By Publius Huldah
The BBA Made Simple
Say you want your Butler to buy some groceries; so you give him your credit card. You can:
1. Give him an ENUMERATED LIST of what you want him to buy: 1 chicken, 5# of apples, two heads of cabbage, a 2# sack of brown rice, and a dozen eggs. Whatever amount he spends for these enumerated items will be charged to you.
2. Tell him he may spend on whatever he wants, and ask him to please don’t spend more than 18% of your weekly income. But whatever amount he decides to spend (on pork and other things) will be charged to you.
The first illustrates how our Constitution is written: The items on which Congress is authorized to spend money are listed – enumerated – in the Constitution. To see the list, go HERE.
The second illustrates how a balanced budget amendment (BBA) works: It creates a completely new constitutional authority to spend on whatever the federal government wants to spend money on. And there is no enforceable limit on the amount of spending.
Our Constitution Limits Spending to the Enumerated Powers
Our Constitution doesn’t permit the federal government to spend money on whatever they want. If Congress obeyed our Constitution, they would limit spending to the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution. Since the Constitution delegates to Congress only limited and narrowly defined authority to spend money, excessive federal spending is not the result of a defective Constitution, but of disregarding the existing constitutional limitations on federal spending.
Because everyone has ignored these existing limitations for so long, we now have a national debt of some $20 trillion plus a hundred or so trillion in unfunded liabilities. 1
Various factions are now telling conservatives that the only way to stop out of control federal spending is with a BBA.
Obviously, that is not true. The constitutional answer is to downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers. Eliminate federal departments (Education, Energy, Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, etc., etc., etc.), for which there is no constitutional authority. 2
Since our Constitution delegates only a handful of powers to the federal government, most of what they’ve spent money on since the early 1900s is unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated.
Yet our Constitution is still legally in place; and can be dusted off, read, and enforced by a Repentant People. They can shrink the federal government to the size established by the Constitution which created it. 3
Using the Federal “Budget” to Snap the Trap on an Unsuspecting People
Our Constitution doesn’t provide for a budget.
Spending is to be limited by the enumerated powers. Pursuant to Art. I, §9, clause 7, the Treasury is to publish periodic Statements and Accounts of the Receipts and Expenditures. Since the list of objects on which Congress is authorized to spend money is so short, it would be a simple matter to monitor federal spending and receipts.
But since the unconstitutional Budget & Accounting Act of 1921, Presidents and Congress have been putting into the “budget” whatever they want to spend money on.
Do you see that if the federal government is given constitutional authority (via a BBA) to spend money on whatever they want, they are ipso facto granted constitutional authority to exert power over whatever they want?
Oh, Americans! False friends lead you astray and confuse the path you should take. Under the pretext of imposing “fiscal responsibility” with a BBA, they would legalize the totalitarian dictatorship which has been developing in this Country for 100 years.
Creating the all-powerful federal government by Amendment
A BBA changes the standard for spending from whether the object is an enumerated power to whatever the federal government wants to spend money on. 4
So a BBA would transform the federal government created by our Constitution from one of enumerated powers only, to one of general and unlimited powers because it would authorize Congress to appropriate funds for – and hence have power over – whatever they or the President decide to put in the budget!
A BBA Doesn’t Reduce Federal Spending
A BBA wouldn’t reduce federal spending because:
· all versions permit spending limits to be waived when Congress votes to waive them; and
· Congress can always “balance the budget” with tax increases. Compact for America’s “balanced budget amendment” delegates massive new taxing authority to Congress: it authorizes Congress to impose a national sales tax and a national value added tax (VAT) in addition to keeping the income tax.
Americans think, “I have to balance my budget; so the federal government should have to balance theirs.”
They overlook the profound distinctions between the economies of their own family unit and that of the national government of a Federation of States. Our federal Constitution sets up a system where Congress is to appropriate funds only to carry out the enumerated powers; and the bills are to be paid with receipts from excise taxes and import tariffs, with any shortfall being made up by a direct assessment on the States apportioned according to population (Art. I, §2, clause 3).
Americans also think that since States have balanced budget amendments, the federal government should have one. They overlook the profound distinction between the federal Constitution and State Constitutions: 5
· The federal government doesn’t need a budget because Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers. Congress is to appropriate funds to carry out the handful of enumerated powers, and then it is to pay the bills with receipts from taxes.
· But State Constitutions created State governments of general and almost unlimited powers. Accordingly, State governments may lawfully spend money on just about anything. So State governments need budgets to limit their spending to receipts.
A BBA would have the opposite effect of what you have been told. Instead of limiting the federal government, it legalizes spending which is now unconstitutional as outside the scope of the enumerated powers; transforms the federal government into one which has power over whatever they decide to spend money on; and does nothing to reduce federal spending.
Twenty-eight States have already passed applications for a BBA. Go HERE to check the status of your State. Warn your friends and State Legislators. For a model your State can use to rescind its previous applications, go HERE and look under “Take Action” column, or contact me. Do not let the malignant elite complete their revolution by replacing our Constitution.
1 State governments are voracious consumers of federal funds. THIS shows what percentage of your State’s revenue is from federal funds. Contrary to what RINO State Legislators say, they don’t want federal spending reduced: They want to keep those federal dollars flooding in.
2 George Washington’s Cabinet had 4 members: Secretary of War, Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.
3 Our federal Constitution is short and easy to understand. The only way you can avoid being misled is to find out for yourself what it says. Be a Berean (Acts 17:10-12).
4 Amendments change all language to the contrary in the existing Constitution. Eg., the 13th Amendment changed Art. I, §2, clause 3 & Art. IV, §2, clause 3 because they were inconsistent with the 13th Amendment.
5 In Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from end), James Madison said:
“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.”
By Publius Huldah
A devilish plot is afoot to impose new national taxes on the American People. It is a masterful piece of trickery because the authorization for the new national taxes is buried within Compact for America’s version of a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.
Furthermore, the balanced budget amendment does nothing to control federal spending; and transforms our Constitution from one of limited and defined powers to one of general and unlimited powers. 1
Let’s look at Sections 1-6 of Compact for America’s balanced budget amendment:
It does Nothing to Control Federal Spending
Section 1 allows Congress to spend as much as they take from us in taxes and add to the national debt. That’s a good idea?
Sections 2 and 3 permit Congress to raise the debt whenever 26 States agree. States are addicted to federal funds. Will 25 States agree not to take more federal funds?
Section 4 is a joke: Who believes Congress will impeach a President for refusing to “impound” an appropriation made by Congress? Congress won’t even impeach a President for Treason.
How Authorization for the New Taxes is Hidden
Section 5 says:
“No bill that provides for a new or increased general revenue tax shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote of the whole number of each House of Congress….” [italics mine]
What is a “general revenue tax”? Section 6 defines it:
“…’general revenue tax’ means any income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States…” [italics mine]
Now go back to Section 5 and substitute the definition of “general revenue tax” for that term:
“No bill that provides for a new or increased income tax, sales tax, or value-added tax levied by the government of the United States shall become law unless approved by a two-thirds roll call vote of the whole number of each House of Congress….”
There it is: All that’s needed is approval of two-thirds of the members of each House and a new national sales tax and/or value added tax is imposed on us. And they can increase it, along with increasing the income tax, whenever they get two-thirds of the members to vote for it.
Section 5 also permits Congress to make laws to impose a new “end user sales tax” 4 which would replace the income tax – this “end user sales tax” is passed by a simple majority of both houses.
So! Compact for America’s balanced budget amendment provides two options to Congress:
· Two-thirds of the members of both Houses can impose a new sales tax and/or value-added tax in addition to the income tax; or
· A simple majority of both Houses can impose “a new end user sales tax” which replaces the income tax.
Which option will Congress choose?
Our Constitution Doesn’t Now Authorize a National Sales Tax or Value-added Tax
Article I, §8, clause 1 says:
“The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises…”
Principles of Compact for America say this clause already authorizes a national sales tax or value added tax. Board Vice-President Chip DeMoss said on Feb. 12, 2014:
“a national sales tax would be an “impost” (defined as a tax or similar compulsory payment) that is authorized under Article I, Section 8, Clause 1…” [see comments and scroll down after comment 19 till you see Chip DeMoss’ name].
We may not properly use DeMoss’ redefinition of “impost”!
We must use the definition of “impost” our Framers used: The Federalist Papers say an “impost” is a tax or duty on imports. Type imposts in the search box [at the link] and the Papers discussing imposts will come up. See for yourself that an “impost” is a tax or duty on imports.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “impost” as:
“…Any tax or tribute imposed by authority; particularly, a duty or tax laid by government on goods imported, and paid or secured by the importer at the time of importation. Imposts are also called customs.”
Do you see?
National sales taxes and value-added taxes are also not “excise” taxes. Excise taxes are a tax on a unit of goods – such as the infamous whiskey excise tax of 1791 which led to the Whiskey Rebellion. 5 It imposed a flat tax per gallon. The tax was payable for domestic whiskey at the distillery (§17 of the Act) and the casks were numbered and marked to show the tax had been paid (§19 of the Act).
“Taxes” at Art. I, §8, clause 1 refers to the apportioned direct tax provided for at Art. I, §2, clause 3 of our Constitution.
Our Framers were specific about the kinds of taxes Congress is permitted to impose. Congress does not have the power to impose any kind of tax it wants. Our Framers limited Congress’ taxing power to:
· the apportioned direct taxes at Art. I, §2, clause 3;
· the duties or imposts on imports at Art. I, §8, clause 1; and
· the excises at Art. I, §8, clause 1.
