Exploding Propaganda Series (Part 1 of 7): The Problem with Enforcing the Constitution As It Is
The opposition to the state-originated constitutional amendment movement often starts off by saying, the "Constitution is not the problem, elected officials are." The truth is that both are the problem. But it is important to be especially honest about the flaws in the Constitution as it currently exists.
The Constitution as it currently exists allows for limitless spending, limitless taxation of any kind (reinforced by the 16th Amendment and as interpreted by the Roberts Court), and limitless borrowing. The claim that the enumerated powers, properly understood, supply those limits is not true. We could easily have a massive, unsustainable, overtaxing, over-borrowing, and inefficient federal government if it were doing nothing but what the enumerated powers authorize. The Constitution as it exists fully authorizes unlimited spending, taxing and borrowing in support of the enumerated powers. Of course, the federal government is doing much much more than what the Founders thought the enumerated powers authorized. But that is politically inevitable when you give elected officials an unlimited credit card with which they can promise anything to get elected at no immediate cost to current voters! Compounding this problem is the removal of the states in any role in overseeing national policy making, courtesy of the 17th Amendment's replacement of state legislature appointed U.S. Senators with popularly elected U.S. Senators. Not only does the Washington political class have an unlimited credit card, it has the concentrated power to use that card to expand the reach of the federal government into areas that are best governed at the state and local level. The states no longer have any oversight role over Washington, which is not the Constitution's original design. It is only by dropping the context of the Constitution's unfortunate structural flaws in this regard, that the claim that "the Constitution as it exists is not the problem" seems to have plausibility. When you realize that the baseline of the Constitution as it currently exists is fully authorized limitless taxation, limitless spending and limitless borrowing (together with power conveniently concentrated in Washington to use such limitless power), then you cannot help but conclude that we need to improve that baseline. Doing so requires a constitutional amendment both to decentralize power as well as to limit spending, borrowing and taxing. Simply replacing politicians to play by flawed rules of the game will not work. The rules of the political game must change for the better. Stay tuned for how the Balance Budget Amendment advanced by Compact for America would do just that.EndFragment