure you that there is no comparison here. And an appeal to fear is another logical fallacy which does nothing for your case that this amendment is a bad thing.

        5) Here is why the BBA will help to balance the budget- simply because it makes it harder to have an unbalanced budget. Certainly there will be many instances where the budget is unbalanced, but the BBA is better than nothing (assuming that one disagrees with your assessment of it).

        Now, yes, I do know what balancing the budget means. And it is my opinion that it would be best for the country to both increase revenues and decrease spending. Of course it would be great to phase out entitlements and other spending, but that is simply not enough. The SCOTUS has upheld again and again that the “interstate commerce” and “general welfare” clauses of the constitution give Congress broad power to spend money far beyond their enumerated powers. In the opinion of the modern court and available precedent, the enumerated powers are what Congress can do, but not the only things that it can do due mostly to these broadly worded clauses. Of course this goes against the tenth amendment, and it likely goes against what the founders originally intended, but who is to say that originalism is the only valid constitutional philosophy? As I pointed out before, nine justices and nine different philosophies.

        Furthermore, this is a real amendment, not a simple thought experiment, so we have to consider the practical implications of what you propose. Namely, that it’s not going to happen. Unfortunately, entitlements, the DOE, subsidies, etc, are not going away anytime soon and there is absolutely no chance that the Legislature will give up all of the powers that it has gained over the years.

        In addition, your idea that the Republicans alone could already kill any spending bill is logically flawed. Consider what would happen if they tried to do this. The public learns, the Republicans fall victim to standard Democratic character assassination, and the Republicans get voted out at the next election. With a Democratic President and Congress spending skyrockets. Haphazardly killing spending bills is not a good idea.

        Therefore, if we are going to have any chance to balance the budget, we are going to have to pass a BBA in some form or another. And the one that is currently proposed is better than nothing. Perhaps the override votes should be 4/5 of the houses, but they have to be there. Otherwise we are going to not spend money during, for example, war or depression. And I think we both can agree that very little spending during a war would be a bad thing and that there will be at least one instance in the next hundred years when we need lots of spending outside of war.

        Anyway, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

        Like

        Comment by Ross | July 18, 2011 | Reply

        • 1) PH does not make errors in Logic. The fallacy of appeal to authority is not present [you can read about this fallacy on line]. My point was that you should ask yourself just how much you know of this subject before you discuss it [with an attitude of knowingness!] with someone who really does know. I know a great deal, having studied and worked (long & hard) and earned my living in this area for over 50 years.

          2) The epistemological & metaphysical problem of our time is that we have abandoned the concepts of objective value, fixed principles, and objective Reality. The prevailing dogma of our time is pragmatism & existentialism, which denies the existence of fixed principles, objective Reality & eternal Truths. I am on one side of this divide. You are now on the other side, as you have absorbed the dogma of our time! [But you can fix this.] I wrote a paper on it: how-progressive-education-and-bad-philosophy-corrupted-the-people-undermined-the-constitution-of-the-united-states/

          3) Throughout my papers, I illustrate the vast chasm between the original intent of The Constitution (as proved primarily by The Federalist Papers) and the opinions of the supreme Court for the last 80+ years. Their opinions have nothing to do with the Constitution. They ignore the Constitution and have substituted their own opinions therefor. They are exercising usurped powers. Remember, supreme Court judges are subject to impeachment and removal for usurpations (Federalist No. 81 (8th para) – they are most manifestly NOT the final authority on the meaning of the Constitution. See my last paper on Nullification – be sure to read the footnotes- The one about smacking down those who smack down the Constitution. The States and the People have an authority which transcends that of the dolts on the supreme Court.

          4) My point about Hitler was not the need to study the horrors of the Holocaust. My point was that the mechanics of how he assumed power are relevant to us today. The same goes for the ancient Roman Senate’s surrender of power to Caesar.

          5) Re the effect of the BBA: I suggest that if you knew a whole lot more about “original intent” and the way the supreme Court works, you would not believe what you believe.

          6) Of course, the Republicans in the House could stop the overspending on unconstitutional objects – by simply voting it down! The problem is that they are a bunch of sissies. I need to go there and show them how to fight like a girl! They are weak because they are not fortified by Knowledge & PRINCIPLES. I am strong because I am guided by Principles. And knowledge.

          Like

          Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 18, 2011 | Reply

          • Okay, you make some good points.

            1) I apologize if I sounded arrogant. Obviously we are online here and I had no idea that you were a lawyer of some 50 years. Before I did some research on you, you could just as easily have been a teenager as an expert in the law. Ha- that’s the way the internet works, for better or worse. I concede to your far superior knowledge, but I still disagree with you on some points.

            2) This is insulting. I am a scientist and a librarian and truth and fact both have meaning for me. Some of my favorite books include 1984 (complete genius) and Fahrenheit 451. I understand the value of objective reality; I just happen to believe (not through feelings but through a careful analysis of information available to me) that law is one topic where there is no pure objectivity. Am I as informed as you? Obviously not. But if the greatest minds in our country cannot agree on one method by which to interpret the Constitution, how can we?

            3) My question for you is, why is an originalist interpretation of the constitution any more valid than any other constitutional theory, such as original intent?

            4) Yes, I know what your point was. And yes, I do know exactly what mechanisms Hitler used to take over Germany. Obviously these mechanisms are still here and still relevant. However, there are two things missing. One is an extremely charismatic leader (Yes, Obama is charismatic, but he’s not the one trying to push through the BBA). The other is a scapegoat, a reason for our executives to claim unsurpassed power. Also, we lack very much the general feeling of dissatisfaction and anger at the outside world that the populace of Germany had. We don’t even have a strong feeling of nationalism.

            5) Perhaps that is true. But with what I know now, and with your commentary along with that of other experts, I remain unconvinced.

            6) This comment is just stupid. Obviously you hold your own subjective reality, because in the real world this wouldn’t work. We’ve all seen what the tea party Republicans are trying to do and how that is working out for them (poll spread: -40%). Like I said before, why don’t they vote down all spending bills and never get re-elected, ostracize the Republican Party, and allow the Democrats free reign over the purse strings. That would go over really well. We can go into default, our currency will plunge, we’ll have hyperinflation or deflation (depending on the actions of the Fed) the world economy will crash, the four horsemen will ride again …

            Anyway, I have been contacting my legislators on a regular basis and pronouncing my support for the BBA. I will continue to do so.

            Like

            Comment by Ross | July 19, 2011

          • Do be careful about slinging around terms such as “stupid”. Insulting? I never insult people. All men are made in the Image of God, and however fallen they are, they are owed a certain level of respect for that reason.

            Please read my paper on pragmatism & existentialism and C.S. Lewis’ Book, “The Abolition of Man”. The problem of our time is that people do NOT understand that the fundamental Principles of Law are fixed and eternal. What goes out of style about a government which is Subject to the Law? What goes out of date about a government of limited & enumerated powers?

            The U.S. Constitution is based on God’s Model of polity as set forth in the Bible: A limited civil government with enumerated powers, which is subject to the law. Because man is fallen, the legislative, executive & judicial powers were separated. Those are the fixed principles on which Our Constitution was built. The Constitution is fundamental law.

            It is my hope that you will not close your mind to intellectual growth. Surely you, like me, see it as a great adventure.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 19, 2011

          • You are correct, of course. I should not have said that.

            I did read your article on pragmatism and existentialism before making my previous post, but I have to say that I disagree with much of what you said in that article as well. For one thing, you are trying to demonize “progressives,” while I would say that conservative judges are just as bad in how they apply their moving standards as any liberal. I agree with much of what you say, as I have since I read the book 1984, but one thing in your previous post troubles me.

            Namely: “What goes out of date about a government of limited & enumerated powers?”

            I think that the monarchs of the middle-age Europe would say “What goes out of date about a government ruled by a single wise person?” You get the idea. Of course we need to change at some point. I am not saying that we should not stand by the constitution for this reason, but merely that the constitution is a flawed document and may not represent an objective truth of Law that is true for all time. It must be a flawed document as it is written by man.Consequently, even if you believe something to be a universal truth today, there is no saying that it is not wrong. We cannot trust anything that we believe to be a universal truth.

            Recall your example of the physicist? How I cannot argue truth with a physicist because there is only one truth in physics? Even the “truth of physics has evolved over the years: first an atom was a single hard sphere, then it was electrons suspended in a cloud of positive charge, etc. Always the accepted truth. Law, as open to interpretation and a given society’s needs as it is, must be even more malleable.

            Also, I am not trying to close my mind. In fact I am continuing this conversation because I am interested in what you have to say and I honestly wish to see your point of view, regardless of how much I may disagree with it right now.