A sales tax is none of the above. A sales tax is a percentage of the retail price of goods. A value-added tax is a “turbo-charged national sales tax on goods and services that is applied at each stage of production, not merely on retail transactions” and raises a “gusher of revenue for spendthrift governments worldwide”.
We have never had a national sales tax or value added tax in this Country. Why? Because they are not authorized by the Constitution.
We were manipulated into supporting the 16th Amendment. We were told the income tax would “soak the rich” – and the envious drooled at the prospect.
And so again today, statists are seeking to trick us into supporting a national sales tax or a value added tax: first, by concealing it within the verbiage of the bill; 6 and then, once the trickery was exposed, by claiming the Constitution already authorizes these new types of taxes.
There is a Better Way: Downsize the Federal Government!
Our Constitution limits federal spending to the enumerated powers. The list of objects on which Congress may lawfully spend money is a short list. See the list HERE.
Most of what the federal government does today is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated by the Constitution. Let’s cut federal spending by downsizing the federal government to its enumerated powers and constitutional limits.
1 Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers: If an object is on the list of enumerated powers (e.g., the patent & copyright office authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 8), Congress may lawfully spend money on it. That’s how our Constitution already controls federal spending.
All versions of a balanced budget amendment change the constitutional standard for spending FROM whether an object is on the list of enumerated powers TO a limit on total spending where Congress may spend money on whatever they or the President put in the budget. This is what transforms our Constitution FROM one of enumerated powers only TO one of general and unlimited powers. And that is the true purpose of a balanced budget amendment. It has nothing to do with limiting federal spending – the pretended spending limits are fictitious since they may be waived whenever the feds [and 26 of the States] want to waive them.
3 Matthew Burns’ article about the hearing on HB 366 before N. Carolina’s House Judiciary Committee (which passed HB 366) doesn’t mention the new national taxes. Burns quotes the Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Millis, as saying the problem is “Washington is unwilling or unable to limit itself.” So the solution is to massively increase Congress’ taxing powers?
4 “End user sales tax” is not defined in the balanced budget amendment.
5 Apparently, the practice of tarring & feathering “revenuers” began with the Whiskey Excise Tax.
6 The trickery was exposed over a year ago HERE. Since then, Compact for America has claimed the Constitution already authorizes the new taxes. Are we too gullible to be free? PH
August 26, 2015
Representative Sickles may have meant this as a warning of what would be the attitude of Delegates to a convention – as opposed to what he himself would do as a Delegate to a convention.
But the point is: We don’t want anyone “whacking away” at our Constitution – and Delegates to an Art. V convention would have the power to do just that….
By Publius Huldah
Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) sets forth our long forgotten Founding Principles that:
♦ All men are created equal.
♦ Rights come from God.
♦ People create governments to secure God-given rights. The first three words of our Constitution throw off the European model where political power originates with the State; and establish the new Principle that WE THE PEOPLE are the “pure, original fountain of all legitimate political authority” (Federalist No. 22, last sentence).
♦ When a government seeks to take away our God given rights, we have the right to alter, abolish, or throw off that Form of government.
These are the Principles which justified our Revolution against a King.
These are also the Principles which permit us today to throw off our Form of government by discarding our existing Constitution and replacing it with another one. This is why the language at Article V of our Constitution, which authorizes Congress to call a convention “for proposing amendments”, does not restrict Delegates to merely “proposing amendments”: Delegates are invested with that inherent pre-existing sovereign right, recognized in our Declaration, to abolish our existing Form of government (our Constitution) and propose a new Constitution.
This has happened once before in our Country. I’ll show you.
The Federal Convention of 1787: Federal and State Instructions to Delegates
“for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.
The Continental Congress authorized each of the then 13 States to appoint Delegates to the convention. Twelve of the States 1 appointed Delegates and instructed them to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation. 2
But the Delegates ignored the federal and State limitations and wrote a new Constitution (the one we have now is our second Constitution). Because of this inherent authority of Delegates, it is impossible to stop it from happening at a convention today (which will surely result in a third Constitution).
The Delegates to the 1787 convention also instituted an easier mode of ratification. Whereas Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation required approval of the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States before an amendment could be ratified; Article VII of the new Constitution provided that only 9 States were required for ratification of the new Constitution.
Why is an Article V Convention Dangerous?
So! Do you see? If we have a convention today, there is nothing to stop Delegates from proposing a third Constitution with its own new method of ratification.
New Constitutions are already prepared and waiting for a convention. Here are three:
♦ Fifty years ago, the Ford Foundation produced the Constitution for the Newstates of America. It is ratified by a referendum called by the President [Art 12, Sec. 1]. If we have a convention, and Delegates propose the Newstates Constitution, it doesn’t go to the States for ratification – it goes directly to the President to call a Referendum. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government. Read the Newstates Constitution and tremble for your country.
♦ The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA has a Constitution for The New Socialist Republic in North America. The text of their proposed constitution is HERE.
♦ The Constitution 2020 movement is funded by George Soros and supported by Marxist law professors and Marxist groups all over the Country, Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder. They want a Marxist Constitution and they want it in place by the year 2020. It further appears that Soros is funding much of the current push for an Article V convention.
Do you know about the North American Union (NAU)? During 2005, George W. Bush met on his ranch with the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Mexico and they sketched it out. The three countries merge and a Parliament is set up over them. HERE is the Task Force Report on the NAU by the Council of Foreign Relations – Heidi Cruz was on the Task Force which wrote this up. The United States will need a new Constitution wherein we surrender our sovereignty to the North American Union. People! If there is an Art. V convention, the Delegates can impose such a new Constitution with whatever mode of ratification will guarantee approval; and before you know it, we will be a Member State of the NAU.
Warnings from the Wise
Brilliant men have warned against an Article V convention. It is immoral to dismiss their warnings:
♦ Alexander Hamilton writes of “the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…” Federalist No. 85 (9th para); and that he “dreaded” the consequences of a new convention because he knows that there are powerful individuals in several States who are enemies to having any kind of general [federal] government. This could result in our losing the Constitution we have (No. 85, last para).
♦ James Madison writes in his Nov. 2, 1788 letter to Turberville that he “trembled” at the prospect of a second convention; and that an Article V Convention would give “the most violent partizans” and “individuals of insidious views” “a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric” of our Country.
In Federalist No. 49, Madison shows that the convention method is NOT GOOD to correct breaches of the federal constitution because the People aren’t philosophers – they follow what influential people tell them! And the very legislators who caused the problem would get themselves seats at the convention so they could control the outcome.
♦ Former US Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg reminds us in his Sep. 14, 1986 article in The Miami Herald, that at the convention of 1787, the delegates ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress and instead of proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation, wrote a new Constitution. He warns that “…any attempt at limiting the agenda [of the convention] would almost certainly be unenforceable.”
♦ Former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Berger warns in his June 1988 letter to Phyllis Schlafly that “there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention”; “After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda”; and “A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn…”
♦ Former US Supreme Court Justice Scalia said on April 17, 2014 at the beginning of this video:
“I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. I mean whoa. Who knows what would come out of that?”
Can State Laws Control Delegates?
Convention supporters say we don’t have to worry about any of the above because States can make laws controlling their Delegates.
Really? Alexander Hamilton and James Madison (father of our Constitution), opponents of the convention method of proposing amendments, didn’t know that. Two US Supreme Court Justices didn’t know that. They said there is no effective way to control the Delegates.
But in case you are uncertain as to who is telling you the Truth – and who isn’t – I will show you how easily State laws which pretend to control Delegates can be circumvented. Let’s use House Bill 148, recently filed in the New Hampshire Legislature, to illustrate this:
Section 20-C:2 I. of the New Hampshire bill says:
“No delegate from New Hampshire to the Article V convention shall have the authority to allow consideration, consider, or approve an unauthorized amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America.” [italics mine]
Section 20-C:1 V. of the bill defines “unauthorized amendment” as:
“any amendment outside the scope permitted by the Article V petition passed by the general court of New Hampshire”.
What is wrong with this?
♦ If the States already know what amendments they want, they should tell their State congressional delegations to propose them in Congress. This is the method James Madison used and always advised.
♦ New Hampshire Delegates can’t restrict Delegates from other States.
♦ It doesn’t prohibit New Hampshire Delegates from proposing or approving a new Constitution.
♦ It ignores the inherent sovereign authority of Delegates to throw off both their State governments and the federal government by proposing a new constitution with whatever new mode of ratification they want. Remember! Under the proposed Newstates Constitution, the States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.
♦ Delegates to an Article V convention are performing a federal function – they are not under the authority of the States.
♦ Article V of the US Constitution provides that Amendments will be proposed at the convention. Any state laws contrary to Article V must fall under the supremacy clause at Article VI, US Constitution.
Section 20-C:2 II. of the New Hampshire bill says:
“Any vote taken by a delegate from New Hampshire at the Article V convention in violation of paragraph I of this section shall be null and void. Any delegate making this vote shall be immediately disqualified from serving as a delegate to the Article V convention.”
What is wrong with this?
♦ What if the Delegates vote to keep their proceedings secret? At the federal convention on May 29, 1787, our Framers made rules restricting publications of their proceedings.
♦ What if the Delegates vote by secret ballot? As long as some vote “for” and others vote “against” every proposition, there is no way to tell who did what.
