Three years ago, before Levin published his Article V book called “The Liberty Amendments”, I published the blog below so I could see how his proposals compared to mine after they were published. As it turns out, only two were similar – the Balanced Budget Amendment and Term Limits. The other three are worth a look and I plan to submit write separate blogs/papers about each in the coming weeks. I’ve said this many times – if you genuinely interested in restoring our freedoms, it is through the Article V process, and the Convention of States project is our best chance to make that a reality.
The Liberty Amendments – My First Five
July 23, 2013 by Lucky Jack
We’ve been begging our leaders for specifics on what to do to make a difference. Glenn Beck’s events (Restoring Honor, Courage & Love) represent a huge step towards getting our heads & hearts straight about the morality of our cause. Others have also made contributions, but Levin’s proposal, The Liberty Amendments, deserves specific recognition – it is the first path to restore our founding ideals, based on the Constitution itself, that we can all contribute to, that has a realistic chance– if we pledge “our lives, our Fortunes, & our sacred Honor” to the success of the Liberty Amendments.
Our kids and our country deserve no less.
It will be a difficult climb but I believe the country is ready for a tangible solution to the threats our country faces. Make no mistake; we’re in a race against time and a ruthless progressive cancer. With a $17 trillion national debt, and $60 trillion more in unfunded liabilities, cities like Detroit going bankrupt and states like California threatening, we must right the American ship as soon as possible. Once a financial crisis occurs, it may be impossible to counter calls for a more powerful central government – especially if people go hungry or start blaming the usual suspects (capitalism, tea partiers, etc.)
One last comment before I summarize my ideas for the first five amendments. I believe it’s important for the leaders of our movement to rally behind these amendments and the Article V process. We all have a different list, but mine would include, in addition to Levin, among others, Glenn Beck, Yaron Brook, Sen. Rand Paul (and his father Ron), Sen. Ted Cruz (& his father Rafael), Sen. Mike Lee, Mia Love , Rev C. L. Bryant and GMU’s Walt Williams.
Everybody has different ways of contributing to the cause of freedom. I hope that all of them discuss Levin’s book, advance the idea and help pass the Liberty Amendments. Sometimes silos are created where no one wants to promote what their “competition” is doing – that must not happen. I would encourage all of them to be generous with their comments and their air & face time. However, so far, I haven’t heard one word of the idea, or Levin’s upcoming book, from these folks – perhaps they’re waiting for the book?
As you can see from this post, I think it’s a mistake to wait. In fact, Levin’s idea motivated me to start blogging again for the first time in years. It will be my 100thpost, with over 26,580 visitors, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate #100. Not only is it fun to see if my ideas for reform match up with Levin’s, but until his book comes out on August 13, I hope and pray my ideas will encourage others to come up with their own – can there be too much engagement in the cause of freedom? Of course, Levin’s specific amendments will be very important, but just his idea has lit the torch – by urging us to look within the Constitution itself for how to repair our Constitutional Republic.
Everyone has ideas – my first five are listed below and I’ll follow-up with more details on each one – but the main thing is to jump in and start, time’s not on our side.
The Liberty Amendments – My First Five
1. Voter Campaign Finance (VCF)
- Limit campaign contributions to those who are registered voters that can vote for the candidate. For example, I live in VA 5th Congressional District – Robert Hurt’s my congressman. If he ran for House, under this Amendment, he could only receive campaign contributions from registered 5th district voters (easily checked against existing voter rolls) – no unions, corporations, out-of-district fat cats, PACs, etc. If you don’t have a legal right to vote in 5th district, you can’t influence the 5th District election.
2. Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA)
- Cut Cap & Balance (HR 2560) was a great idea that died in the corrupt halls of Harry Reid’s U.S Senate – but just barely (51Ds-46Rs) – a real life example of the wisdom of Levin’s idea – Congress will not reform itself, we must go around Congress. My twist on Cut Cap & Balance is this: Limit federal revenues to 18% GDP, spending to 17% GDP limit and the remaining 1% for debt relief and, after that, an “Emergency Fund”.
- In case of war, Congress can authorize spending to exceed 18% only if two-thirds of Congress approves. The 1% of GDP (of the 18% collected for revenues) would go to pay down the national debt (about $16 Billion/yr at current GDP) and, once debt free (woohoo!!), use the 1% for an Emergency Fund – to pay for declared wars and disasters but only if two-thirds approve “withdrawals” – restoring Congress’ power to limit wars with their Constitutional funding power.
3. Term Limits
- This has been around for a while but my version would limit service in Congress to just 12 years total. This could be three House terms (3×2=6) followed by a Senate term (1×6) or two Senate terms (2×6=12) or other combinations. The main idea is to not allow folks to make a career out of DC politics while allowing them enough time to be effective.
4. Law Limits
- Obamacare was over 2700 pages long. The recent immigration bill was 1200 pages. Neither of these very devastating bills, that affect all of U.S., has been read by their supporters or detractors – that’s not a democracy, that’s a marketing campaign. Just vote on one or two issues at a time. I don’t know a specific # – others can work that out – but perhaps < 10 pages.
5. Pardon Accountability
- Require Presidents to prioritize pardons (100 or less) and announce their last pardons at least 90 days before general election. Although an outgoing POTUS can’t be held accountable, voters can hold parties accountable. I predict the outrages from Obama’s pardons – both the # and who – will force this Amendment to top of list.