            Like

            Comment by Ross | July 19, 2011

          • 1. The “Progressives” and the “conservatives judges” to whom you refer are not the only alternatives. But you seem to be making them the only two options. I reject most of what the so-called “conservative judges” on SCOTUS say. B/c they do not follow the original intent of The Constitution. (Clarence Thomas comes the closest to honoring original intent.)

            Here is another example of making false alternatives: Where people put “Communism” on the left side of the political spectrum and “Nazi-ism” on the right side, thus creating the false impression that those are the only two alternatives; and since they are both bad, the optimal position is in the middle. But the supposed “alternatives” are false, because both systems are totalitarian, collectivist, atheist, use terror as a means of implementing their policy, and have a scapegoat on which the dupes can focus hatred, resentment, & blame [the bourgeoisie for the Marxists and the Jews for the Nazis]. Any differences between the two are nominal: under communism, all property is held by the State, under Fascism, property [except that which belonged to the Jews – which went to the State] remains in private hands but the government dictates wages, policy, regulations, etc. [Our country has adopted the Fascist model.]

            2. It is a grave error to make moral equivalencies between Good & Evil. I’m not accusing you of being a “Liberal/Progressive”, but this is a standard tactic of the left. You made a moral equivalency between limited constitutional government and totalitarianism. You made the two following positions, which really are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum, morally equivalent in the sense that you made it nothing more than a matter of “opinion”:

            “What goes out of date about a government of limited & enumerated powers?”

            “What goes out of date about a government ruled by a single wise person?”

            C.S. Lewis’ book, which is profoundly important, addresses just this modern rejection of the concept of Objective Value. Today, we refuse to say, that the first is “Good” and the second is “Evil”. That is b/c pragmatism & existentialism [which you have unconsciously absorbed] have indoctrinated us with the false belief that we must not make moral judgments. THIS is what renders us impotent in the face of Evil. Our Framers were of a different mind set altogether! They knew the difference between Good & Evil, called it such, and acted accordingly (Generally, not always, b/c man is fallen).

            3. Yes, there was one flaw in the Constitution. Slavery. But slavery was universal at the time (it still is!). Some of our Framers wanted to abolish it; others wanted to keep it. So they saved that issue to decide later. But at least, at a time when slavery was universal, WE announced to the world that in 20 years time, WE would abolish the slave trade (Art. I, Sec. 9, cl. 1). Madison (who wanted to abolish the slave trade immediately) writes on this in Federalist No. 42 (6th para or so). Remember, England abolished slavery in the 1830s or so (See the wonderful movie, “Amazing Grace”); Russia freed the serfs in 1860 or so, and other countries at about the same time as we.

            But other than that, our Constitution generally implements God’s Model of Polity as set forth in the Hebrew Scripture. It does provide the best model for all time and this really is demonstrably provable by all objective criteria. I am a theist and advocate of natural law which is woven into the very fabric of Reality: The laws of Morality & Politics just as much as the laws of mathematics & physics.

            No! No! No! The Truth of physics hasn’t evolved! Man’s knowledge of the Laws of Physics has increased. . What you say reveals that you have [unconsciously] absorbed the mindset of pragmatism with its concept of “evolving “truth”.

            I know that you have a good heart. Oh! Do read Ayn Rand – that woman is a blessing to mankind.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 20, 2011

          • Ross, I just now posted a Post Script to my paper on Pragmatism & Existentialism: It’s a 15 minute video by a Brit on the same subject. Please watch it. I always found that hearing several people speak on a topic helped me get a handle on the topic. She is one smart lady! (the lady in the video).

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 22, 2011

          • Hi. i’m back. In the past few days I have read every article on this blog and given what you say here more consideration.

            I guess that our disagreement stems almost entirely from your idea of objective morality. I am an atheist. I have a definition of objective morality, as developed from my long-term experience, but I have no document to tell me what is right and what is not. One of the things that troubled me most about what you said in many of your posts here was the idea that the law’s morality ought to (in the philosophical sense of the word) be based on the Judeo-Christian Bible. This does give a footing for morality today but (not to get into a religious debate) is also a contradictory document, and goes against many of our modern values. For example, incest is explicitly forbidden but in Leviticus one of the patriarchs engages in the act with both of his daughters and is left unpunished (can’t remember chapter/verse). How can you say that slavery is the flaw in the constitution what it is widely and explicitly supported by the bible?

            Also, with regards to my example of the physicist: I was not saying that the truth of physics changes. I was merely saying that what we believe to be the truth changes. Therefore, if there is an objective truth to law there is no guarantee that any of us know it or are even close. (Especially if it is based on the bible, which add a whole additional layer of necessary abstraction and interpretation before one can understand the original intent of that document.)

            Anyway, all of this leads me to conclude that the statement below is false and that it is not possible to follow objectivism as set out in most of your writings. However, I remain interested and likely will read Atlas Shrugged next (purchased/started once but never finished).

            Statement to which I refer:

            >>>>>
            But other than that, our Constitution generally implements God’s Model of Polity as set forth in the Hebrew Scripture. It does provide the best model for all time and this really is demonstrably provable by all objective criteria. I am a theist and advocate of natural law which is woven into the very fabric of Reality: The laws of Morality & Politics just as much as the laws of mathematics & physics.
            >>>>>>

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            Comment by Ross | July 25, 2011

          • Ross, I am glad you are back.
            1) Re an objective transcendent morality: Ayn Rand (a non-theist) and C.S. Lewis & I (both theists) all embrace the concept of “Natural Law” – that Law is woven into the Fabric of Reality. Rand thinks the laws of physics, chemistry, logic, etc. are basic Facts of Reality, and the Laws of Morality are necessary for us to live as Men. John Galt’s speech in Atlas Shrugged spells out her theory of Morality to which I, for the most part, subscribe. She shows the rational basis for the same basic system of morality (with a few differences) to which theists subscribe. Hers really is a remarkable intellect.

            The NAZIS responsible for the Holocaust defended on the basis that they were “just following orders”. But we in the West – who at that time still embraced Natural Law – rejected that defense and held the NAZIS to the higher transcendent standard of Natural Law. Under that standard, what the NAZIS did was WRONG, and they should have refused to obey the orders. Just as during the war in Viet Nam, we in America held that soldiers must refuse to obey unlawful orders. An American soldier may not obey an order to shoot an unarmed Prisoner of War. The “Natural Law” is higher than man’s law and all men must conform to its dictates.

            But Pragmatism & Existentialism (the prevailing dogma of our time) reject altogether the concept of a transcendent moral law to which all men are obliged to conform. If the Holocaust were to take place today, I expect the attitude in the West would be very different than it was just 60 some years ago. Instead of an unqualified condemnation of the Holocaust as unmitigated Evil, I expect many in America would just shrug their shoulders. If you reject the concept of a fixed transcendent moral law to which all men must conform, on what basis could you condemn the Holocaust?

            So! One need not be a theist to subscribe to the concept of an objective, fixed & transcendent morality.

            The alternative to an objective morality is the Holocaust. Stalin’s purges. Mao’s cultural Revolution. Pol Pots’ war against intellectuals. The Muslim’s savage cruelty. The savage butchery which seems to be going on all the time in various countries in Africa. Clockwork Orange [watch the movie!]. If you reject Natural Law, on what basis could you object?

            2. Re Lot and his two daughters. We must distinguish between Laws which are “prescriptive” [Don’t do such & such; you must do such & such) and events which are merely “descriptive” of what happened. Lot fell asleep and his daughters – who feared they would have no husbands and hence no children – (ahem) took advantage of their father. The story just tells us what happened – it is NOT a “prescription” that daughters may or should sleep with their fathers.

            3. “Slavery” in the Bible: I expect “slavery” is a mistranslation. The black slavery practiced in this Country was not at all authorized in the Bible. The Bible provides for a system of servants & masters. E.g., if I am unable to, or do not wish to, take responsibility for my own life, then I may seek to become your housemaid or cook. I will work for you, but you have to provide me with room, board, and care when I am old. THAT is God’s welfare program for those who are not able to maintain an independent existence.

            If I need money, I can sell my labor to you for a period of some years. If I cause damage to your property or person, but am unable to pay you the money damages, then I must become your servant and work off the debt. If I steal from you and can not pay restitution in kind or in money, then I must become your servant and work off my debt to you.

            And while I am your servant, you must treat me properly. If you mistreat me, I may run away and may NOT be returned to you against my will.

            Men are fallen, and I expect the Scribes added things to the Old Testament. There are passages which suggest that a master has (ahem) sexual rights over his female servants. But I think those were added. I don’t know Hebrew, but I am studying koine Greek. There are variations in the various families of Greek manuscripts. There is no doubt that some things were changed by scribes who didn’t agree with what was in the text they were copying. And whole passages were added!