Section 20-C:2 III. of the New Hampshire bill says:
“Every delegate from New Hampshire to the Article V convention called for by the Article V petition shall be required to take the following oath:” “I do solemnly swear or affirm that to the best of my abilities, I will, as a delegate to the Article V convention, uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States and the state of New Hampshire. I will accept and will act according to the limits of the authority as a delegate granted to me by New Hampshire law, and I will not vote to consider or approve any unauthorized amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America. I understand and accept any penalties that may be imposed on me by New Hampshire law for violating this oath.” [boldface mine]
Does one need to comment on the efficacy of Oaths of Office in our degenerate times? Article II, §1, last clause, of our Constitution requires the President to take an Oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”; and Article VI, last clause, requires everyone in the federal and State governments to take an oath to obey the Constitution. Who today honors his Oath of Office?
Section 20-C:2 IV. of the New Hampshire bill says:
“Any delegate who violates the oath contained in paragraph III of this section shall be subject to the maximum criminal penalty under RSA 641:2.”
Any criminal defense attorney worth her salt can figure out how to get around this one:
♦ As shown above, if the proceedings of the convention are kept secret, or Delegates vote by secret ballot, one would never know if any one Delegate violated his oath. Defense counsel would get any attempted criminal prosecution of any particular Delegate dismissed at a pretrial hearing.
♦ Congress can pass a law granting immunity from prosecution to the Delegates.
♦ The Delegates can insert a clause in the new constitution granting themselves immunity from prosecution.
♦ If the new constitution abolishes the States, as does the Newstates Constitution, there is no State left to prosecute Delegates.
♦ The local prosecutor is the one who decides whether he will prosecute any criminal offense under his jurisdiction. Politics are a deciding factor in deciding whether to prosecute. Remember Eric Holder refused to prosecute Black Panthers who intimidated white voters at a polling place?
Do you see? James Madison, Justice Arthur Goldberg, and Justice Warren Burger were right: It is impossible to restrict the Delegates.
Everything to Lose, Nothing to Gain
If there is a convention today, George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you. Who will the Delegates be? You don’t know. Do you trust them?
Our Framers never said that when the federal [and State] government violate the Constitution, the remedy is to amend the Constitution they violate.
They never said the remedy is to file a lawsuit and let federal judges decide. They expected us to act as they did – with “manly firmness” 3 – and resist unconstitutional acts of the federal and state governments.
Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing” – it needs to be read and enforced by our votes; and failing that, by manly opposition – resistance – nullification.
1 Rhode Island boycotted the Convention.
2 Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation required approval of amendments by the Continental Congress and by every State.
HERE [from Farrand’s Records, vol. 3, Appendix B, p. 559-586] are the Credentials of the Delegates to the Federal Convention of 1787 and Instructions from their States. These Instructions encompassed:
♠ “alterations to the Federal Constitution which, when agreed to by Congress and the several States, would become effective“: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Georgia, S. Carolina, Maryland, & New Hampshire;
♠ “for the purpose of revising the Federal Constitution”: Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware, and Georgia;
♠ “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”: New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut;
♠ “provisions to make the Constitution of the federal Government adequate”: New Jersey.
3 The 7th paragraph of the Declaration of Independence says: “He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.” [boldface mine] PH
Published Feb 1, 2015
Revised July 9 &10, 2015; Oct 25, 2015; Jan 8, 2017
By Publius Huldah
This speech was presented to Campaign For Liberty – Memphis on March 24, 2014. It exposes some of the false claims made by those pushing for the so-called “convention of states”. 1
Below are hyperlinks to the exhibits referred to in the speech. Additional resources are also included.
The one page Chart which illustrates our Declaration, Constitution, and federal system is HERE.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report 2 cited in the speech was dated March 7, 2014. CRS’s revised Report, dated April 11, 2014, is HERE. The Report exposes as false the assurances that the States would be in control of a convention. The Report says:
“First, Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress…” (page 4)
“Second . . . Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including . . . (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates; (5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” (page 4) 3
“. . . [In previous bills filed in Congress] [a]pportionment of convention delegates among the states was generally set at the formula provided for the electoral college, with each state assigned a number equal to its combined Senate and House delegations. Some bills included the District of Columbia, assigning it three delegates, but others did not include the federal district. . .” (page 37; see also page 41)
“. . . A related question concerns vote allocation in an Article V Convention. Would delegates vote per capita, or would each state cast a single vote, during the convention’s deliberations, and on the final question of proposing amendments?. . .” [then follows a discussion of different views on this undecided issue] (page 41)
“Article V itself is silent on membership in an Article V Convention, so it is arguable that Congress, in summoning a convention to consider amendments, might choose to include the District of Columbia and U.S. territories as either full members at a convention, or possibly as observers. As noted previously, some versions of the Article V Convention procedures bills introduced in the late 20th century did provide for delegates representing the District of Columbia, although not for U.S. territories . . .” (page 42)
Page 40 of the Report shows there doesn’t seem to be any:
“. . . constitutional prohibition against [U.S.] Senators and Representatives serving as delegates to an Article V Convention. . . “
So! As the CRS Report states on page 27:
“In the final analysis, the question what sort of convention?” is not likely to be resolved unless or until the 34-state threshold has been crossed and a convention assembles.”
Do you see? But by then, it will be too late to stop it. HERE is former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger’s letter confirming this. 4
The text of the “parental rights” amendment is HERE. For two papers showing how Michael Farris’ proposed amendment delegates power over children to the federal and State governments, go HERE and, for the follow up paper, HERE.
To see how six of Mark Levin’s so-called “liberty amendments” do the opposite of what he claims, go HERE.
To see – on one page – proof of the original intents of the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, and “necessary and proper” clauses, go HERE.
The proponents of a convention portray the States as victims of federal tyranny. But the Truth is that the States voluntarily surrendered their retained powers, and the natural rights of The People, TO the federal government. And they did it for federal funds. Today, States get from 20% (Alaska) to 45.3% (Mississippi) of their State budgets from the federal government. State governments don’t want to rein in the feds! The people who run your State will do anything to keep their federal funds. HERE is the Pew Report.
Our Framers – those who actually signed the Constitution – NEVER said the purpose of amendments is to rein in the feds if they usurp powers. What they actually said is:
- amendments remedy defects in the Constitution (Hamilton at the federal convention on Sep. 10, 1787);
- useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para); and
- “amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.)
HERE are the Articles of Confederation. Note that Art. XIII required approval of amendments by every State.
HERE is the Resolution, made by the Continental Congress on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74), to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia:
“…for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.
HERE is James Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville. Copy it to word processing, make paragraph breaks, & highlight it. Madison NEVER supported the convention method of amending our Constitution.
HERE is Joe Wolverton’s article about the Socialists’ involvement in the push for a convention.
HERE is the Constitution for the Newstates of America. Article XII addresses ratification by a referendum called by the President. Read HERE about the proposed Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Read them and see what is being planned for you by people you think are on your side.
HERE is the screen shot of Jordan Sillars’ comment re re-writing the Constitution.
For Q’s & A’s on this issue, go HERE.
1 There is no such thing as a “convention of states” to propose amendments. The term is a marketing gimmick used by proponents of an Article V convention to manipulate people into believing that the States would control an Article V convention – from start to finish.
Article V, US Constitution, provides two methods for proposing amendments to the Constitution:
1. Congress proposes amendments and submits them to the States for ratification [the method we used for our existing 27 Amendments]; or
2. Congress calls a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments [for good reason, we have never used this method].
2 Even though we have never had an Article V convention; Congress has examined procedures for “calling” a convention so as to be ready if the need arises. The CRS Report proves that Congress has historically viewed its powers respecting “calling” a convention as exclusive and extensive. I thank Robert Brown for bringing the CRS Report to my attention.
3 The position Congress has historically taken in this regard is totally consistent with Article I, Sec. 8, last clause, which delegates to Congress power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the power vested in Congress at Art. V to “call” the convention.
4 Folks! For the sake of your Posterity, you must understand this: After a convention is convened, the delegates can do whatever they want – including coming up with an entirely new Constitution with its own new method of ratification. Chief Justice Burger wrote in his June 22, 1988 letter to Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly:
“… there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress “for the sole and express purpose. . .”
The federal convention of 1787, which was called by the Continental Congress “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”, should serve as a warning: The delegates to the 1787 convention ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress [and from their States]; ignored Art. XIII of the Articles of Confederation which required the States to obey Congress on matters covered by the Articles, and wrote an entirely NEW Constitution with a NEW method of ratification which required only 9 of the 13 States for ratification.
Credits: Many thanks to Devvy Kidd, Blue Tail Gadfly, and M. Craig Elachie, from whom I lifted the very best lines in the speech. PH
Posted October 11, 2014.
By Publius Huldah
For 100 years, the federal government has usurped powers not delegated to it in our Constitution.
What should we do about it? Should we reclaim our existing Constitution and put an end to the usurpations?
Or should we “modernize” the Constitution by changing it so as to delegate to the federal government the powers it has usurped – so as to legalize what is now unconstitutional?
Mark Levin begins “The Liberty Amendments” by saying he doesn’t believe the Constitution requires “modernization through amendments”. But he then proposes a series of amendments, six of which modernize our Constitution to delegate to the federal government most of the powers it has usurped during the last 100 years.
