Keep your eyes and ears open, folks, and your brains in gear! We are hearing more and more about an Article V constitutional convention (Con-Con) with several groups advocating for it, for several different reasons – from balancing the budget, to term limits, to campaign finance reform and limiting “constitutional rights” of corporations. Many of the groups work together, including sharing board members and belonging to a coalition named Call A Convention.
Call A Convention, whose goal is “a truly open and constructive” (i.e. unlimited) Article V convention, was formed in 2013 by Lawrence Lessig, a leftist, a blasphemer and friend and associate of both George Soros and Barack Obama. Lessig is also on the boards of Compact For America (CFA), ConventionUSA, and Rootstrikers and works closely with leftist Wolf-Pac as well as Mark Meckler’s Convention of States (COS). In West Virginia, it is mostly COS that has been wooing our legislators but recently CFA has been actively seeking supporters.
The COS website has a petition that calls for “an Article V convention to propose only amendments that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.” Such a convention could easily become the “runaway” convention that sensible people fear would either radically alter our Constitution or even replace it with one of the socialist constitutions already written and waiting in the wings.
Compact for America calls for the creation of a compact of 38 states to petition Congress to call an Article V convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment (BBA) only. The application contains all the rules for governing the convention AND a pre-written BBA that would be “pre-ratified” within the initial applications. This appears to be the completely safe answer to all the fears previously expressed by critics.
But, please don’t believe in fairy tales. Not only is this Con-Con vulnerable to becoming a “runaway,” constitutional scholar Publius Huldah warns that it is “actually a tricky device for imposing a national sales tax or value added tax on the American People – on top of the income tax – and does nothing to limit federal spending.” Publius Huldah has also explained that – unlike the states, which require budgets – the federal government is limited by the Constitution to spending only for the few enumerated powers and obligations that it authorizes. A BBA would substitute a “budget” for the enumerated powers and authorize the national government to spend money on whatever it puts in the budget. “To add insult to injury,” Huldah alleges, “while all versions of a BBA pretend to limit spending, they actually permit increases in spending
and increases in debt whenever a majority votes to do so.”