            If I had time, I’d write a paper contrasting God’s model of the master -servant relationship – and also God’s “welfare” program for those who can not maintain an independent existence – with the modern welfare State. Basically, those who – under God’s model would be working for their sustenance as housemaids, gardeners & cooks, – are now sitting at home watching Jerry Springer on TV, stuffing themselves on junk food, with their hands out for their welfare checks.

            Biblical servant-hood is never properly based on race.

            4. Just as Ayn Rand figured out what is basically the same moral code as that set forth in the Bible by using her oh! so logical mind, so the principles of the ideal civil government are likewise ascertainable by Logic (as well as by reference to the Bible). Ayn Rand does this. So, I think did Cicero. So did our Framers.

            And what are these principles? A civil government which is limited in its powers. A civil government which is subject to a higher law (the natural law. Or God’s Law. Or a Constitution which sets forth its authorized powers.) Remember: If civil government is not subject to a higher law, then if the people in a government decide to exterminate all the Jews in their country and take their property, then they may do so! And you have no right to object. Your only basis for objection is the existence of a TRANSCENDENT standard – the Natural Law – to which men must conform.

            It really is our loss of the concept of Objective Value – that some things are inherently wrong, and other things are inherently right – which will do us in if we don’t repudiate those views. After you finish Atlas Shrugged ( I hope you enjoy it – it really is one of the most important books ever written), do read C.S. Lewis’ “The Abolition of Man”. It is one of my favorite books.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 25, 2011

          • Hi again. I must admit that I am wholly outclassed here in terms of knowledge and you nearly have me convinced, but for two things.

            Regarding:

            >>>
            If civil government is not subject to a higher law, then if the people in a government decide to exterminate all the Jews in their country and take their property, then they may do so! And you have no right to object. Your only basis for objection is the existence of a TRANSCENDENT standard – the Natural Law – to which men must conform. If you reject the concept of a fixed transcendent moral law to which all men must conform, on what basis could you condemn the Holocaust?
            >>>

            You almost have me convinced about Ayn Rand’s idea of objective morality, but I still have one sticking point. What is the value of knowing that this is true if we don’t know what the laws of reality are? Again, the physicist analogy. Even laws such as “thou shalt not kill,” the golden rule, or similar “common sense” laws are not necessarily built into nature. It is entirely possible that we don’t know what these laws are. It seems to me that if one must choose natural laws such as these for him or herself then one would be going down the road of Kantian philosophy, which ultimately can lead to different categorical imperatives for every person and, consequently, subjective morality. And if we can’t KNOW the natural laws for morality, how can we expect our Supreme Court to KNOW the objective law that must be followed and used to interpret the Constitution?

            Re Bible: I had never thought of what you said regarding Lot and slavery, etc, that way before, but I would refer you to one passage that has the highest density of curses in the entire bible, known to Jews as Ki Tavo: Dueteronomy 26:1 to 29:8. I have studied this Torah portion extensively and even if it was mistranslated, the original must have been pretty bad. One curse that particularly bothers me is that a disobedient son must be stoned to death, among many other similar commandments used throughout the old and new testaments. Jews recognize 613 imperatives from god in the old testament alone, of which many are like this. So I still do not think that the bible can possibly be used as the source of objective morality.

            And of course, if one is not to interpret the Constitution subjectively, he or she should not interpret the Bible subjectively either.

            Like

            Comment by Ross | July 26, 2011

          • Hello, Ross!
            1. Epistemology is that branch of philosophy which deals with Knowledge: Can we know Reality? If so, how do we know it? If not, what keeps us from knowing it ?

            So, there are two basic schools of thought: One school (to which Ayn Rand & I belong) asserts that Reality exists and that human minds are competent to know it. The other school – that of the epistemological nihilists – is that our minds can not know Reality (even if it does exist).

            Bearing in mind that I am boiling 2,500 years of philosophy on the subject down to a few short paras:

            (a) Aristotle said that man is a rational animal who desires to know. With our senses, we take in raw data, and with our minds trained in Logic, we can come to know Reality. In the sciences, building a body of knowledge is sometimes a multi-generational process. The body of mathematical knowledge and knowledge of physics which got us to the moon took a long time to build. And we know what we learned is True b/c it got us safely to the moon and back. We tested our theories.

            (2) Kant said we can not know Reality. Between our minds and “reality” are 12 “categories” thru which “reality” must pass before it gets to our minds. By the time it gets to our minds, it is so distorted and changed by the “categories” (i.e., “filters”) that we can not know Reality. There are many variants of such epistemological nihilism – that true knowledge is impossible – that man’s mind is incompetent to know reality. Epistemological nihilism is the prevailing dogma of our time.

            Ayn Rand wrote a magnificent book where she takes on the epistemological nihilists, and shows that True knowledge is possible: “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology” . I got the expanded Second Edition from amazon just a few months ago. I originally read it when it was published in her newsletter some 50 years ago! It isn’t “light reading”, but I know people who were not philosophy majors who enjoyed it.

            The reviews of the book at amazon are most helpful:
            amazon.com/Introduction-Objectivist-Epistemology-Expanded-Second/dp/0452010306

            Also click on this link and read “Zaphod_B’s ” excellent & short answer explaining epistemological nihilism:
            answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101015110000AA4uekD

            2. Re the Natural Law on Morality: There was widespread recognition in ancient times of the Natural Law on Morality. In the Appendix to C.S. Lewis’ book, he gives examples in ancient Chinese, Hindu, Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Egyptian, Australian Aborigine, Roman, Greek, as well as the ancient Jewish culture. It is only in modern times that we have rejected the concept of objective value! This rejection of the concept of objective value is the prevailing dogma (belief system) of our time.

            The reviews of C.S. Lewis’ book are very interesting to read and are most instructive. You will understand the issue completely after reading these reviews – they are really intelligent! And well-written. amazon.com/Abolition-Man-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652942

            3. Re the Ki Tavo: Are not most of the Laws set forth in Deuteronomy 27 self-evidently “right”? I can think of only a relatively few of the criminal & civil laws in the Bible which I question: E.g., the ones about putting children & people who teach false doctrines to death – I would advise erring on the side of mercy to the accused. Then the rules about women who are “unclean” at certain times. So I really do think that some things were added to the Hebrew Scripture throughout the ages – added even before the Septuagint translation was made. WE KNOW that passages were added or changed in the three major families (Vaticanus, Alexandrian & Byzantine) of the Greek manuscripts for the N.T.

            But sometimes, we disagree with the Bible b/c of the darkness in our own minds. E.g., I once saw no problem in things which I now see are abhorrent! E.g., abortion.

            True, one may not properly interpret the Bible subjectively! The problem with dealing with ancient texts is accuracy in translation, changing word meanings, understanding idioms and other figures of speech, as well as deliberate tinkering with the text.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 26, 2011

          • >>>
            (a) Aristotle said that man is a rational animal who desires to know. With our senses, we take in raw data, and with our minds trained in Logic, we can come to know Reality. In the sciences, building a body of knowledge is sometimes a multi-generational process. The body of mathematical knowledge and knowledge of physics which got us to the moon took a long time to build. And we know what we learned is True b/c it got us safely to the moon and back. We tested our theories.
            >>>

            This answers my question. i guess it makes sense. We have to test our theories of morality just as much as our theories of the natural sciences, etc. Eventually we will find the real truth, just like that physicist I discussed. It makes perfect sense. Thank you very much for dedicating so much time to helping me sort this out. You have definitely made me think and I’ll be back to read what you write in the future. Compliments.

            Also, regarding your post above:

            >>>
            I hope you reach the young people. I don’t reach them. So glad you posted.
            >>>

            You’ll be glad to know that I definitely qualify as a young person (20).

            Like

            Comment by Ross | July 26, 2011

          • No, Friend.

            (1) The Natural Laws of Science are laws we “discover” by observation, formation of theories, and testing. Experiments, etc.

            (2) But The Laws of Morality are self-evident. You KNOW that what the NAZIS did to the Jews was “WRONG”. You KNOW it is wrong for a man to rape a little child. You don’t have to “test” these things. And how could you “test” whether these things are “wrong” or “right”? And if you did test it, what standard would you use?

            Jeremiah 31:31 says God wrote the moral laws on our hearts. The Appendix in “The Abolition of Man” shows how ancient cultures everywhere understood these basic Natural Laws of Morality. Seems God wrote in their hearts as well.

            (3) IT IS ONLY IN MODERN TIMES THAT THE CONCEPT OF THE NATURAL LAWS OF MORALITY HAS BEEN REJECTED. “Values clarification” is the version of “moral guidance” which has been foisted in the public schools on our children since the 1960′s. Public school teachers are telling children that they are “…free to choose ethical and moral behavior that resonates with them.” They thus “liberate” children from “authoritarian” teachings on morality. Here is a discussion of “values clarification” by a proponent : socialjusticespeaks.org/id52.