And each of his six amendments does the opposite of what its title promises. I’ll show you. 1
Levin’s amendment to “limit the federal bureaucracy” [p 99-100 of his book]
George Washington’s cabinet had four members: Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Treasury, and Attorney General. Those functions are authorized by our Constitution. 2
But today there are numerous agencies in the Executive Branch of the federal government. Where is the constitutional authority? What Article, Section, and Clause authorizes the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Labor, Transportation, HHS, HUD, DHS, EPA, SBA, etc., etc., etc.?
There is no constitutional authority! Accordingly, all these agencies are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated in our Constitution.
Well then, a person who wanted to “limit the federal bureaucracy” would demand that these agencies be closed, and their functions returned to the States and The People, right?
But Mark Levin doesn’t do this. Section 1 of his amendment legalizes all these agencies. It says:
“All federal departments and agencies shall expire if said departments and agencies are not individually reauthorized in stand-alone reauthorization bills every three years by a majority vote of the House of Representatives and the Senate.”
As long as Congress periodically “reauthorizes” the agencies – they remain.
Levin’s amendment thus changes the constitutional standard for whether an executive agency lawfully exists from whether it carries out an enumerated power [as in Washington’s Cabinet] to whatever the President wants and Congress agrees to. Do you see?
Now look at Section 2 of Levin’s amendment to “limit the federal bureaucracy”. It says:
“All Executive Branch regulations exceeding an economic burden of $100 million, as determined jointly by the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office, shall be submitted to a permanent Joint Committee of Congress, hereafter the Congressional Delegation Oversight Committee, for review and approval prior to their implementation.”
Article I, §1, of our Constitution says only Congress may make laws. 3 But since Woodrow Wilson, executive agencies in the federal government have been churning out regulations which govern all aspects of our lives. These comprise the now gigantic Code of Federal Regulations.
All these regulations are unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, §1! 4
Well then, one would expect that a person who wanted to “limit the federal bureaucracy” would demand the repeal of existing regulations and an end to all future rulemaking, right?
Not Levin! Section 2 of his amendment legalizes all existing regulations and the rule making process. Levin’s “fix” is merely to form a congressional committee to review certain regulations before they are imposed on the American People.
And so, federal executive agencies will continue to churn out millions of pages of regulations – but now, they will be constitutional because Levin’s amendment makes it all lawful.
Do you see? Levin’s amendment legalizes the status quo and does the opposite of what he claims.
Levin’s amendment “to limit federal spending” (p 73 -74)
Our Constitution limits federal spending to the enumerated powers. If you go through the Constitution and highlight the powers delegated to Congress or the President, you will have a complete list of the objects on which Congress may lawfully spend money. That is how our Framers controlled federal spending. It is the enumerated powers which limit spending – not the amount of revenue the federal government generates or the size of the GDP. Do you see?
The reason we have a crushing debt is because for 100 years, the federal government has ignored the limits – already set forth in the Constitution – on its spending.
Well then, a person who wanted to “limit federal spending” would demand that Congress begin to downsize the federal government and restrict spending to the enumerated powers, right?
But Levin doesn’t do this. Section 1 of his amendment legalizes all the spending which is now unconstitutional as outside the enumerated powers. It says:
“Congress shall adopt a preliminary fiscal year budget no later than the first Monday in May for the following fiscal year, and submit said budget to the President for consideration.”
Levin’s amendment thus legalizes the unconstitutional status quo where the President and Congress adopt a “budget” and spend money on whatever they put in the budget! Levin would permit Congress and the President to lawfully spend money on whatever they want – spending which is now unlawful because our Constitution doesn’t authorize it.
Furthermore, Levin’s amendment does nothing to control federal spending. While Sections 3 & 4 of his amendment pretend to limit spending to revenues or to a percentage of the GDP; Sections 6 & 7 permit Congress to suspend the spending limit and continue to raise the national debt. 5
Levin’s amendment “to limit federal taxing” (p 75)
Our Constitution doesn’t permit the federal government to levy taxes so that Congress and the President will have the funds to spend on whatever they want.
Congress may lawfully levy taxes only to raise the funds to carry out the enumerated powers. Article I, §8, clauses 1 & 2 say:
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States …” [and] “To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;”
Immediately after clauses 1 & 2 follows the list of enumerated powers we delegated to Congress for the Country at Large. 6
Add to this short list of enumerated powers, the “housekeeping powers” itemized elsewhere in the Constitution (e.g., the census); the salaries authorized by Art. I, §6, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, next to last clause; Art. III, §1, cl. 1, and others on the civil list; and you see the purposes for which Congress is authorized to levy and collect taxes, borrow money, and spend money, for the Country at Large. 7
So! Congress should not be levying taxes except to generate revenue for its constitutional functions. If Congress restricted its spending to those few powers delegated in the Constitution, the federal government would need very little money from us.
One would expect that a person who wants to “limit federal taxation” would demand that the federal government stop taxing to raise money to spend on unconstitutional purposes, right?
Not Levin! While his amendment limits the federal income tax to 15% of income – it institutionalizes the present practice where Congress lays & collects taxes for any purposes whatsoever. 8
Levin’s amendment “to protect private property” (p 137)
The federal government has no lawful authority to own land for any purpose other than those enumerated in the Constitution. Article I, §8, next to last clause, permits the federal government to have exclusive Legislative Jurisdiction over the District of Columbia [which was not to exceed “ten Miles square”], and Places purchased with the Consent of the State legislatures for the erection of forts, dock-Yards, and other needful buildings (e.g., federal courthouses, post offices) to carry out the enumerated powers. So the federal government may lawfully own buildings and lands which are purchased to carry out its enumerated powers.
The federal government has no lawful authority to own national parks, grazing areas, forests, and such, because those are not enumerated powers. 9
And the federal government has no lawful authority to restrict peoples’ use of their own land. Nowhere in our Constitution did we delegate that power to the federal government! Accordingly, all federal laws and regulations (EPA, etc.) which pretend to restrict an owner’s use of his land are unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated.
Furthermore, the States’ and local governments’ powers of eminent domain and other “takings” of private land are addressed in their own State Constitutions and laws. This is NOT a federal issue!
But Levin’s amendment “to protect private property” changes all of the above. It says:
“When any governmental entity acts not to secure a private property right against actions that injure property owners, but to take property for a public use from a property owner by actual seizure or through regulation, which taking results in a market value reduction of the property, interference with the use of the property, or a financial loss to the property owner exceeding $10,000, the government shall compensate fully said property owner for such losses.”
Changes the constitutional standard for federal ownership of lands from carrying out an enumerated power to whatever someone in the federal government deems a “public use” [which can be anything];
Legalizes what are now unconstitutional holdings of lands by the federal government – such as grazing lands;
Legalizes “takings” by regulation – restrictions via regulations on the use of private lands – by all levels of government;
Takes from the States and The People their retained powers over eminent domain and regulatory takings, and makes it a federal issue under the control of the federal government; 10 and
Provides that as long as a taking does not reduce the value of the property by more than $10,000, the governments don’t have to pay the property owner one red cent. So! If your local or State or federal government takes some of your land, or restrict its use by regulation, Levin’s amendment requires compensation to be paid if the “taking” exceeds $10,000. If the government decides that your loss is less than $10,000, you eat the loss. The amendment legalizes government theft of private property.
Levin’s amendment “to protect the vote” (p 183-184)
Before our Constitution was ratified, the States qualified & registered voters. Qualifications were set forth in their State Constitutions, and requirements differed from State to State. This power was expressly retained by the States with Art. I, §2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution. 11
The four voting amendments reduced this retained power of the States, and delegated to the federal government power to stop States from denying suffrage to citizens on account of race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), failure to pay a tax (24th Amendment), or age for citizens eighteen years of age or older (26th Amendment).
Except as restricted by these four amendments, the States retain their pre-existing power to set qualifications for registering citizens to vote, as long as they do not deny it on account of race, sex, failure to pay a tax, or age for those 18 years or more. States remain free to deny registration on other grounds – such as conviction of a felony or illiteracy. And of course, States retained power to restrict voting to citizens!
But the retained powers of the States to set voter qualifications for registration were diminished far beyond the scope of the amendments, due to usurpations by the federal government, and because the States forgot that they retained at Art. I, §2, cl. 1 most of their original power to qualify & register voters.
In Arizona’s Proposition 200: What The Constitution Really Says About Voter Qualifications & Exposing The “Elections Clause” Argument, I show how the federal government infringed upon the States’ retained powers over voter qualifications & registration; and how the two judges in that case wrongly ruled that Arizona could not require applicants for registration to provide proof of citizenship!
So! What should we do about non-citizens voting? Here is a novel idea: The States should man up and reclaim their powers retained by Art. I, §2, cl. 1; tell Eric Holder to take a hike; require all currently registered voters to provide proof of citizenship; and refuse to register new voters unless they provide proof of citizenship. Enforce the Constitution we have!
But Section 1 of Levin’s amendment “to protect the vote” says:
“Citizens in every state, territory, and the District of Columbia shall produce valid photographic identification documents demonstrating evidence of their citizenship, issued by the state government for the state in which the voter resides, as a requirement for registering to vote and voting in any primary or general election for President, Vice President, and members of Congress.”
Levin’s amendment (it has 5 Sections) rewards the federal government for unlawfully forbidding States from requiring applicants to prove they are citizens, by transferring more power over voter qualifications & registration to the federal government. 10
But Levin’s amendment does even more harm than vesting in the federal government a power it already usurped – it ushers in a national ID card. Who thinks the feds won’t dictate the contents of the card and keep copies? [Do you really think a national ID card is a great idea?]
