Constitution, Term Limits

Smash the D.C. Monopoly: An Article V Convention

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Former Sen. Tom Coburn has been inside the belly of the D.C. beast and now believes it will take a grand strike to fully tame the

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore CC by SA 2.0

leviathan on the Potomac.

Coburn is calling for an Article V Convention of the States to adapt new amendments to the Constitution which would give power and influence back to the states and circumscribe the out-of-control powers of he federal government.

“Ask yourself why we’re not fixing Social Security. Why are we not fixing Medicare’s unfunded liabilities? Why do we continue to have $400 billion in waste, fraud, and duplication every year, or $145 billion in improper payment?” asked former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in a recent interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

According to Coburn, millennials will be the ones hit hardest by the out-of-control deficit accumulated in the United States.

“The average millennial is going to have to pay back $1.7 million over the next 50 years,” he stated. “That’s over thirty thousand bucks a year, and they already have a declining median income. People don’t know how much a billion is. If you make $40,000 a year, you have to work 25 years to make a million dollars. To make a billion, you have to work 25,000 years. Now we know what a billion is . . . and that’s just pocket change to career politicians.”

Coburn isn’t just complaining.  He offers this radical solution which some conservatives are fearful of.

Sen. Coburn proposes to do this by using one of the two methods of amending the U.S. Constitution laid out in Article V of that document — the Convention of States. Coburn made an argument for a convention in his newest book, “Smashing the DC Monopoly: Using Article V to Restore Freedom and Stop America’s Runaway Government.”

For an Article V Convention to occur, two-thirds of the state legislatures must pass an application for Congress to call one. Twelve states out of the 34 necessary have submitted such an application. All the state applications must deal with the same topics, and the 12 currently submitted call for amendments limiting the scope of the federal government, imposing a balanced budget on Congress, and giving term limits to Washington politicians.

“We can actually rebalance more power back to the people,” Coburn stated concerning these applications. “Bringing the power back to where the people actually have an input in it will actually solve some of the problems that are facing our country.”

Here’s how an Article V convention would actually work:

At an Article V Convention, states would send delegates chosen however they saw fit, who would discuss the issues laid out in the submitted applications. Proposed amendments would go back to the state legislatures for ratification, and they would not become part of the Constitution until three-fourths of the states had ratified them.

Coburn believes an Article V convention would be restrained by the fact three-fourths of the states would have to ratify any new amendments.  The runaway convention is a myth.

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