            Think about the ramifications of a belief where each person gets to “decide for himself” what is “right” and “wrong.” It leads inevitably to a culture where “might makes right” prevails. The NAZIS decided that killing all the Jews was the “right” thing to do for them – the “Aryan” Germans. The 6′ tall burly male decides for himself that he can rape and murder your sister. And on what ground could a proponent of “values clarification” object?

            (4) I understand (alas) that you said you are an atheist. Well, my dear Ayn Rand said the same thing. So she figured out the LAWS of morality using her own powerful mind. Her theory of Ethics is set forth in Atlas Shrugged. And using her mind, she came up with……the Natural Laws of Morality – it’s basically the same moral code as the theists embrace.

            Stay in touch! I enjoy our chats. Because of our ages, you could be my grandson! So feel free to ask me from time to time whatever you want to know about philosophy and The Constitution & Law.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 30, 2011

        • If originalism is not the only valid constitutional philosophy, then what will be achieved by adding an amendment to the Constitution whose original intent is to require a balanced budget?

          Like

          Comment by The Originalist | July 18, 2011 | Reply

          • Originalism is not the only contitutional philosophy in which judges read the constitution. And the wording of the BBA leaves little room for interpretation in most of its clauses.

            Like

            Comment by Ross | July 19, 2011

          • You said:

            ” Originalism is not the only contitutional philosophy in which judges read the constitution.”

            That is true: Since the early 1900s, the judges have said the Constitution means whatever they say it means. If you read my paper on Pragmatism & Existentialism, you will see a discussion of this issue. See also my paper on Definitions and Basic concepts. I trust you see the distinction between a Constitution of fixed meaning and a “Constitution” whose meaning changes as different judges come to sit on the bench?

            You said:

            “And the wording of the BBA leaves little room for interpretation in most of its clauses.”

            Ahem, how do I say this politely? You seem to be claiming status as an expert in constitutional jurisprudence! Read my paper on “separation of church & state”, and see how the supreme Court “interpreted” the “free exercise clause” of the 1st Amendment. Read my papers on the 14th amendment and see how judges have “interpreted” Sec. 1 of the 14th amendment! Focus on the word “liberty”. Did you know that the supreme Court “interpreted” “Liberty” to mean “privacy” to mean women can kill their babies, and homosexual sodomy is a constitutional right?

            You are blissfully unaware of just how the supreme Court has “interpreted” our Constitution [almost] out of existence.

            You have a moral duty to get informed before you speak!

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 19, 2011

          • Also, the states seem to have balanced budgets every single year. Nobody argues with that. Nobody suggests “Hey, let’s have an unbalanced budget this year,” so clearly those constitutions have been effective in preventing unbalanced budgets, regardless of the interpretation.

            Like

            Comment by Ross | July 19, 2011

          • There is nothing wrong with balancing a budget.

            But the BBA doesn’t do that. It transfers power over the purse to the President & it eliminates the enumerated powers aspect of Our Constitution.

            Again, I ask you: If the Budget prepared by the President spends $5 trillion a year, and assesses taxes at $5 trillion a year, the budget will be “balanced”. Is THAT what you want?

            Also, do you see that the numbers “capping” the budget are determined by the President or by an executive office under his control? So where is the “cap”? It is where ever the president wants it to be.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 19, 2011

          • >>
            Ahem, how do I say this politely? You seem to be claiming status as an expert in constitutional jurisprudence!
            >>

            I claim no expertise on constitutional jurisprudence- only a trust that the legislators who wrote the document know what they are doing.

            Also:

            >>
            Read my paper on “separation of church & state”, and see how the supreme Court “interpreted” the “free exercise clause” of the 1st Amendment. Read my papers on the 14th amendment and see how judges have “interpreted” Sec. 1 of the 14th amendment! Focus on the word “liberty”. Did you know that the supreme Court “interpreted” “Liberty” to mean “privacy” to mean women can kill their babies, and homosexual sodomy is a constitutional right?
            >>

            Okay, I stand corrected. Some of what was in that paper was surprising to me, but you are focusing on a problem that already exists. The president has already been given the power to submit a budget to Congress, as you pointed out, and the Imperial Presidency is already a problem. For example, I believe we haven’t formally declared war since WWII? We are still a democracy. I have to trust that this power won’t be abused (assuming that the worst-case scenario that you envision comes to pass, which I find unlikely).

            >>
            Again, I ask you: If the Budget prepared by the President spends $5 trillion a year, and assesses taxes at $5 trillion a year, the budget will be “balanced”. Is THAT what you want?
            >>

            In fact, YES! I want the budget to be balanced however necessary. We can lower taxes again when our debt is erased. Until then, taxes are a fact of life.

            >>
            Also, do you see that the numbers “capping” the budget are determined by the President or by an executive office under his control? So where is the “cap”? It is where ever the president wants it to be.
            >>

            Of course this is true. But the sad fact is that it is better than what we have now. Bad numbers can be challenged and a president who uses this power in a bad way can be impeached and removed. The same is true of most states- the executive branch control the revenue estimates. As I pointed out before, most of them maintain balanced budgets. Look at California- it would have been a simple matter to “balance” the budget by increasing revenue projects; it didn’t happen.

            Like

            Comment by Ross | July 19, 2011

          • Originalism is the philosophy that says all parties of an compact are bound by the terms the parties originally agreed to. All other philosophies either have parties being bound to terms they never agreed to, or parties not bound to the terms they agreed to, or both. Originalism says that there can be no changes to the compact, unless all parties to the compact agree to it, in which case the compact has been amended. If it is your position that these other philosophies are valid, you are welcome to it. Just let me know that before you and I ever enter into a compact.

            Like

            Comment by The Originalist | July 19, 2011

          • Oh, my dear one, let us hope that our friend Ross heeds your wise words. But what Ross says IS what the lawyers were indoctrinated with in law school.
            Thank you, Lord, for making me immune to indoctrination.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 19, 2011

  22. […] off about how great the Balanced Budget Amendment is.  I owe Publius Huldah a debt of gratitude.  Please go and read it for yourself.  It?s important?very […]

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    Pingback by I Was Dead Wrong ? Don?t Make This Mistake! | Best Article Directory | July 18, 2011 | Reply

  23. Friend,
    Thank you for your time and talent. You are educating your readers. I pray there are many of us.
    I would love to meet you. I live in Charlottesville, Virginia but travel well. I am a member of the Jefferson Area Tea Party longing to learn to become a more effective patriot.
    Warmly, Mary Robinson, M.Ed

    Like

    Comment by Mary robinson | July 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you so much Mary! I see you are a teacher with a tutorial service. Oh! Education is the key. I would love to see the government schools closed down and replaced with an informal network of home school co-ops, PRIVATE professional services such as yours to fill in the gaps, PRIVATE schools funded by tuition and by charitable gifts, free inner city PRIVATE schools for the poor funded by charitable gifts & contributions in work (cleaning, grounds keeping, cooking, hall monitor, etc.) by the parents. I would financially support such a school if it had the right educational & moral philosophy.

      One of the greatest blessings of my life was that I was given a Father who had a classical education. He started teaching me Logic and analytical thinking when I was a toddler. I would love to see a PRIVATE voluntary system set up where such needs could be filled by professional services such as yours when no parents in the co-op have the knowledge. E.g., if I had small children, I could teach them reading, logic, philosophy & civics. But not math or science. So, I’d look for other parents who could teach what I couldn’t teach and we’d teach each others’ children. But if no parent knows Logic, the co-op could consult an on-line tutoring service to fill in the gap. And it occurs to me that if there are children in the area who do not have educated parents, such children could be included in the co-op, and their parents could contribute in other ways: cooking, cleaning, etc. to “pay” for their childrens’ participation.

      I remember when I started first grade. I was 5 years old and it was my first exposure to stupidity. I had 3 teachers during the first 12 years of my schooling who were gifted, and whom I remember with gratitude. But no one else. I think the public schools are and have been a curse on this Country. See my paper on Pragmatism & Existentialism. Why someone would keep his children in a government school is beyond my comprehension.

      With the internet and on-line tutoring to fill in the gaps and neighborhood co-ops, who needs a government school system? Just add free privately funded schools for the poor and we could turn our Country around! In a generation.

      I am really passionate about fixing education. The answer is Privatization! Decentralization! In the Bible, education is the responsibility of ………….THE PARENTS!

