What Would Thomas Jefferson Do Now?
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution; I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its constitution. I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.
But what are we going to do about it?
Compact for America, together with the educational support of leading think tanks like the Cato Institute, Goldwater Institute, Heartland Institute, MacIver Institute, and Mackinac Institute, has a solution. It has been endorsed as safe and effective by leading intellectuals across the entire political spectrum, from George Will and Judge Napolitano to Lawrence Lessig.
It is called the Compact for a Balanced Budget.
The Compact is an agreement among the states to advance, propose and ratify a powerful federal Balanced Budget Amendment in as few as twelve months. Already two states--Alaska and Georgia--have joined the Compact. They are in the process of organizing an interstate commission to champion and coordinate the effort in the remaining 36 states to get the job done. The whole effort is activated by a single resolution passed once by Congress with simple majorities.
Those simple majorities now exist in Congress. It is now a reality that the Congressional resolution needed to activate the Compact for a Balanced Budget could pass in 2015.
For that reason, it is time for folks who believe in constitutionally limited government to put up or shut up. In other words, it is “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” time. And that includes the entire Compact for America team. Here’s why:
The single most important reform we can do is to limit the federal government’s borrowing capacity. When that happens, Congress will feel a pinch in its resources. When that happens, Congress will have to prioritize. When that happens, Congress will have to budget. And when that happens, first principles will become relevant again to the political debate.
Put differently, unlimited federal borrowing capacity is the root political cause of unlimited, unconstitutional government at the federal level. This is because there is no naturally persistent political check to stop the political class from using unlimited borrowing capacity to essentially build empires, buy votes and solidify political support-unless we change the rules of the political game by amending the constitution.
The Compact for America team is “all in” on the Compact for a Balanced Budget because of this judgment (Thomas Jefferson’s judgment) and because of the looming opportunity that makes the investment of our lives, fortunes (or lack thereof), and sacred honor also wise, prudent and personally mandatory.
For those of you who are already or have been sponsors and supporters of the Compact, we have no doubt you feel the same way. We are grateful to you, your vision, your generosity, and your dedication. You know who you are. For those who are still learning about the Compact for America approach to Article V, we urge you to visit our educational website and learn more about the effort.
And please join us for 10 days of educational events in Washington, D.C., kicked-off with a workshop at ALEC’s Nation and States Summit at the Hyatt Regency on December 5, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. There will be personalized briefings available all day on-site, and subsequent brunch and lunch meetings, as well as at least one break-out session during subsequent days.
The best opportunity to restore our Republic is on the horizon with great leadership in the states and Congress already coalescing. The Compact for America team is growing and recruiting some of the best talent inside and outside of the think tank world--stay tuned for press releases on the latest developments.
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