To add insult to injury, Levin’s amendment doesn’t even prohibit non-citizens from voting – it merely requires citizens to get an ID card before they can register to vote. Non-citizens are not required to get ID cards. The supreme Court (which will now lawfully have judicial power over this issue) will decide whether aliens can vote.
Levin’s amendment “to promote free enterprise” (p 117)
In Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (11th &12th paras), Hamilton & Madison explain the original intent of the “interstate commerce” clause: It is to prohibit States from imposing tolls & tariffs on articles of merchandize as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling. Until the mid-1930’s, this was widely understood. Here is a full proof of the original intent of that clause and the story of how the supreme Court usurped power over interstate commerce.
The original intent of that clause is still the supreme Law of the Land! 12 So the States must man up and enforce that original intent. They must ignore – nullify – all pretended federal laws, regulations, and judicial opinions which are contrary to that original intent.
Levin’s amendment “to promote free enterprise” says:
“SECTION 1: Congress’ power to regulate Commerce is not a plenary grant of power to the federal government to regulate and control economic activity but a specific grant of power limited to preventing states from impeding commerce and trade between and among the several states.”
“SECTION 2: Congress’s power to regulate Commerce does not extend to activity within a state, whether or not it affects interstate commerce; nor does it extend to compelling an individual or entity to participate in commerce or trade.”
Section 1 broadens the powers of the federal government from prohibiting States from imposing tolls & tariffs on articles of merchandize as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling, to prohibiting the States from doing anything which “impedes” commerce and trade between and among the States.
Many things can be said to “impede” commerce and trade. And who will decide what “impedes” and what doesn’t “impede”? Five judges on the supreme Court.
Section 2 mentions two instances where Congress’ power to regulate Commerce does not extend. This is dangerous because of the legal maxim, Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius (the expression of one thing is the exclusion of the other).
Accordingly, Congress’ power to regulate commerce would extend to other instances. Which ones? We don’t know – the supreme Court will decide – on a case by case basis.
Levin’s amendments legalize – make constitutional – the very abuses they purport to correct, nullify the natural rights of the people, and fundamentally change the constitutional design.
Even though our Constitution is not being enforced, it still declares this federal government lawless! The true rule of law is still on our side, 13 but not for much longer if we foolishly allow our Constitution to be re-written.
P.S. added Nov. 10, 2015: Here, from Levin’s own website, is a list of “conservatives” who support Mark Levin’s proposed amendments. I suggest Americans STOP letting other people tell us who is a “conservative”. STOP blindly accepting other peoples’ words as Truth. Most of the time, most people don’t know what they are talking about – they are merely repeating what they have heard. But YOU can stop this in yourself, and you can help stop other people from doing it. Here is the link: http://www.marklevinshow.com/2014/03/17/the-liberty-amendments-in-paperback/
1 Telling the Truth about a person’s proposals isn’t “demonizing” him. People angrily reject valid criticism of Levin’s proposals because they have made an idol of him. If their loyalty were to Truth – instead of to their idol – they would want to be set straight.
2 Article II, §2, and:
Secretary of State: Art. I, §8, cl. 3
Secretary of Treasury: Art. I, §2, cl. 3; Art. I, §8, cl. 1; Art. I, §9, cl. 4-7; Art. VI, cl. 1
Secretary of War: Art. I, §8, clauses 11-14
Attorney General: Art. I, §8, cl. 6, 10 & 17; Art. III, §§2 & 3; Art. IV, §2, cl.2
3 Article I, §1, says: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…” [emphasis mine]
4 They are also unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government.
5 I explain the problems with “balanced budget” amendments here.
6 These are the enumerated powers over the Country at Large listed at Art. I, §8:
Clause 3: regulate “commerce” [For the Truth about the “commerce clause”, go here];
Clause 4: uniform laws on naturalization and bankruptcies;
Clause 5: coin money & regulate its value, and fix standard of weights & measures;
Clause 6: punish counterfeiting;
Clause 7: establish post offices & post roads;
Clause 8: issue patents & copyrights;
Clause 9: set up federal courts inferior to the supreme court;
Clause 10: punish piracies & felonies on the high seas and offenses against the Law of Nations;
Clauses 11-14: war, letters of marque & reprisal, Army & Navy, and rules for the military
Clause 15-16: the Militia.
7 The anti-federalists objected to Art. I, §8, cl. 1 & 2. They claimed:
“…the power ‘to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,’ amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.”
James Madison answered in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras) that clauses 1 & 2 permit Congress to levy taxes & borrow money only to carry out the enumerated powers! Madison said:
“Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it… But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? … Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning … is an absurdity…” [boldface mine]
So! Article I, §8, cl.1 is merely a “general expression”, the meaning of which is “ascertain[ed] and limit[ed]” by the clauses which “immediately follow” it. In other words, clauses 1 & 2 grant to Congress the power to raise money; and clauses 3-16 enumerate the objects on which Congress may appropriate the money so raised, thus limiting clauses 1 & 2. Do you see?
8 Levin’s amendment also corrects – on behalf of the feds – the following: When the 16th Amendment was ratified, “income” apparently didn’t include “wages”. Accordingly, it would be unconstitutional to force people to pay “income” taxes on “wages” – and such would thus be a proper object of nullification by States. But Levin’s amendment legalizes the status quo and rips this remedy from the States.
9 When our Constitution was ratified, the new federal government acquired (from its predecessor) the Western Territory (Federalist No. 7, 2nd & 3rd paras, and Federalist No. 43 at 5.) over which the new federal government was delegated, by Art. IV, §3, general legislative powers. As the Territory was broken up into new States, the general legislative powers would expire and sovereignty [except as to the few powers delegated exclusively to the new federal government] would be transferred to the new State.
10 Amendments to the Constitution generally increase the powers of the federal government: They usher in implementing federal statutes & executive agency regulations, and judicial power over the issue is transferred to the federal courts. Art. III, §2, cl.1, says, “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases … arising under this Constitution …” Do you really not see?
11 Article I, §2, cl. 1, says:
“The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.” [boldface mine]
So! Whoever votes in elections for their State House, is eligible to vote for members of the federal House of Representatives. See also Federalist No. 57 (5th para) & Federalist No. 52 (2nd para).
12 Article VI, cl. 2, the “supremacy clause”, states that only our Constitution, federal laws made “in Pursuance” of the Constitution, and Treaties made “under the Authority of the United States”, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. Supreme Court opinions are NEVER part of the supreme Law of the Land! But we have wrongly made them the only Law of our Land.
13 What is “the Rule of Law”? What is the Rule of Man?
Our Constitution is based on God’s model for civil government as set forth in the Bible. The foundational Principle of God’s model is that the civil authorities are under the law. God is The Lawmaker – the kings are to apply God’s Law:
Deut. 17:18-20: The king is to write out a copy of God’s Law. He is to have it by him and read from it all his life so that he may keep, observe, and apply it.
1 Kings 2:1-4: King David on his deathbed tells Solomon he must conform to God’s ways, and observe his statutes, commandments and judgments, as written in the Law of Moses.
The parallel in our Constitution is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law which the civil authorities are to obey. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines “constitution”:
“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.”
So our Constitution is the Standard by which the validity of all Acts of Congress, all acts of the Executive Branch, all judicial opinions, and all Treaties is measured and judged (Art. VI, cl. 2).
So law comes from a higher source than the civil authorities. The “Rule of Law” prevails when the civil authorities obey that higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution.
Tyrants, on the other hand, claim that they are the source of law. The Roman Caesars, Stalin, Hitler, the dictator of N. Korea and Obama all claim that their will is “law”. Consider Obama’s usurpatious executive orders and rules made by his executive agencies. This is the “Rule of Man” – when the civil authorities deny they are subject to a higher law (be it God’s Law or the Constitution), and hold that their will is “law”. Do you see? PH
revised Jan 10, 2016.
By Publius Huldah
The “Convention of States” (COS) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page contains 989 words – none of them true – except for these which appear in the first paragraph:
“The federal government is spending this country into the ground … It’s time American citizens took a stand and made a legitimate effort to curb the power … of the federal government.”
In my last paper, I showed how our Constitution itemizes what Congress is authorized to spend money on; and that we have a $17 trillion debt because everyone ignores the limits the Constitution places on Congress’ spending powers.
To curb the federal government, We must do things we have neglected for over 100 years: Reclaim our role as “the natural guardians of the Constitution”; 1 learn our Founding Principles & Documents; enforce them with nullification and by rejecting candidates who don’t know them by heart; stop relying on politicians to handle things; 2 reclaim personal responsibility; and get ready for a rocky road ahead.
But the “convention of states” conspirators 3 say the only solution is a convention to “propose amendments” to the Constitution. They tell lies about nullification – the one remedy our Framers actually advised when the feds usurp powers. They say our Constitution is the problem. They say it contains “loopholes and vague phraseology” which politicians exploit. They suggest the States are victims of federal tyranny; are the ones to “fix” our Constitution; and that the States call and control the convention. They say it is impossible for the convention to force a new Constitution down our throats. But I submit that is precisely what they intend to do.
Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for COS, let the cat out of the bag when he said:
“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution…” [boldface mine].
Contrary to what the conspirators say, there is no way to stop the convention from “running away”: All the delegates need do is come up with a new Constitution. It can provide for any method of ratification they want.
That is what happened in 1787 when the Continental Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. 4 The delegates ignored their instructions and wrote an entirely new Constitution with its own new method of ratification.