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 24, 2011 | Reply

      • You are a woman after my own heart! Government controlled education is a very bad idea. I reread your article on Pragmatism & Existentialism and that led me to google John Dewey which in turn pointed me to Progressive Education. I also was researching Gramsci at the same time and the Frankfurt School and was amazed to discover the overlap between the two in both time and place. Today’s American education system is a synthesis of the ideas of Dewey and Gramsci. Dewey believed that children should be taught to instruments of change for a better society rather than objective facts and knowledge. Gramsci believed that a “better” society could be achieved in part by educating the “oppressed” about their condition so as to facilitate the replacement of the existing society with one based on the ideals of Karl Marx. Neither believed in objective truth. Here’s a description of Gramsci’s ideas about truth from an essay by John Fonte:

        ‘The metaphysics, or lack thereof, behind this Gramscian worldview are familiar enough. Gramsci describes his position as “absolute historicism,” meaning that morals, values, truths, standards and human nature itself are products of different historical epochs. There are no absolute moral standards that are universally true for all human beings outside of a particular historical context; rather, morality is “socially constructed.” ‘

        orthodoxytoday.org/articles/FonteCultureWar.php

        It’s time to go back to scratch and rethink our entire educational system. The current one is is stealing our children and destroying our society.

        Like

        Comment by The Originalist | July 24, 2011 | Reply

  24. Dear Patriot and friend of We the People,
    Your well written article is informative and frightening.
    I will make copies to distribute; I will emial it to our representatives in Virginia.
    I pray that We can prevail.
    Thank you for your time and talent.
    God Bless, Mary Robinson

    Like

    Comment by Mary robinson | July 17, 2011 | Reply

  25. Remarkable piece of work, I salute you fellow Patriot on behalf of We the People.

    Like

    Comment by Gore, Jerry | July 16, 2011 | Reply

  26. After reading the artical…I do have a lot of suspicion on just how smart our politician are. Just one wrong word in a sentence can take your freedom away and lock you up. Understand please what is taking place.
    When you live long enough..you will find out that you do not have the freedom you once had when you were young. Educate yourself and look at history.

    Like

    Comment by Russ Fowler | July 16, 2011 | Reply

    • They are not smart, Russ. They know nothing, can’t think, and follow along with the pack.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 24, 2011 | Reply

  27. This is the most eye opening information you have ever posted PH. Everyone who knows how please foward this in it’s intiraty to your congresmen and women.

    Like

    Comment by Danny Kirkpatrick | July 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you, Danny. The BBA is the worst assault on Our Constitution since the 17th amendment. And the enemy has snookered the Tea Parties into clamoring for it! How did our People become so blind?

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 24, 2011 | Reply

  28. […] By Publius Huldah. You can not responsibly support a proposed Amendment to Our Constitution unless you have read and understand the proposal and how it would change our Constitution. You must look behind the nice sounding name!  Will the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) really "reign in" the federal government? Will it really "show them" that they have to balance their budget the same as we do? Or does it actually legalize spending which is now un … Read More […]

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    Pingback by Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap (via Publius-Huldah’s Blog) | florida panhandle patriots | July 16, 2011 | Reply

  29. […] By Publius Huldah. You can not responsibly support a proposed Amendment to Our Constitution unless you have read and understand the proposal and how it would change our Constitution. You must look behind the nice sounding name!  Will the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) really "reign in" the federal government? Will it really "show them" that they have to balance their budget the same as we do? Or does it actually legalize spending which is now un … Read More […]

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    Pingback by Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap (via Publius-Huldah’s Blog) | florida panhandle patriots | July 16, 2011 | Reply

  30. This is bad. The balanced budget amendment is going to get a vote on the floor by the full house next Wednesday, July 20th. If this this amendment passes, it will be the last nail in the coffin of Jeffersonian Republicanism. It is worse than Obamacare because it will be embedded into the Constitution. Who would have ever guessed that “conservative” Republicans would pose the greatest threat to American federalism? What cowards! The Republicans control the house and therefore the budget but they are afraid to use their power for fear of being demagogued. They are using the bba as a skirt to hide behind because they don’t have the fortitude to stand up and do what’s right and they are inadvertently destroying the country in the process. I need to take another trip into Washington and visit some more offices. I am not going to give up without a fight.

    Like

    Comment by The Originalist | July 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Originalist, I am mystified at our [meaning the several thousand or more of us who see thru the BBA] inability to get through to these “conservative” Republicans. They all chant the same line – like peas in a pod who are all marching to the tune of the pied piper. With their shut minds. And blind faith. No one has appeared to address the issues raised in my papers fair & square. We can’t even have a public debate! I make serious attacks on their BBA, and “they” are ignoring it. Meanwhile, the stupid TP Americans are going along with it b/c they trust Jim DeMint & Mark Levin; and the Mormans think Sen. Mike Lee of Utah is the new prophet and should sit on the supreme Court.

      Most Americans can’t think. All they can do is react emotionally – they are easily led by those who exploit their emotions. They seem to have a drive to Conformity – to go along with the majority – to get on the bandwagon.

      But many Americans can think – I know this b/c of the letters I get and the comments some people post. But Michele Bachmann! If there was one person in Congress whose heart (I believed) was in the right place, it was hers. If there was one person in Congress who could think, I thought it was she. If there was one person in Congress who had the spine to stand alone and speak the Truth, I thought it was she. But it seems that she is just another cowardly politician who knows nothing, can’t think, and just goes along with the tide.

      Originalist, I have gotten the most beautiful letters of gratitude from The Folks thanking me for showing them The Truth. Many People have a great hunger to hear the Truth. I am too old and don’t have the right personality to run for office. But I believed that someone with the right personality could take the message of original intent & moral regeneration and run with it, sell it, and earn the undying gratitude of Posterity. I would work with such a person behind the scenes – content to let them have the “glory”.

      But we do not give up. We remember the soldiers at Valley Forge. Watch Lord of the Rings – even the smallest person can change the course of the World. And here is some encouragement another dear internet friend sent me: scribd.com/doc/51090935/The-Blessing-of-Frustrations

      We don’t know what God’s Plan is. Our job is to do what God gifted us to do regardless of whether we get the IMMEDIATE results WE want.

      You are a valued Friend, Originalist. Hope to meet you some day!

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 15, 2011 | Reply

      • I can’t blame people for not thinking about long term consequences when dealing with an imminent catastrophe. I share your frustration. Even conservatives are thinking like progressives which makes sense giving a century of progressive education. The Truth is that when people do what’s wrong, the consequences are always bad. The progressive way of thinking sees the consequence as the problem. The debt crisis is a natural consequence of .the federal government exercising usurped power. The conservatives are trying to prevent the consequence rather than address the cause. What they don’t understand is that man cannot really control nature. A bad consequence is going to happen no matter what scheme they come up with to try to prevent it.

        If you ever plan a trip trip to DC, let me know and we will definitely have to get together.

        Like

        Comment by The Originalist | July 15, 2011 | Reply

  31. […] Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap (via Publius-Huldah’s Blog) references Publius-Huldah’s Blog, which provides a discussion of each section of the […]

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    Pingback by WE DO NOT NEED A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT | Citizen Tom | July 11, 2011 | Reply

  32. […] idea of a balanced budget amendment, which is a foolish game they are playing and according to Plubius Huldah it is […]

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    Pingback by Debt Ceiling __ The Focus Should Be On The Debt and Not The Deficits « Conservatives on Fire | July 11, 2011 | Reply

  33. What a bunch of BS!! It would require spending to be limited to revenue. Many states have enforced such laws. Obviously, the enforcement of the Debt Ceiling will depend on the Congress, more specifically the House of Representatives. It does now, it will forever be — IF we continue to TRY to abide by the constitution. At least a balanced budget ammendment will set a guideline to limit government expenditures. And any attempt to violate it will be met with strong voter reaction every 2 years! It would forever be a criterion for voters to evaluate candidates.

    Like

    Comment by Tinker16 | July 10, 2011 | Reply

    • OK, Tinker 16:
      1. Point to that provision in the proposed BBA (to which I provided a hyperlink in my paper) which “would require spending to be limited to revenue”.
      2. Set forth the material & pertinent distinctions between the “federal government” and the governments of the 50 member States.
      3. Please address the point in my paper about the transfer of power over the purse from Congress to the President.
      4. Please address the point in my paper about the transformation of Our Country from one with a Constitution of “enumerated Powers” to one with general unlimited powers.
      5. What qualifies you to speak with authority about this matter? I do not suggest that one must have certain degrees before one may properly speak. However, one must be fluent in The Federalist Papers before one may speak with authority on The Constitution. We live in a time where every Tom, Dick & Harry thinks he is a genius and qualified to spout off about the Constitution! People who have never read it and don’t have the faintest idea of how it was supposed to operate. Such people do great damage – the misinformation they put out can drown out the voices of wisdom. So, lay aside your pride in your own (presumed) knowingness; learn from those who really do know; and commence to speak the Truth. Or at least do your Country and your posterity [ that would be your grandchildren and other descendants] the favor of remaining silent. It is positively immoral to speak of things of which one is ignorant.

