DRAINING THE SWAMP by James Jaeger
We have a serious problem with the Federal Government in Washington DC -- also known as "the Swamp."
The problem is the Swamp has taken over the nation and is bullying the States. And the fact the WE THE PEOPLE in those States literally pulled off a coup by getting Donald Trump elected -- a Washington outsider -- is proof that the nation knows it is being bullied by Swamp creatures and wants change.
The change that needs to happen can be reduced the idea of bringing the nation back into alignment with certain principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution.
Unfortunately, even though Trump may be willing to facilitate this, he may not be able to do it, as the Swamp -- more accurately the entrenched Senate, entrenched the House, entrenched Special Interest groups, various entrenched Agencies and the thousands of unelected bureaucrats that generally infest and run the Federal government -- will stop him.
Two of the key problems that illustrate the recalcitrance of the Swamp are the NATIONAL DEBT and TERM LIMITS.
The NATIONAL DEBT is now about $20 trillion and we still have no balanced budget requirement passed by the Congress. Presently 41 states have balanced budget requirements and 33 of these even have such requirements burnt into their State Constitutions. If most of the States can balance their budgets by not spending any more than they take in, why can't the Federal Government do the same? If the U.S. defaults on the National Debt or the Federal Reserve System crashes due to profligate borrowing, taxation and spending by the Swamp, it could create such a catastrophe the entire U.S. economy could be destroyed. American could then descend into a full-blown police state as described in the movie, MIDNIGHT RIDE. The National Debt, and the allocation of the national budget, are very serious responsibilities and must be done properly. So far there is no indication they are being handled properly or responsibly.
In 1951, TERM LIMITS of 8 years were imposed on the President of the United States after the States ratified the Twenty-Second Amendment, such Amendment proposed by the U.S. Congress in 1947. Accordingly, the same term limits should also be imposed on Congress. Although President Trump supports term limits, it's highly unlikely he will be able to get Congress to vote to limit their tenure in the Swamp, especially with all the perks it affords. Mitch McConnel, for instance, is a Swamp creature like few others. He's been in the U.S. Senate for 33 years so it's no wonder Trump has been having problems with him -- as well as other Swamp creatures, like 20-year-Senator, Jeff Sessions and RNC-chameleon, Reince Priebus. All Swamp creatures, overtly or covertly, and none should ever be able to "serve" more than two terms, or 8 years anywhere. Even though the public overwhelmingly supports term limits, they never seem to get enacted. Term limits were even part of the "Contract with America" that brought "small government" Republicans to power in 1994, but they were still never passed. It's thus evident: a Congress that will not limit themselves, is a Congress that will never limit the government.
So TERM LIMITS and the NATIONAL DEBT are two problems the U.S. Congress will never vote to correct. They will never vote to correct these problems even though they fly in the face of Constitutional principles stipulating limited government and sound money redeemable in gold and silver.
Although a lack of term limits and endless debt open the door to additional problems, there are still more fundamental problems in the Swamp. These include Congress delegating excessive powers to the President and executive agencies and then these agencies making their own rules and laws as well as collecting their own fees, fines and penalties independently of the general fund of the House of Representatives. These agencies, in essence, act as a self-funding, shadow government, complete with a profit motive to become ever more rogue. The "power of the purse" is supposed to be with the House and the "Agency Accountability Act" was supposed to correct all this. Unfortunately, just like term limits and a balance budget, the Swamp has predictably failed to vote-in any of this legislation.
So, given these problems, and other problems like endless regulations with sunset clauses being constantly ignored; inspectors of agencies reporting directly to the agencies instead of Congress; funds being allocated to education and highways across the nation when such funding is supposed to come from local taxation or the gasoline tax for infrastructure maintenance; not to mention a profligate "energy department" that actually suppresses energy independence in America; special interests buying congressmen to reconfigure the nation's laws to out source the manufacturing base -- given all these problems, it's high time for drastic measures.