The Conspirators’ Campaign of Propaganda against The People
The conspirators’ claims spit in the Face of Facts and Reality. So how have they been able to convince people to believe their claims; and go along with their destructive scheme?
They are exploiting the ignorance and desperation of The People by manipulating them with propaganda. Their FAQ’s employ nine well known techniques of propaganda: 5
- Assume the Major Premise
- Appeal to Desperation
- Claim there is a Panacea
- Repetition for Emphasis
- The Big Lie
- Fabricated Legal Principles & Precedent [“Imaginary Evidence”]
- Exploit Wishful Thinking
- The Self-sell.
Assume the Major Premises
Throughout the FAQs, it is assumed that:
- The purpose of amendments is to control the federal government;
- Our Constitution is defective;
- That there is such a thing as a “convention of states” which States call and control;
- States will protect us from the federal government; and
- The federal government will obey amendments to the Constitution.
These are the five major assumptions upon which their scam is constructed. They don’t prove them – they know many will blindly accept them. Only thoughtful people examine assumptions.
But you can become a “thoughtful person” if you will start examining what you are told.
Their first major premise: The Truth is two (2) delegates at the Federal Convention of 1787 (Mason & Randolph) wanted States to be able to amend the Constitution without involvement of Congress. The conspirators’ crazy and dishonest claim that the purpose of amendments is to control the federal government is based on Mason’s & Randolph’s comments you can find here. Theirs was the minority view; Art. V provides for Congress’ involvement in both methods of amendment; and Mason & Randolph objected so much to our Constitution they refused to sign it.
Our Framers at the Federal Convention of 1787 understood that the purpose of amendments is to remedy defects in the Constitution [slavery]; and that the novelty and difficulty of what they were doing would require periodic revision [the 11th, 12th, & 27th amendments]. Hamilton said in Federalist No. 85 (13th para) that useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers”. Madison said in Federalist No. 43 (at 8.) that “useful alterations will be suggested by experience.”
People are deceived by the conspirators’ first premise because they don’t understand that our Constitution created a federal government of strictly limited and defined – enumerated – powers. Everything the feds have authority to do is itemized in our Constitution. Does our Constitution delegate to the feds power to ban incandescent light bulbs, determine portion sizes of school lunches, and force us into obamacare? No! So what do you do when the feds usurp powers over such objects? Amend the Constitution? Really? How would you amend the Constitution to fix such usurpations? Make an Amendment saying the feds can’t regulate light bulbs? And so on for every power they usurp?
It is crazy to say the purpose of amendments is to control the federal government. When the feds usurp powers not delegated, no amendment saying they can’t do what they did will restrain them. They violated the Constitution when they usurped the power in the first place!
Furthermore, the amendments they write don’t restrict the feds: Michael Farris’ “parental rights amendment” delegates power over children to the federal and state governments, and empowers judges to determine the extent of that power! One of Randy Barnett’s amendments gives the feds lawful power over “harmful emissions” [EPA now exercises usurped powers], and power “to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States” [read that again!]. Mark Levin’s amendments also increase the powers of the feds by legalizing powers they have usurped. His “override” amendments remove the Constitution as the standard of what is lawful and what is not, and substitute majority vote. Yet the conspirators say such amendments would curb the federal government!
But we must not be distracted by proposed amendments. Their amendments are most likely a pretext to get a “convention” so they can carry out their plot to replace our Constitution.
Their second major premise: Our Constitution is the cause of our problems.
Except for some of the existing Amendments Americans already got manipulated into supporting, what is wrong with our Constitution? For the most part, it is easy to understand. For phrases federal judges have perverted – such as the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, & “necessary and proper” clauses, a quick look into The Federalist Papers usually reveals the original intent. I illustrate that here.
This one page chart illustrates the structure of our federal system and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government. What needs “fixing”? We are in our present mess because for 100 years, we elected & re-elected politicians to federal and state office who ignore it.
All our Constitution wants is (1) to be learned & obeyed; and (2) to have repealed some of the existing Amendments. Repeal those the same way we repealed the 18th Amendment. We don’t need a “convention” for that. Instead of sending ignorant phonies to Congress; send people who know the Constitution [make them pass tests before you support them] and commit to repealing the 17th Amendment and other ill-considered Amendments.
Their third major premise: That there is such a thing as a “convention of states”: The FAQs say “Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution” gives state legislatures the power to call a convention; that Federalist No. 85 says Congress has “no control over the delegates”; that “Virginia called the Philadelphia Convention of 1787”; and that “Basic common sense” and “Agency law 101” says “Each state chooses its own delegates”.
Those claims are truly bizarre.
Read Art. V: There is no “Section 2”. Article V says Congress calls the convention – not state legislatures. All state legislatures can do is apply to Congress for Congress to call it.
Federalist No. 85 says Congress must call a convention when two-thirds of the States apply for it. Hamilton does not say Congress has “no control over the delegates”! 6
Virginia did not “call” the Philadelphia Convention of 1787! The Continental Congress did. Their Resolution calling the 1787 convention, pursuant to Art. 13 of The Articles of Confederation, is quoted at endnote 4. And when the Continental Congress called the 1787 convention, they specifically provided that delegates would be appointed by the States. 4
But Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause, of our Constitution delegates to Congress power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out the powers vested in it by Art. V. So Congress has the power to organize the convention, appoint the chairman and delegates, etc. The Mason & Randolph view was rejected. And the clear words of our Constitution cannot be changed by some ignorant person’s subjective conceptions of “common sense” and “Agency law 101”!
Their fourth major premise: That States are victims of federal tyranny and will rein in the federal government given the opportunity at a convention.
But look at what States have done. They have acquiesced in federal usurpations in exchange for federal funds. The States adopted unconstitutional federal education schemes such as “race to the top” and common core for the federal grant money.
DHS is becoming America’s equivalent of the East German STASI and Soviet KGB. With the connivance of State governments, DHS is taking over local & State law enforcement. And read about the fusion centers in every State – the States acquiesced!
John Barnes shows that State governments no longer focus on managing “a relatively self-contained polis”, but on “siphoning as much money as possible from the federal government”; and that “state government is becoming a mere pass-through for federal funds and an apparatus of federal policy.” Barnes shows us how State governments all over the Country are bloated with bureaucrats whose job is to “maximize federal funding”.
Google “maximize federal funding” – you will see. No rational person can believe that the politicians in the States – who are the ones who sold us to the feds in the first place – are the ones to rescue us from the feds. If the States wanted to, they could rein in the feds right now by using the remedy our Framers really did advise: Nullification.
Their fifth major premise: That the federal government will obey amendments.
But think! The feds continually violate the Constitution we have. They exercise thousands of usurped powers.
The conspirators insist the feds would obey future amendments because the feds haven’t violated recent amendments, such as women’s suffrage. Well, of course not! Of the 15 amendments ratified since the 12th in 1804; 10 increased the powers of the feds (13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th); 7 and 4 were “housekeeping” amendments (20th, 22nd, 25th, 27th).
Do you see?
Appeal to Desperation
The gist of this propaganda technique is to argue that we must do something – we can’t do nothing – so let’s do what I propose. And we better do it “before it is too late”.
Many Americans are in a panic over the rapidity with which Obama – with the connivance of the Republican and Democrat parties and the State governments – is setting up a national totalitarian police state.
But we mustn’t allow the conspirators to exploit our desperation so as to induce us into surrendering our Constitution. All Americans who have fallen for the conspirators’ scam have been manipulated by THIS technique.
We have effective options. We have failed to gain the knowledge which would enable us to be the Sovereigns we are supposed to be. We have contented ourselves with blind faith in talk show hosts, politicians, and other charlatans. We are what needs fixing.
Claim there is a Panacea
With this, you claim that what you are offering is a magical cure for all the problems.
The conspirators say all we have to do to fix our problems is have a “convention of states”. They say they will propose amendments to the Constitution, and the federal government will be “fixed”. They ignore the facts that everyone has ignored the Constitution we have; that it was the States who sold us out in the first place; and that We The People kept reelecting ignorant & glib politicians who violate the Constitution to state & federal office.
There is no such thing as a panacea. We have a long road ahead of us to fix the problems We caused by our own folly, ignorance, and laziness.
Repetition for Emphasis
With this, you drive home a few simple and unproven points by repeating them over and over until the public believes them.
The five major premises listed above are repeated over & over & over & over & over. People believe them because they have been programed to believe them.
Orange quotes Adolf Hitler:
“It [propaganda] must repeat those points over and over again until the public believes it. The principles behind propaganda are the same principles of mind control, hypnotic suggestion, and mental programming: distraction and repetition. With propaganda, distraction draws attention away from information that is true and directs attention to information that is false. Repetition of the false information imbeds it in your subconscious mind so that your acceptance of its truth becomes a conditioned response. You accept this information as true without thinking whenever it is presented to you again.”
This is why most of mankind has lived under tyranny. People will believe anything if they hear it enough. Folks! You better start facing Reality and taking charge of what you believe.
The Big Lie
The gist of this is to:
“…keep repeating the same lie[s] over and over, in spite of all arguments and evidence to the contrary, until people believe it. Massive repetition is essential.”
It has already been proved by this and other writers that everything the conspirators say about nullification and a “convention” is false. But they keep repeating it. Why? Because massive repetition of lies will induce people to believe them.