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      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 10, 2011 | Reply

    • Tinker 16, I was amused by your comment “at least a balanced budget amendment will set a guideline to limit government expenditures.” We already have that, it’s called Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. They have more trouble staying within the lines than a drunken motorist. The one thing all politicians like about the proposed amendment and spending reform is that it GUARANTEES them the authority to spend at least 18% of our GDP each year—more if they need it.

      Like

      Comment by Jerry McDaniel | July 10, 2011 | Reply

      • Oh, Jerry, you are a very clever & wise man!

        Like

        Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 10, 2011 | Reply

  34. Patriots,
    WOW! I have just discovered this site today, and wow, am I impressed and encouraged! I was referred to this site though the TPN (Tea Party Network) and I shall reference this site at many of my postings, and I have had many.
    I work in the “Oil Patch”. I am an electrician on a floating rig named the Ocean General, owned and operated by Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. I have lived all of my life in South Louisiana. Our rig is currently drilling in the South China Sea a couple of hundred klicks north of Indonesia. I have worked rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in Mexico’s Gulf, near Ciudad Del Carmen. I have worked off the coast of Singapore, as well as in Vietnam. Now, I am working off the coast of Indonesia. So I have seen a lot of the world, and a lot of Third World countries, and even a Communist country.

    Nothing anywhere is as CLOSE to the Liberty of the United States.

    But that may end soon.

    I was always skeptical of a BBA, however, I did not know exactly how to verbalize it. Thanks to the education I have just learned here, I shall now be an antaganist about any form of BBA. I have seen what happens to a country in which the people are oppressed, and I don’t want this to happen to America.

    One thing I do want to contribute before I leave is this:
    Google up “the Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”. If every parent who could read would download this FREE pdf eBook, the Department of Education would END!

    Keep the Fire of the Torch of Liberty Burning.

    Ralph Roshto

    Like

    Comment by Ralph Roshto | July 9, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you, Ralph! Yes, Americans have no conception of what it is like in 3rd world, communist, or muslim countries. I was for several years in Communist East Europe during the Cold War, and so know first hand what communism is like. I’ve been in one Muslim country. Americans have no conception of the importance of Our Constitution. The only people I have come across on the internet other than you who have had first hand experience with totalitarian governments are the Americans who fled here from Cuba. Our People don’t think. They don’t go under the surface. Someone in Congress could propose a Bill providing for the slaughter of all human children under the age of two years, but if they name it the “The Little Babies’ Protection Act”, “conservative” “Christian” tea party Americans would be all for it. B/c it sounds good. And they oppose (rightly) abortion.

      In addition to being deliberately dumbed down in the government schools, Americans have been morally corrupted. There are many “conservative” “patriotic” tea party Americans who demand their military retirement pensions, their federal civil service retirement pensions, their SS, & their medicare. “Take if from somebody else and give it to me – I’m entitled to it”. THAT’s who we are. Can we have a moral regeneration in time to avert certain disaster?

      Do all you can to turn the lights on for everyone you can. You certainly got MY day off to a good start! Stay safe. PH

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 10, 2011 | Reply

  35. Compelling essay, and it sure convinces me. I sent a link to Senator Toomey, and hopefully he’ll read it.

    On a shallower level, I find all the compromise talk rather bizarre. If the Republicans extract sufficient and essential concessions from the Democrats, it won’t be necessary to increase the debt limit. So, just don’t increase the limit and forget about all the deal making. I wouldn’t buy a used car from any of those weasel lawyers in Washington. No offense to weasels intended.

    Eric Neubauer

    Like

    Comment by Eric Neubauer | July 8, 2011 | Reply

    • I don’t know what is wrong with the Republicans. They run around like chickens with their heads chopped off. I can not understand their cowardice! The Democrats can not defend their positions intellectually – yet the Republicans won’t take them on on the issues!

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 8, 2011 | Reply

      • Perhaps what’s wrong with the Republican politicians is that they usually come from the same places as the Democrat politicians. Even though they are on opposite sides of their political puddle, it’s a very small puddle these days, philosophically speaking. About all they can do to differentiate themselves is by throwing rhetorical mud at each other. So, I’d say it’s more a matter of mental laziness than cowardice.

        The current corrupt system thrives by dividing us into special interest groups which has made raising campaign money and management of the electorate much easier. They won’t want to let go of that.

        Eric

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        Comment by Eric Neubauer | July 9, 2011 | Reply

  36. […] By Publius Huldah. You can not responsibly support a proposed Amendment to Our Constitution unless you have read and understand the proposal and how it would change our Constitution. You must look behind the nice sounding name!  Will the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) really "reign in" the federal government? Will it really "show them" that they have to balance their budget the same as we do? Or does it actually legalize spending which is now un … Read More […]

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    Pingback by Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap (via Publius-Huldah’s Blog) « That Mr. G Guy's Blog | July 3, 2011 | Reply

  37. This type of amendment has been brought up many times before in DC and never passed. That is why we are in a mess today. I see no current restraint on DC spending and it needs to stop. I have not heard any reasonable idea that is better than a BBA.

    Like

    Comment by Smart Guy | June 30, 2011 | Reply

    • Smart Guy!
      1) What is it about cutting unconstitutional spending that you do not understand? How about (just for starters) cutting all the pork and all the spending of the type listed in my paper? Tell me what it is about that which you do not understand.

      2) What is it about how the Republicans can stop the excessive spending right now since they control the House, that you do not understand?
      a) You are aware, aren’t you, that the Republicans control the House? Yes? Then let’s move to the second step:
      b) You are aware, aren’t you, that the Republicans in the House can stop any spending bill? Yes? Then let’s move to the third step:
      c) You are aware, aren’t you, that since the Republicans in the House can stop any spending bill right now, that the Republicans can control all spending , RIGHT NOW, aren’t you?
      There! That’s my idea. Cut spending NOW! Come on, tell them to man up and get out those scissors.
      Now, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | June 30, 2011 | Reply

      • Well said, PH, If Congress only spent money on constitutionally authorized programs, i.e. those listed in the enumerated powers, the annual budget would probably be less than 5% of the GDP.

        Like

        Comment by Jerry McDaniel | July 1, 2011 | Reply

      • 1) Just because you think unconst. spending should stop does not mean it will. Do you have any political representation in DC?

        2) I do not see how this makes the BBA bad. What about when the Democrats control the House? You essentially shoot down a good idea simply because the Republicans currently control the House.

        I totally agree with you on cutting spending and not funding the bills. However your disparaging the BBA is not completely validated in my view.

        Great debate and Excellent ideas on cutting spending!

        Like

        Comment by Smart Guy | July 1, 2011 | Reply

        • Smart Guy:
          Please read my paper carefully.

          1. Do you understand the concept of “enumerated powers”? Read my paper, “Congress’ Enumerated Powers” – I explain how ours is a Constitution of “Enumerated Powers”. In that paper I list all the powers delegated to Congress by the Constitution. The BBA would transform the federal government from one of enumerated powers to one of general & unlimited powers. I explain why this is so.

          2. Do you understand the concept of “separation of powers”? That our Constitution delegated certain taxing and appropriations (spending) powers to Congress and to CONGRESS alone? Did you see the quotes I provided from Alexander Hamilton & James Madison in The Federalist Papers where they warn us that we must never let the President – the “sword” of our Country – also have control over the “Purse” – i.e., the taxing & spending powers? Our Framers warned that the Executive Branch must be dependent upon the legislative branch for funding.

          Do you understand that the BBA transfers constitutional control over the taxing & spending powers from Congress to the President? And this is precisely what Hamilton & Madison said we must NOT let happen.

          3. You know that the Republicans now control the House, right? You KNOW that the Republicans can stop ALL spending right now, right?

          So! Why don’t the Republicans stop the wasteful or unconstitutional spending right now? They have the votes – they have the numbers – they have the power. So why don’t they do it? Because they don’t want to. They don’t have the guts. They are spineless cowards who don’t have the guts to cut even the idiotic spending illustrated in my paper. And there are trillions of dollars more of such spending.

          Read the BBA. I have a link in my paper. Do you not see that they can vote to waive all the spending “limits” in the BBA? The whole thing is a sham! Read it and you will see. The BBA is a plot crafted in the pits of Hell to mislead People, destroy beyond repair our Constitutional Republic, and to install a totalitarian dictatorship.

          But please read also my two papers: the one on “Congress’ Enumerated Powers” and this one here.

