Con-Con Common Sense – The John Birch Society – 7 answered questions
(added January 29, 2015)
The John Birch Society, a staunch opponent of Article V or any attempt to overtly make an attempt to fix what is wrong with our country, has offered 7 questions which they have answered in a unique way to demonstrate why Article V and any amendments will not fix the problem.
Well I have also answered their questions, but in an honest and forthright manner.
Source: Con-Con Common Sense
By: JBS Staff
John Birch Society Questions:
1. Do the Congress, the President, or the Supreme Court follow the Constitution?
JBS answer: It is obvious that none of the three branches of the government follow the Constitution unless it is in the interest of the branch to do so, not simply because it is the Law. The original intent of the Constitution was to limit government, not individual, business, or property rights. This aspect has been set on its ear with laws, executive orders, regulations, and court decisions handed down on an almost daily basis. The original intent as well as the letter of the Law is being ignored.
Ken Moyes answer: The three branches of government conveniently follow the Constitution, as long as they can interpret it to meet their needs and desires. This occurs because there is no longer a firewall provided by the States to prevent abuse of the Constitution either through blatant action or by misrepresenting interpretation. The Constitution was written with a horizontal balance, the three branches, and a vertical balance, the States, via control of the Senate. The critical vertical balance was removed with the seventeenth amendment. Thus creating the mess we have today. Fix the power of the States and you go a long way toward policing the federal government branches.
2. If the Constitution were amended for the better, why would the three branches follow the Constitution any more faithfully than now?
JBS answer: There is little chance that any part of government would follow an amendment or a revised Constitution if it was not in their interest to do so — they are not following the Law now. It is similar to saying that if we change the speed limit that people will not speed or if we change the time of day we will gain more hours. The people have to be changed who are in government in order for there to be a real change. This includes the bureaucracies and court justices.
Ken Moyes answer: If the Constitution were amended in a simplistic way, the three branches would not more faithfully follow the Constitution. The trick is amending it in a way that provides obstacles to abuse and misrepresentation, such as better defining the Commerce Clause and/or restoring States’ Rights and the clear ability for the majority of States, taken as a whole, to reject laws, regulation, executive orders, presidential memorandum, and Supreme Court decisions. Call it the tenth amendment on steroids or whatever description works. Repeal the seventeenth amendment or create a new mechanism to reinstate the vertical balance that originally existed – this could even be codified nullification or the Jeffersonian term for nullification “Interposition”.
3. Is the problem the Constitution, or is it the voters who elect those who are supposed to follow the Constitution and do not?
JBS answer: The root problem with the various branches of government is not the government but the people who elect the government. Government is always reflective of the society that instituted the government and maintains it. If the people do not change, government will not change no matter what amendments are forthcoming to the Constitution. Conversely, if society changes for the worse, the government will change to reflect it. The solution is a grassroots educational campaign to educate and then activate citizens to uphold the Constitution and vote accordingly.
Ken Moyes answer: By nature elected politicians will seek more power and will opt for power over the restraints of the Constitution. The founders knew this and designed the Constitution to control the growth of the federal government.
Two “progressive” amendments as commonly referred to, of 1913, were designed to remove the states from the control of the federal government and to give the federal government the ability to grow to the behemoth it is today.
The sixteenth amendment, giving the federal government the power to progressively tax, has enabled the federal government to become supremely powerful, again destroying the vertical balance that the founders originally created.
The seventeenth amendment stripped the states of their vertical power and has allowed the federal government, all three branches, to runaway unchecked by the vertical power of the States.
There were other amendments called the progressive amendments, but they did not have the devastating effect of the sixteenth and seventeenth on the future of this nation.
4. Can a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) work if its provisions can be waived by Congress for various emergencies such as military conflicts, high unemployment, poor economy, etc.?
JBS answer: Most BBA proposals include a provision for Congress to waive their provisions for a balanced budget whenever three-fifths of each House agrees to do so, or whenever a simple majority of each House agrees that there is an emergency, such as a military conflict, high unemployment, a poor economy, etc. The solution to balancing the budget is electing people who know how to balance the budget and will do so because it is the right thing to do. The caliber of people elected now will find ways to get around any balanced budget amendment, unless the amendment is longer than the Constitution itself, and that is assuming it would be followed to the letter.