Fabricated Legal Principles & Precedent [“Imaginary Evidence”]
The FAQs make various assertions about how this “convention of states” would operate, such as:
- “The applications must request a convention of states for the same subject matter” or “same issue”;
- “States are free to develop their own selection process for choosing their delegates… each state has one vote at the convention.”
The FAQs say this reflects “widely accepted” “procedures and rules” Rob Natelson found during his “extensive research”, which were followed in the “interstate conventions” which “were common” during “the Founding Era”.
Folks! If these customs existed and established binding precedent on the Congress we created when we ratified our Constitution, why did James Madison not know about them? During the Federal Convention of 1787, Madison said, respecting Article V:
September 10, 1787: Mr. Madison remarked on the vagueness of the terms, “call a Convention for the purpose”, as sufficient reason for reconsidering the article. “How was a Convention to be formed? – by what rule decide? – what the force of its acts?”
September 15, 1787: Mr. Madison did not see why Congress would not be as much bound to propose amendments applied for by two-thirds of the States, as to call a Convention on the like application. He saw no objection, however, against providing for a Convention for the purpose of amendments, except only that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, &c., which in constitutional regulations ought to be as much as possible avoided.
Do you see? And don’t forget: Article V says Congress calls the convention; and Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause, delegates to Congress power to make laws needed to execute the powers vested in it by Article V. This constitutional provision supersedes any “customs” to the contrary.
The gist of this technique is to:
“Reduce the issue to a few simple sentences that any blithering idiot can understand. Leave out all the complicated facts and confounding factors. Reduce the debate to just a few simple-minded sentences and slogans. Reduce complex multi-faceted issues to simplistic statements that can be expressed in a short sound bite.”
Aren’t the FAQs a few simple concepts any blithering idiot can understand?
It is this and other writers who point out the “complicated facts”. Are we too stupid to be free?
Exploit Wishful Thinking
With this technique, you tell people what they want to hear, rather than the unpleasant truths.
The conspirators are offering an easy way out which satisfies a deep yearning: to feel good. We don’t have to accept responsibility for our own failures to become a “natural guardian of the Constitution”; we are encouraged to blame shift and see the Constitution as the cause of our problems; and we don’t have to trouble ourselves to actually learn our Founding Principles & Documents. All we have to do is join the conspirators. And then, everything will be wonderful.
This technique gets people to convince themselves of your ideas by asking for their help in promoting your ideas. “They will sell themselves on the idea as they try to sell it to others.”
Orange gives this example of the Self-sell: In “Cold Turkey”, Dick Van Dyke plays a preacher who wants everyone in his town to quit smoking. He got the local Neo-Nazis to quit by enlisting them as “smoking-ban enforcers”.
The conspirators want to build a “grassroots operation” of volunteers to sell their scheme to State legislators [the ones who already sold us to the feds for federal funds.] And we have seen these volunteers’ mindless comments on the internet as they regurgitate the talking points in the FAQs – they sell themselves as they try to sell to others. 8
You better wise up now. Study this chart. Flesh it out with your readings of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Have study groups. What Hamilton asked you to be is not difficult.
1 Our Framers never saw courts as the final authority. See James Madison Rebukes Nullification Deniers. Hamilton expected us to be “a people enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para).
2 Politicians are as ignorant as those who elect them. But we want a savior who will rescue us without any effort on our part. So we look to politicians to save us. They always betray us; and we are presented with still another phony who says what we want to hear, whom we support, and who betrays us. This happens because we don’t know our Constitution, and thus can’t evaluate the politicians. If WE knew our Constitution, those smooth-talking ignoramuses wouldn’t have a chance of getting elected. You would see right through them.
3 Progressives & phony “conservatives” have worked hand in hand for many years to replace our Constitution. See Richard D. Fry, “Convention of States”: The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem.
4 The conspirators tell the brazen lie that the convention “cannot throw out the Constitution because it derives its authority from the Constitution.” Rubbish! Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74):
“Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.” [emphasis mine]
The delegates ignored these limitations and wrote a new Constitution with a new method of ratification. It is impossible to stop this from happening at another convention. And George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there.
The conspirators also say a “Constitutional Convention” is safe because no amendment will be passed which is not ratified by ¾ of the States. This is deceptive because the concern is about a runaway convention & a new Constitution – not amendments. Since a new Constitution can have any method of ratification the delegates want, it can be forced on us.
5 See Propaganda and Debating Techniques by A. Orange. Orange is a “librul”, and on a vendetta against AA. But he understands how scoundrels use propaganda to deceive the unthinking. See how Adolf Hitler used these same techniques to manipulate the German People.
6 I addressed this same lie in “Mark Levin Refuted: Keep the Feds in Check with Nullification, not Amendments!” under the subheading, “What Levin Claims Article V Says”. Congress’ lack of discretion is limited to the issue of “to call or not to call” a convention once the requisite number of States has applied for it. After Congress “calls” the convention, Art. I, Sec. 8, last clause kicks in to empower Congress to make all laws necessary to carry out the call.
7 The result of the voting amendments (15th, 19th, 24th, 26th)was to transfer the power of determining voter qualifications from the States (Art. I, Sec. 2, cl.1) to the federal government.
It was necessary to amend the Constitution to remedy the defects which permitted slavery; but the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments delegated powers over the States to the federal government. It would have been better to merely repeal the provisions at Art. I, Sec. 2, cl.3 which provided for a partial counting of slaves; and Art. IV, Sec. 2, cl. 3 which permitted Congress to make laws against fugitive slaves. And if the States had been wise instead of foolish, they would have banned slavery and extended citizenship & civil rights to freed slaves on their own, and provided the education to help them make the transition from slave to citizen. Stupidity and wickedness are not cheap, Folks. And Amendments are a very tricky business.
8 There is nothing wrong with asking others to help promote ideas – when the ideas are True and Good. But when the ideas are destructive and false, the self-sell is immoral manipulation. PH
January 28, 2014
The “Convention of States” Scam, the War over the Constitution, and how the States Sold the Reserved Powers to the Feds.
By Publius Huldah
Our Constitution is a glorious document. This one page chart depicts the Structure of the federal government we created when we ratified our Constitution; and lists the “limited & enumerated powers” we delegated to the federal government over the Country at Large.
In a nutshell, our Constitution authorizes the federal government to handle the following objects for the Country at Large:
- Military defense, international commerce & relations;
- Control immigration & naturalization of new citizens;
- Domestically, to create a uniform commercial system: weights & measures, patents & copyrights, money based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & some road building; and
- With some of the amendments, secure certain civil rights.
Basically, that’s it. As stated in the 10th Amendment, all others powers are reserved by the States or The People.
But for 100 years, almost everyone in our Country has ignored our Constitution. Thus, instead of restricting spending to the enumerated objects of its powers, the people WE send to Congress spend money on what anybody wants – and so gave us a debt of $17 trillion. Instead of restricting lawmaking to the enumerated objects of its powers, the people WE send to Congress make laws on whatever they like. The President WE elected tramples all over the Constitution; and due to the connivance, cowardice, and ignorance of Congress, the supreme Court, State governments, and the American People, is seizing totalitarian power.
WE are in terrible trouble.
And it is the phony right wing which is seducing the American People into taking the final jump off the cliff.
“We all know that our government is way off track. The debt is astronomical and is going to cripple not only our own freedom and our own economy, but our children and our grandchildren are going to be effectively slaves, paying for all the things that we’re spending money on today.”
That part of his video is true.
But the purpose of their spiels is to make you believe they are on your side. You must look behind the spiels and think carefully about what they are proposing as “solutions”. Much is at stake:
THIS IS THE WAR over our Constitution and Country. And here are the two sides:
Learn & Enforce our Existing Constitution!
One side proposes that we learn & enforce our existing Constitution of limited & enumerated powers. We show that our Framers advised us to enforce our Constitution by (1) electing better representatives to annul the acts of the usurpers, 2 or by (2) nullification of unconstitutional acts.
To illustrate: What would our Country’s financial condition be if WE THE PEOPLE had enforced the enumerated powers on Congress?
It is the enumerated powers which list the objects on which Congress may appropriate funds:
- immigration office (Art. I, §8, cl.4)
- mint (Art. I, §8, cl. 5)
- Attorney General (Art. I, §8, cl. 6)
- post offices & post roads (Art. I, §8, cl. 7)
- patent & copyright office (Art. I, §8, cl. 8)
- federal courts (Art. I, §8, cl. 9)
- military (Art. I, §8, cls. 11-16)
- the civil list (Art. I, §6, cl.1)
- [and other objects listed in various other articles, sections, &clauses]
Do you get the idea? The Constitution itemizes what Congress is permitted to spend money on. See also the two geographical areas over which Congress was delegated “general legislative powers”: Art. I, §8, next to last clause, & Art. IV, §3, cl. 2.
The reason we have a debt of $17 trillion is because everyone ignored the Constitution; so Congress spent money on objects outside the scope of its enumerated powers.
Amend Away our Existing Constitution?
But the Randy Barnett 3/ Rob Natelson/ Michael Farris/ Mark Levin camp want a “convention” so they can gut our existing Constitution by amending out the limited & enumerated powers with new amendments which grant general powers to the federal government; or they seek to re-write the Constitution altogether.
Here are illustrations of how the limited & enumerated powers can be amended out of our Constitution:
It has already been shown how the so-called balanced budget amendment would transform our Constitution from one of enumerated spending powers to one of general spending powers, where spending would be limited only by the amount of revenue the federal government generates or a certain percentage of the GDP. 4 But under our existing Constitution, the federal government’s expenditures are limited by the constitutional grants of authority – the enumerated powers. The problem is everyone ignores the enumerated powers – they never even bothered to learn what they are!
