Getting a Balanced Budget via Article V Constitutional Convention 2.0:
Nick Dranias of the "Compact for America" Explains How 38 States Could Force Congress to Spend Within Its Means via Reason.Com
Forcing the federal government to keep to a balanced budget has been a dream of the fiscally conservative, or those just worried about ruinous debt, for decades. “Force” is the operative word—there seems little hope that Congress will embrace consistent fiscal discipline on its own. Various organizations and movements are working to restrain government spending (and sometimes pursue other goals) via an “Article V convention.”
What’s that? Most of us are familiar with the way the Constitution actually has been amended in the past—via 2/3 votes of both houses of Congress followed by ratification by ¾ of the states. But Article V says there is another way: “Congress…on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments” which again have to be approved by ¾ of the states. The “shall” is interpreted by many legal scholars to mean that Congress has no real say in the matter at that point: if the states ask them to set up that convention, they legally must.