Ken Moyes answer: The answer is it cannot work, based on the premise of the question. However, a current BBA proposal anticipates these excuses and defeats it. Under this structured approach – how the amendment is written – is the key to adherence. Under the current proposal the majority of States must ratify the new debt ceiling within sixty days or it fails. The Congress can only raise taxes, assuming time of emergency, with two thirds vote of the whole number of members of each house of the Congress. This is not easily accomplished, unless there was a national emergency. We apparently have not elected the “correct” people in the last 100 years – why will we start now. JBS should know this.
In addition, if the majority of States do not agree to the new debt ceiling within sixty days, any debt issued in excess of the old debt limit without said States’ approval will not have the full faith and credit of the United States behind it and thus will be considered junk by the credit markets. Any future president or Congress could simply refuse to honor the illegal debt and the lender to the United States holding illegal debt will be out of luck. Illegal debt has no value. This current BBA language self-enforces using the credit markets. Thus this method will most certainly work.
5. Can a BBA work if the Federal Reserve is allowed to continue to print money out of thin air?
JBS answer: Without discussing the role of the Federal Reserve and curtailing its ability to simply print money, any balanced budget proposal will fail. The Fed has an uncanny ability to manipulate procedures and move money around to avoid oversight.
Ken Moyes answer: The current method for the Federal reserve to inject printed, electronic or fiat money into the economy is to have the banks buy Treasury Notes or Bonds and then the “Fed” buys these notes and bonds from the banks using the new printed, electronic, or fiat money. This method must be used because it is illegal for the Federal Reserve to directly buy federal debt. If the federal government is restricted by the proposed language of the BBA, then there will be no legal debt to buy. Since the Federal Reserve is not authorized under the enumerated powers of the federal government in the Constitution, an amendment can be put forth to either scale back the “Fed” or provide for its orderly extinction. A law change can also do this but do not depend on the Congress to do so.
6. If the Constitution is not the problem, why not follow it instead of amending it?
JBS answer: The problem is not the Constitution, it is the people implementing it — rather, not implementing it — and the electorate allowing them to do so. There can be only one solution to not only the problem of not following the Constitution, but nearly every problem we experience today: the education of the electorate. It does not matter what will be done if the people keep voting in men and women who have a different agenda than the people. If they keep voting in those who have little desire to follow the Law, no matter how it is written, the Law will be violated
Ken Moyes answer: Prior amendments and bad interpretations to the Constitution have made the Constitution the problem, with the key point of removing the states as the vertical balance as was originally intended by the founders. Restore what was originally intended and better more narrowly define existing clauses and you restore the Constitution, the horizontal and vertical balance, and the original intent of the Republic. Restore States to their rightful position they had as the creators of the “limited” federal government and as the control mechanism to keep a runaway federal government in check.
7. What would prevent the liberal-left from using an Article V constitutional convention to impose their own agenda?
JBS answer: Government attracts men and women who want to use government for their own advantage, it is simply human nature. That is why the Constitution was written in the way it was: to curtail human nature and the nature of government.
The liberal-left wants more government — they see government as the solution to all of humanity’s problems. As a result, they have joined hands with other, more conservative groups to promote a constitutional convention, which they hope to control.
The 2014 election showed that people are tired of more government. Yet even with a trend toward conservatism, too many liberals in both parties remain in office. Add to this the ways in which politicians and the establishment elites in the media, education, big business, big labor, etc., can manipulate events, how can one be certain of a convention that would not seriously alter the nature of the Constitution? Ask yourself the question: Who would be the delegates to such a convention from your state? If you do not know, maybe that is the answer to whether such an event should even take place.
Ken Moyes answer: This is an easy question to answer. Thirty-eight states are needed to ratify each new amendment. Currently twenty-seven states are controlled in both houses by the Republican Party – not liberals. One unicameral state, Nebraska, has a conservative non-partisan legislature. A handful of other states have one house controlled by the Republicans, not liberals.
All that is need is for thirteen of these states to simply say no to a proposed liberal amendment. This is a built in firewall against liberal amendments designed to further tear apart the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Even if the convention ratification method is chosen by Congress the state legislatures will select delegates (with the possible exception of New Mexico – added based on comment – 12/27/2015) or whose thinking conforms to their legislature.
Of note: the JBS intentionally used the term Con-Con to mislead. This cannot be a constitutional convention for a rewrite of the Constitution. The current Constitution, unlike its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, has a provision for orderly amendment – Article V.
© Copyright Kenneth Moyes 2013 – updated February 13, 2015