Here is another illustration: Michael Farris, the grand master of The Spiel, has managed to convince many parents that the only way to protect their parental rights is an amendment to the Constitution which delegates to the federal and State governments constitutional power over their children!
And Mark Levin’s suggested amendments would gut our Constitution. Most increase the powers of the federal government by making constitutional what is now unconstitutional because it is not an enumerated power. The amendments pertaining to “overrides” undermine the Constitution as the objective standard of what is lawful and what is not – and substitute majority vote therefor. These “overrides” would erase the Constitution and replace it with majority (mob) rule.
Or is “re-writing the Constitution” their actual goal?
Farris says in the video:
“…sometimes what you need is not a change of personnel, you need a change of structure. The Founders understood the importance of structure…”
Does that give you cold chills?
How does Farris seek to change the structure?
Please – all of you – look at this one page chart which depicts The Structure of the federal government our Framers gave us: What needs changing? Isn’t enforcement what we need?
Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for Farris’ Convention of States Project, let the cat out of the bag:
On September 15, 2013, a discussion on my Face Book page was started about Mark Levin’s clamoring for a “convention of states”.
On or before September 19, Jordon Sillars posted a comment wherein he said:
“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution…” [boldface mine].
On September 19 at 1:20 p.m., I responded:
“So, this really is about “re-writing the Constitution”, isn’t it?
And could you name these individuals who are “morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution”?”
Sillars thereafter deleted his comments, but not before I obtained a screen shot of his quoted comment which you can see here.
Why did he delete his comments?
Now let’s look more at what Farris says in his video:
The False Statements & Silly Arguments of the Proponents of a “convention of States”
1. After his introduction about the $17 trillion debt, Farris goes on to say:
“The States have the power under Article V to call a convention of the States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution…”
His statement is false.
The Truth is the States have no authority to call the convention. That power is delegated to Congress. Article V says:
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…” [emphasis mine]
Congress calls it. Not the States.
Furthermore, Dr. Edwin Vieira has pointed out:
‘The language “shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments” sets out a constitution duty in Congress. It embraces a constitutional power as well. That brings into play Article I, Section 8, Clause 18, which delegates to Congress the power “[t]o make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers [that is, in Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1 through 17], and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof”. The power to “call a Convention for proposing Amendments” is one of those “all other Powers”. Therefore, pursuant to that power, Congress may enact whatever “Law[ ] which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the * * * Power [to call a Convention]’.
So! Since Article V vests in Congress the power to call the convention; and since Article I, §8, last clause, vests in Congress the power to make all laws necessary & proper to execute its delegated powers; 5 Congress would be within its constitutional authority to organize the Convention anyway it wants, and to appoint whomsoever it wishes as delegates. 6
Now look at this: The chart on Article V shows that James Madison, Father of our Constitution, remarked on the vagueness of the term, “call a Convention for the purpose”:
“How was a Convention to be formed? – by what rule decide? – what the force of its acts?” (Sep. 10); and “difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, &c., which in constitutional regulations ought to be as much as possible avoided” (Sep. 15, 1787).
Phyllis Schlafly also raised Twenty Questions about a Constitutional Convention.
Congress, pursuant to Article V and Article I, §8, last clause, has the constitutional power to answer all these questions by means of a law.
Folks! The Farris/Natelson/ Levin camp is not telling you the truth when they say the States decide these issues!
2. Farris then says in his video:
“…in Article V of the Constitution [the Founding Fathers] gave us the solution…”
“…they gave the power to the States to create a new set of rules when the federal government overstepped its boundaries. We can recalibrate the rules to take power away from Washington D.C. and give it back to the people and to the States.”
His statements are both false and silly.
Here is the false part of what he said:
It was not the consensus at the Federal Convention of 1787 that the purpose of Article V was so States could make amendments to the Constitution in order to take power away from a federal government which had usurped power by violating the Constitution.
This chart shows what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 re development of Article V.
Two delegates (Randolph & Mason, who didn’t sign the Constitution) supported the notion that amendments might be used if the national government should become oppressive. And they didn’t want Congress to have any power over amendment procedures. Their view was the minority view.
Other delegates (Gov. Morris, Hamilton & Madison) thought Congress ought to be able to propose amendments. One delegate (Mr. Gerry) worried about States obtaining a convention and binding the Union to innovations which subverted State Constitutions. Hamilton spoke of amendments to correct defects which would probably appear in the Constitution.
So the final version of Article V provides two methods of proposing amendments to the Constitution. Congress either:
- Proposes the amendments; or
- “Calls” a convention when the Legislatures of 2/3 of the States apply for it. [Now see Art. I, §8, last clause.]
Now for the silly parts of what Farris said (and there are two silly parts):
3. Farris tells us the solution to a federal government which “overstep[s] its boundaries” [violates the Constitution] is to amend the Constitution.
He proposes “to take power away from Washington D.C.” [power the federal government has usurped] by “recalibrate[ing] the rules”.
In other words, the solution to a federal government which violates the Constitution is to amend the Constitution.
Do you see how silly this is?
4. Farris and his camp also imply that the States are victims of federal tyranny, and are the virtuous & wise ones who can fix our Country if they can just get a convention to propose amendments.
But the States are the ones who sold you out to the federal government in the first place! I’ll show you:
The 10th Amendment says:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”.
What happened to these reserved powers?
The States sold them to the federal government.
Let’s use education as an illustration of how the States sold to the federal government your reserved power to educate your own children in the way you see fit.
The Creator God who, as recognized by our Declaration of Independence, endowed us with unalienable rights; assigned to parents the responsibility to provide for the education & moral instruction of their children: Proverbs 1:8-9, 6:20-21, 13:1, 22:6 & 23:19-22; Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 4:9-10 & 6:1-7; Ephesians 6:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:5 & 3:15-17.
Is “education” one of the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government for the Country at large? No. So the federal government has no constitutional authority to get involved. Accordingly, all acts of Congress pertaining to education for the Country at Large, the federal Department of Education, and all their rules & programs are unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated to the federal government.
So why does the federal government dictate all things respecting education?
Because your States sold your God-given responsibility to educate your own children – and your reserved power to do so – to the federal government. This has been going on for a long time; but most recently your State sold you out for federal grants with the federal government’s “race to the top” and “common core” schemes. 7
You have to be ignorant, unthinking, & gullible – a greenhorn – to believe that The States are the men in the white hats who can fix all this with a convention to propose amendments.
The federal government is not the problem – it is the result of our own ignorance, pride and folly.
WE THE PEOPLE, who are “the natural guardians of the Constitution” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para) didn’t trouble ourselves to learn the enumerated powers of Congress and the President. Do you know them?
I ask my Readers who have been supporting the “convention of States” scheme: Have you studied our Founding Principles set forth in The Declaration of Independence? Have you studied the text of the Constitution so that you know what it says?
If not, how are you qualified to know how to “fix” a Constitution you never learned?
Are you willing to stake your lives & liberties, and those of your progeny, on whether those in the Barnett/Natelson/Farris/ Levin camp (1) know what they are talking about, and (2) are telling the truth?
Why? Because you like them? Because they provide a scapegoat which permits you to blame-shift? And you think you can “get even”?
Wise voices in this Country are warning you about the scam. Foremost among them is Phyllis Schlafly, who has been warning of this danger for decades. Yet, such is the ignorant conceit of the greenhorns that they sneer at those who are warning them.
I trust you now see the connection between the moral corruption of a People and tyranny.
1 Use your own head! Do not be manipulated by other peoples’ choice of words. Rob Natelson formerly referred to what he wants as a “constitutional convention”. Now, he calls it a “Convention of the States” – that is the term his cohorts & minions now use. Why did they change what they called it?
2 But our elections are no longer honest. The States took federal grant money to buy voting machines which can be rigged.
3 Randy Barnett’s “Bill of Federalism” is ten proposed amendments which would transform our Constitution from one of enumerated powers to one of general & unlimited powers. Mark Levin’s proposed amendments are similar to Barnett’s.
4 The GDP is computed by an agency in the Executive Branch. So under the BBA, spending would be limited by numbers under the control of the federal government: By how much they tax you; or by a number (GDP) the Executive Branch computes. You think that is a fine idea?
5 The Federalist Papers tell us what the “necessary & proper” clause (Art. I, §8, last clause) means: The clause delegates to Congress power to pass all laws necessary & proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary & proper for the execution of that power (Federalist No. 33, 4th para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article” (Federalist No. 33, 2nd para); and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a tautology or redundancy. (Federalist No. 33, 4th para). See also Federalist No. 44, 10th -17th paras. In other words, the clause permits the execution of powers already declared and granted.
Do not be misled by Rob Natelson’s post on the “necessary & proper” clause! Why did Natelson ignore what The Federalist Papers say about this clause? Why did he fabricate the song & dance set forth in his post?
6 Think this through also: Even if Congress, as a matter of grace, permitted the States to appoint delegates, how would delegates from your State be chosen? Who controls your State? Would the powers in your State choose you? Or do you believe Michael Farris would choose the leaders?
7 This happened in your State because The People in your State elected to State government people who sold you out. See this website on federal grants: http://www.ffis.org/database You think your State Legislators, who have been gobbling up all the federal grant money they can get, will fix our Country at a “convention” to propose amendments? PH.