In other words folks, we need to invoke Article V of the U.S. Constitution if we want to drain the Swamp. Legislation as usual seems to be part of the problem, not the solution.
What is Article V? Article V is what could be called super legislation. It's a power written into the U.S. Constitution, by the Founders and for WE THE PEOPLE. The Founders knew WE THE PEOPLE and/or the States would need this power from time to time. They knew the States especially would need it in the event the Federal Government in DC was usurping too much power from the States or WE THE PEOPLE.
Article V thus grants the Congress OR the States the power to propose Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Since it's obvious the Congress is not going to propose any useful Amendments -- especially term limits on themselves -- WE THE PEOPLE are going to have to invoke the right of our respective States to propose Amendments to redress those issues that have been long-standing of abuses. And all it takes is two thirds of the States to call a convention for proposing such Amendments. The Congress has nothing to do with it, no vote in the matter, and they can do nothing to stop it.
Again, this power has been given to the States because the Founders knew the tendency of a centralized Federal Government in DC would be to overpower the States sooner or later. Don't look now, but it's time for a 28th Amendment.
Even though a so-called "Article V Convention" has never been used, it may be high time for such to happen because the issues at hand relate to the overall deeds and ethics-abuses of the Congress. Thus, just as Congress will not legislate limits on its own terms or limit its ability to borrow and spend money, it will certainly not use its Article V power to propose an Amendment to do same.
So I see little other choice than for WE THE PEOPLE to take a serious look at an Article V Convention to handle a number of the intractable problems facing the nation.
For those who are leery about establishing an Article V Constitutional Convention -- because they are afraid such could result in any manner of wild new Amendments and or even a re-structuring the Constitution itself -- ask yourself this: would the Framers not be prepared for even this eventuality?
Of course not. The Framers thus built into the Article V Convention a methodology that can be accomplished safely and securely in order to create a "more perfect union." In short, a Constitutional Convention can be called for a specific purpose -- or a SET of specific purposes -- to address a set of specific grievances. Given this an Amendment, or several related Amendments, could be proposed, such related to a specific stated purpose. This would prevent a runaway Convention. Once the Amendments were proposed by at least 2/3rds of the States, at least 3/4th of the States would then have to ratify the new Amendments. If the Amendments pass ratification, only then are they part of the U.S. Constitution -- the Supreme Law of the Land.
Again, the endless-term, debt-addicted, over-regulating Swamp creatures will never enact a law or Amendment that limits their power, thus our last peaceful resort is to create and pass Amendments that directly, or indirectly, cause a better alignment with the original intent of the Constitution. Here are some issues and suggested solutions that should be addressed:
1) TERM LIMITS: No more than two terms or 8 years for House and Senate Members;
2) BALANCED BUDGET: Congress must balance the budget and not allow the Federal Government to spend more than it taxes.
3) FIAT CURRENCY: The Federal Reserve Act should be rescinded and paper money issued by the U.S. Treasury should be redeemable in gold and silver.
4) DECLARATIONS OF WAR: All wars must be declared by Congress, not delegated to the President or the UN.
5) WAR AS A NECESSITY FOR DEBT: Money may not be borrowed to conduct war. War must be paid for in cash. If WE THE PEOPE will not pay for a war in cash, then the war is not that necessary or "just."
6) OVER REGULATION: For every law or regulation created, two laws or regulations of similar import must be rescinded.
7) SUNSET CLAUSES: Every law or regulation should have an automatic sunset clause.
8) OVER TAXATION: Taxes should be as stipulated in the Constitution and the question of what percentage of a citizen's income should be allocated to all the taxing governments in the aggregate. Are taxpayers people or other entities?
9) SPECIAL INTERESTS: Should Congress be permitted to receive Special Interest money directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly?
10) CORPORATE PERSONHOOD: Are corporations people? If not, they should not pay taxes? If corporations are not people, their money is not free speech because only people have free speech rights.
11) BALANCED TRADE: Just as the Congress should not spend more than it taxes, should the nation import more than it exports?
21 August 2017
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