          Like

          Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 1, 2011 | Reply

          • Anyone who doesn’t believe a constitutional amendment will be construed to give power over spending and borrowing to the executive should read this: nationalreview.com/articles/271033/obama-s-spendthrift-constitution-john-s-baker There is already talk of interpreting Section 4 of the 14th amendment to mean the president already has that power.

            ” A constitutional claim newly minted by some administration asserts that the president can raise the debt ceiling if Congress doesn’t. This novel claim rests on Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, which says:

            ‘ The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.’ “

            Like

            Comment by The Originalist | July 5, 2011

  38. “One GOP source on Capitol Hill told The Daily Caller there’s been a push among the conservative wing of the Republican caucus for McConnell to tie the balanced budget amendment to a vote on the debt ceiling.”

    The balanced budget amendment is gaining steam in Washington thanks to Republican “conservatives “. They need to be put straight and fast. All of the republican presidential candidates have signed a balanced budget amendment pledge except for Bachmann and the only reason she hasn’t signed the pledge is because she wants wants it to include a ledge to repeal Obamacare. If I didn’t have to be in NJ tomorrow, I’d be in Michele Bachman’s office hand delivering a copy of this article to a member of her staff along with a passionate diatribe against the amendment. UNfortunately it’s going to have to wait until next week.

    Read more: dailycaller.com mcconnell-puts-balanced-budget-amendment-in-motion-some-say-its-not-enough

    Like

    Comment by The Originalist | June 30, 2011 | Reply

    • So are you really going to Michele Bachmann’s office this week to hand deliver the article? If so, I am honored! Do let me know how it goes. I have full confidence in your ability to articulate the issues. It has been a knife in my heart to hear of Bachmann’s willingness to sign the DeMint pledge – even it it does add the repeal of obamacare. The BBA would do far more harm to our Country than obamacare, and would be much more difficult to undo.

      You may also truly represent that I am at Bachmann’s service if she has any questions. Night or day.

      And I am sorry about your current difficulties. But I’ve been sending you wishes of good cheer & encouragement. This too will pass. Hugs, PH

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 4, 2011 | Reply

      • I’m back in Virginia and I’m planning on getting to the congresswoman’s office this week to deliver this article to her staff. I’m confident one of her staff members will read it and get her an executive summary at a minimum. At least, that is my hope. I will report on how it goes.

        Like

        Comment by The Originalist | July 10, 2011 | Reply

        • You are my Hero, Originalist! Someone (I know not who) from the House was on my site for 4.5 hours a few days ago. And actually reading b/c they were moving around the website: 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there. Oh! If I were just 15 years younger and had the right personality, I would be out campaigning to run for office. I think people are starved for the Truth. I get the most beautiful letters from people – people who understand my papers and are so grateful to hear it said! So a candidate who BOLDLY proclaims the TRUTH, and who is not intimidated by the brain dead liberals & RINOS could do well, I think. Our dear Congresswoman was shown on TV this past week making a terrible error re the Powers of The President; and I would so love to explain to her the significance of The Oath of Office and how our Oath is pledged to the Constitution, NOT to the supreme Court, and NOT to Congress. And that when Congress makes a law which is unconstitutional, the President must be guided by the Oath of Office – b/c the Oath is to preserve & protect The Constitution – not the majority vote of dunderheads & idiots in congress.

          I am so frightened for our Country, for our Posterity. So I would be at that person’s service, night or day, to shed Light on this and to regain what we have lost.

          Like

          Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 10, 2011 | Reply

          • Thomas Jefferson foresaw what was going to happen towards the end of his life and was deeply troubled by it. Our problems have been a long time in the making.

            “Our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence. The engine of consolidation will be the Federal judiciary; the two other branches the corrupting and corrupted instruments.”— Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, vii, 223. (M., 1821.)

            It amazes me that what was so clear to Jefferson nearly 200 years ago, no one in Congress seems to be able to see even yet.

            Like

            Comment by The Originalist | July 10, 2011

          • It is done. I visited the office of Michele Bachmann today and hand delivered a copy of this article along with a note. Her staff assured me she will see it. I also delivered a copy to Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), the founder of the Constitutional Caucus.

            Like

            Comment by The Originalist | July 12, 2011

          • Wow, Originalist! James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, & George Washington are smiling down on you saying, “Thank you for your service to Our Country which we fought a war to give to you.” Oh! Every time I think of them and how Our People of today have let them down, tears come to my eyes.
            And why do we today send such cowards to Washington? Mich McConnell is an embarrassment. For shame.

            Like

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 12, 2011

          • Mich McConnell has to go. Now he is talking about ceding spending authority over to the President. The Republicans had the Constitution read on the floor of the House and then proceeded to totally ignore it. The Constitution gives spending responsibility to the House of Representatives. Any Republican that isn’t comfortable with that responsibility needs to resign his office and make room for somebody who is.

            Like

            Comment by The Originalist | July 13, 2011

  39. […] H/T to Publius Huldah […]

    Like

    Pingback by Thoughts on the Balanced Budget Amendment | What Would The Founders Think? | June 30, 2011 | Reply

  40. We can’t change the world, but we can change ourselves. We have got to learn about the Constitution and the Federalists Papers, New book out that does this, will be getting copies and Audio CD’s to share and for class: Citizens Circle. We must learn about both before we can stop Congress and The Obama Mafia.

    New poster/ T shirt : The only government job I want is to be Obama’s Teleprompter Programer.

    Like

    Comment by Frankie's Coffee | June 30, 2011 | Reply

  41. Hi Ms. Huldah! Am anxiously digesting your articles; ALL of them should be required reading for our common-sense deficient legislators, jurists, etc..

    Have printed/shared the 3 most recent articles just prior to the “BBA” to maybe 5-6 families. So far you are batting 100% with those as well with both my wife and I. Please, please, keep your insightful articles coming!!! Our Country is in a Mess.
    nb

    Like

    Comment by Noel B. | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • I will, my dear! And thank you for the encouragement! And keep spreading the word.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 4, 2011 | Reply

  42. I personally would like to know where the Congress gets the right to give themselves pay raises, benefits, etc. I do disagree with you regarding SS and Medicare–The gov held money out of my paychecks and my husbands paychecks to invest for us as an insurance policy–we are living off these proceeds. Granted, the gov took the money and used it for other things, but due to cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and mental breakdowns, our savings are gone, our retirement money is gone–all we have left is SS and medicare.
    I have never been for any balanced budget amendment, not knowing what I just found out from you, but because I don’t believe they can possibly do any good or be done in the first place. I don’t believe in term limits because if a person is at the limit, they will just ride the gov teat till the next elections–they don’t have to do anything because they don’t have to worry about re-election.
    If you could tell me where to look for evidence of the paying situation I would really appreciate it.

    Like

    Comment by Debra Cole | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you, Debra!

      1. Re Congress’ outrageous pay, benefits, and retirement pensions: Article 1, Sec. 6, clause 1, U.S. Constitution, permits the Senators & Representatives to make laws setting their “compensation”. But we have come to such a state of moral decline that we elect people who abuse their authority to set their own pay: They vote themselves outrageous benefits – and their retirement pensions! Oh my! They are greedy leeches as well as destroyers of our Constitution and Country.

      2. Re SS & Medicare: I fully understand that we have been forced to pay into those programs. Money which we could have set aside ourselves for our futures! And I would NEVER advocate pulling the rug out from under people in situations like yours. The promises made to people in your situation MUST be kept.

      However, SS & Medicare are broke, it is impossible to keep them up. There simply isn’t enough money to pay all that was promised. That is why obamacare will ration medical care to people over 65 – it is much cheaper to kill them off by denying them medical care than permit them to have the medical care and pay the medical bills plus the SS benefits. So obamacare is brutally cruel – there really will be “death panels” where bureaucrats in the federal government will decide who gets medical care and who doesn’t – who lives and who dies. But this is the inevitable consequence of “free” medical care: the government decides that some people are not worth the money. Old people, children under two years old, “defective” people, mentally handicapped, etc. They did this in NAZI Germany when medical care became “free”. The same will happen here.

      We have come to this horrible situation in our country because we enacted programs – SS & Medicare – which are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to Congress in the Constitution. Art. I, Sec. 8, lists the powers of Congress. SS & Medicare, and similar programs just aren’t there. And they are inherently unworkable. The costs are eating us up alive. It was a whole lot cheaper when people & families took care of their own. And the neighbors stepped when needed. I am old enough to remember when people actually handled their own medical expenses! It was a lot cheaper before the government made it “free”.

      But we are where we are. And there is always a best solution. We must honor the promises made to elderly people who are now dependent on SS & Medicare. But we need to release the young people – actually, we need to release everyone who wants out – because these programs are unconstitutional and immoral. We have become a people who have been forced to feed off other people – and that is immoral.

