Convention of States: Our Only Hope to Protect Liberty
Bold Action Needed to Prevent Slow Death of Freedom
By Howard Levine – Jan 13, 2020
The greatest threat to freedom is massive government spending along with massive government deficits. The Federal government is out of control. The only hope of restraining the Federal government is a convention of states.
The current operating debt of the United States is over $23 trillion. The current annual deficit is over $1 trillion. Unfunded liabilities due to “entitlement” programs make the situation much worse. Current annual federal revenue is about $3.5 trillion while federal spending is about $4.5 trillion. Annual interest on the debt is currently about $376 billion which is over 10% of annual revenue. As national debt increases, this amount will tend to increase. If interest rates rise, this amount will definitely increase. Given that interest rates are projected to increase, with the current level of debt, the annual interest payments could easily increase to $600 billion. Of course, the debt keeps increasing.
Eventually, this could lead to either inflation of the U.S. dollar or defaults in debt payments or abrupt reductions in other federal government spending. Debt default would increase interest rates on the national debt dramatically, abrupt spending reductions could trigger social unrest, and inflation would probably cause higher interest rates, social unrest, and might disqualify the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency (weakening the dollar which would further aggravate interest and inflation issues).
National Debt Weakens Liberty
There are two fundamental reason why increased national debt destroys liberty.
The first is that it enables more government spending. As the government spends more money, it has more control over our lives. Government funding enables the federal government to control state and local government policies, mandate policies for federal contractors, and force people to comply with government mandates to avoid financial ruin or even criminal convictions. Consider, for example, how government education spending allows the federal government to influence local school and college policies. Without that federal spending, local schools and colleges could run their own organizations without federal government interference.
The second reason is that a financial collapse of the federal government will lead to anarchy and social unrest. It could even cause a total collapse of our country. If the currency is unsound and the federal government is unable to pay its obligations, people owning federal debt will lose their savings and unpaid federal workers will abandon their posts or steal from the government to support themselves. This will lead to the federal government, to the extent it survives, being a corrupt thugocracy similar to Russia or totally collapsing. Consider crossing the collapse of the Soviet Union with the French Revolution. It might not get that bad in the United States, but we are in a slow motion course in that direction.
Career Politicians Won’t Save Our Country
We cannot count on career politicians in Congress to behave responsibly or to propose constitutional amendments requiring responsible behavior. Amending the constitution by convening a convention of states is the only way to do this. Regardless of which political parties Congress and the presidency, the problem keeps getting worse.
A convention of states allows proposed amendments that will never come from Congress. We need amendments to limit federal spending, limit taxation, impose Congressional term limits, and make provisions for state governments to veto Federal legislation and Supreme Court decision.
Risk Bold Action to Avoid Slow Loss of Liberty
Opponents of a convention of states correctly point out that the convention could propose any amendments. It could be that the proposals could completely erode our civil liberties rather than provide increased protection for them. Proposals to implement entitlement programs in our constitution could result. Repeal of the 2nd amendment could be proposed. Many bad things are possible, but the fact that three fourths of the states must ratify any proposed amendment provides some safety.
The problem convention of states opponents fail to address is that our freedoms and civilization are being continually eroded. Without significant change, they are just slowing the collapse of freedom rather than ensuring that is survives and even thrives.
A convention of states is a bold move to attempt to restore our Republic to the limited government our founders intended. It represents a hope that we can strengthen freedom so it endures for centuries. Perhaps a convention would succumb to socialists who try to change the constitution to make us all subservient to a strong national government. However, without a bold move to shore up our freedoms with additional constitutional safeguards, that’s where we will end up anyway in a few more decades. As freedom is eroded, it becomes harder to preserve. We need a convention of states as quickly as possible. It is our best hope to preserve liberty in the next century.
Howard Levine earned a B.S. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was introduced to computer programming and marksmanship (YES to 2nd Amendment). He also was commissioned as an Army Reserve Officer through ROTC. Later, he earned an MBA with concentrations in Management Information Systems and Operations Management. Howard has been…
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