      But promises must be kept and you and others in your situation paid into the systems. I am not an economist or an administrator. But the federal government owns much land, oil reserves, etc. Much of this property could be sold – to U.S. Citizens – to pay for the Medicare & SS for people in your situation. Also, the federal government wastes TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS – I gave some examples in my paper. We need to STOP all that idiotic & unconstitutional spending NOW! But the Democrats refuse to cut spending (Nancy Pelosi couldn’t find anything which could be cut); and the Republicans don’t have the guts to stop the idiotic spending.

      I hope this answers your Questions. But if it doesn’t, you know where to find me! Regards, PH

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 4, 2011 | Reply

  43. Thank you for your article. Teaching our children to understand the truth of our current political environment with the many “so-called” conservatives and republican congressmen and senators so out if touch with the constitution is tremendously frustrating. Your article will serve as a wonderful base to jump into multiple discussions about the constitution, federalist papers, and many of our politicians over the summer.
    Our kids are the future of the country. They have to know the truth to fix this mess.
    Grateful Mom

    Like

    Comment by Miss Ann | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • You are most welcome, Miss Ann. And thank you so much for your kind words.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 4, 2011 | Reply

  44. Thanks for the great article. I am glad that you took the time to explain the BBA because I do not understand lawyerspeak. Your blog has been added to my site and I linked this article also. Will be back here often to learn more about our Constitution.

    Thanks again for a wonderful and informative blog.
    Jean

    Like

    Comment by Jean Marie Jones | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • I love the name of your website! Thank you for your encouragement and kind words, Jean Marie!

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | July 4, 2011 | Reply

  45. I agree and wrote a less comprehensive editorial on the ROC Newsletter about the Balanced Budget Amendment proposal. I think those that do not understand accounting think balanced budget assumes frugality in fiscal spending when it only balances spending to earning. We can balance a 14 trillion bill by taxing Americans to pay for it and that would satisfy a balanced budget. Is that what Americans want? It is a hoax! Good post!

    Like

    Comment by Claudia | June 29, 2011 | Reply

  46. Good analysis, thank you.

    Like

    Comment by Walter Brown | June 28, 2011 | Reply

  47. Hi PH,

    I sent this on to my Reps as well as to others, and this is one of the responses I received back.

    (What backing does this blog have? I don’t plan on passing this on until I read the amendment. Legalize is a mess and I’m not sure this was interrupted correctly. Something doesn’t sound right.)

    I wish I could explain it, but suggested they look here for the answer. Everyone is very leary. God guides us to the places we need to help us grow and learn and I feel deeply I can trust you and your work. Thank you so much for all you do to help as who are waking up to the truth.

    God Bless and Happy 4th of July to all.

    Like

    Comment by Deborah Hughes | June 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Dear, if your Representative would like to contact me directly, I will be happy to answer his questions.
      If I may ask, in what State do you live? I’m in middle Tennessee.

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | June 28, 2011 | Reply

  48. Thank you for another great article. Your writings help me solidify my thinking on constitutional issues. I’ve believed for a while that any amendment to the Constitution at this point would only serve to increase the power of the federal government given the entrenchment of progressive thinking. However, when the only voice I hear supporting that belief is the one inside my head, it can become difficult to maintain the strength to sustain it. A single external voice makes all the difference and I thank you for that.

    I would like to add just one thing to your excellent analysis. I don’t trust that the Supreme Court would consider itself bound by an explicit limit on its powers written into the Constitution. The history of the court demonstrates its willingness to nullify any clause in the Constitution through precedent. It nullified the “free exercise” clause by adding a “wall of separation” clause. It nullified Article 1 Section 8 through precedent. Law as currently practiced makes the Constitution subordinate to the Supreme Court and frees the court from the constraints of the Constitution. The Constitution cannot take this power away from the judiciary since it was not the Constitution that granted it this power in the first place. This power was usurped.

    Like

    Comment by The Originalist | June 28, 2011 | Reply

    • I have missed you, Originalist! And always listen to that voice inside your head. But like the ring bearers (Lord of the Rings), we must learn to stand alone when necessary. But we are not alone any more. There are more & more of us. Our job is to turn the lights on for as many as we can. Yours is a strong voice!
      I would not be able to speak with such certainty & conviction had I not been a lawyer & student of The Federalist for half a century. So I understand why you might have some trepidation. But remember, how I made you swear that you were not a lawyer? I thought you were.

      Now listen to this: Red State supports the BBA and has apparently banned mention of my name from their site! Imagine – afraid of a girl! “If you can’t beat ’em, ban ’em.”

      Like

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | June 28, 2011 | Reply

      • I missed you too! 🙂 The reason I’ve been a bit scarce is that I haven’t had an income since April and changing that has to be my first priority. Its frustrating because I’d rather be able to spend some of my time trying to save my beloved country.

        I stopped reading Red State a long time ago because of the editorial policy there. I’ve been giving a lot of thought these past few days on what you’ve said about your frustration over the wide spread belief among conservatives that the Constitution is the source of our rights. The root of the problem is that everyone in this country received a progressive education and progressive thinking is ingrained in “everybody”, even conservatives. Conservatives just use progressive “reasoning” to come to conservative conclusions. For example, one of the first things the progressive did was establish a socialized universal education system where the government controls what children are taught and the people are compelled to pay for it. Rather than argue that socialized, government controlled education is an inherently bad thing, conservatives argue that they want the system to be more efficient and more effective.

        Oh my. Levin is on the radio again talking about why we need a balance budget amendment. 😦

        Like

        Comment by The Originalist | June 28, 2011 | Reply

  49. Great article. I could not agree with you more. It is frustrating that people cannot see that the so-called balanced budget amendment only guarantees the federal government the “legal right” to spend 18% of our GDP regardless of whether what they spend it on is actually needed or Constitutional. I cannot understand why people do not understand the futility of adding amendments to a Constitution which our elected representatives have been ignoring for two hundred years. Why would an addition make them any more law abiding than they are now?

    Like

    Comment by Jerry McDaniel | June 27, 2011 | Reply

    • Jerry! Nice to hear from you!
      This may be the answer: I asked someone and he said that people just go by the name, “balanced budget amendment”. It sounds good. You have to balance your budget, I have to balance mine, so why shouldn’t they? Huh? [the “huh?” is said in a belligerent “we’ll show them” tone]
      He said that is far as their “thinking” goes. They don’t read the actual proposed Amendment.

      But even if they read it, they wouldn’t know the maxims of legal construction. It’s really deceptive to put this stuff out w/o telling people the TRUTH about what it actually means. They lie about it and the People don’t know.

      But I admit the possibility that the drafters of the BBA also have no idea what they are doing. The level of ignorance in the legal community is mind-boggling! If they can’t think, and don’t know The Federalist Papers, then they would have no way of knowing what they are doing.

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      Comment by Publius/Huldah | June 27, 2011 | Reply

      • Sometimes I think you, me and possibly Mark Levin are the only three people on earth that can read the Constitution and understand what it actually says without reading extraneous meanings into its words. There have been seventeen attempts to improve on the Constitution since 1789 and in each case the unintended negative consequences have outweighed the benefits. I shudder to think about the consequences of adding another amendment in today’s progressive political environment. I just published a book on the subject. If you are interested in it you can find the details on my website. I fear that the BBA is going to get passed by Congress and submitted to the states. If that happens we must defeat its ratification, no matter what.

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        Comment by Jerry McDaniel | June 27, 2011 | Reply

        • I don’t know about Mark Levin – sometimes he does not think outside of the box. I googled him – it seems he thinks the BBA is a great idea. (I don’t know what he thinks specifically of Senate J.R. 10.) But in any shape or form, it astounds me how any supposedly intelligent person can be fooled by it. I’ll write you later about the amendments.

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          Comment by Publius/Huldah | June 27, 2011 | Reply

          • He does support BBA as most conservative radio hosts do. That is what is so frustrating. Mark wrote “Men in Black” and “Liberty and Tyranny”, both excellent books about the Constitution, but for some reason, he can’t seem to understand how dangerous it is to attempt to improve on the Constitution as it was written. I consider the Bill of Rights as a part of the original Constitution and do not put in in the same category with the other seventeen. The twelfth destroyed the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches and paved the way for the majority leader to take over the Constitutional function of the President of the Senate. The fourteenth gave the federal government the power to establish the qualifications for voting in state and local elections, and gave us abortion. The sixteenth allowed progressives the opportunity to engage in income redistribution through a graduated income tax. The seventeenth annulled the Tenth Amendment by providing for the popular election of Senators. And so it goes.

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            Comment by Jerry McDaniel | June 27, 2011

  50. […] Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap […]

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    Pingback by Why the “Balanced Budget Amendment” is a Hoax – and a Deadly Trap « Bonfire's Blog | June 27, 2011 | Reply


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