3rd Quarter 2017: Making the Constitution More than Parchment
Our efforts stem from the recognition that the strength of the Constitution as it once was (and will be again!) is in balancing power against power, and ambition against ambition. Great words on parchment matter, but words must be backed by institutional power to have lasting effect.
Unlike any other constitutional reform effort, each time the Compact for a Balanced Budget is passed, the entire amendment process is moved forward to its ultimate successful conclusion.
The Compact for a Balanced Budget commits each member state to the entire amendment process in turn-key fashion. Our most recent state - Arizona - is not only applying for an Article V convention (when 33 more states join). It has designated its delegates and the governing convention rules. And, like Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi and North Dakota, Arizona has also committed to ratifying a specific Balanced Budget Amendment if it is proposed.
A heavy lift still awaits. But if you measure success by proximity to a ratified amendment, our approach is the furthest along. There is every reason to believe in our ultimate success. As you'll see, Compact for America has pulled together the best team in the public policy business to fight the biggest fight - nothing short of restoring powerful state and local institutions to once again serve as a real check and balance on federal power.
Expansion of the Team
Learn more about Executive Vice President of Development and Corporate Secretary John Flores. John brings a unique track record of fundraising success at the scale we need for the coming year - during which we plan to advance our educational efforts through at least 30 states and Washington, DC.
And welcome back Iraq War Veteran Daniel Fortune who continues his service as social media manager.
Historic U.S. House Judiciary Committee Testimony
Our third quarter had a huge breakthrough when Nick Dranias was invited to offer expert testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee alongside Professors David Primo (one of the best political scientists in the business) and Alan Blinder (former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve). With technical aspects handled by the testimony of Professor Primo, Nick's testimony seized the moral high ground - he explained that a Balanced Budget Amendment is a civil rights issue; namely, protecting future generations from taxation without representation and national bankruptcy. Nick's testimony follows Ilya Shapiro's appearance on the same topic before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 2016.
New Coalition of 20+ Policy Organizations and Experts
Nick and Ilya's testimony paid dividends by lending further credibility to the Balanced Budget Compact effort; so much so that more than 20 top national and state policy organizations and experts joined in a coalition letter urging Congress to partner with the states on advancing the Balanced Budget Compact.
Booming Demand for Educational Meetings
The dividends didn't stop flowing with a newfound unity among policy groups and experts. Nearly 100 congressional offices requested meetings with Compact for America experts and nearly 80 meetings were successfully scheduled by CEO Chip DeMoss, Scholar Dean Clancy, Scholar Baker Spring and Nick in little more than a one week period.
We're still trying to find the resources to catch up with meeting requests. Can you help?
Introducing the CFALive Podcast Series!
Our work and accomplishments went well beyond Washington, DC. We also launched our new CFALive Podcast Series bringing in top national experts to share their knowledge in a unique format: a short analysis of the issues central to the Compact for America initiative.
In this short CFA-Live podcast interview, Cato Institute Constitutional Expert and Compact for America Council of Scholars member Ilya Shapiro answered the question: "What Good is an Article V Convention and Why Use an Interstate Compact?"
Economist and Professor Antony Davies painted a bleak picture of the quality of government debt and liability data. He also argued that it is mathematically impossible for the federal government to make good on its financial promises.
Compact for America Action board member, constitutional scholar, Navy SEAL swim trainer, and talk radio co-host, Jeff Utsch talked about how the Founders expected us to use the tools they gave us in the Constitution to keep our Republic.
Dr. Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center explained why reforms need to be made to entitlements on a massive scale to prevent them from defaulting.
Mississippi Speaker Pro Tem and Balanced Budget Compact Commissioner Greg Snowden explained why the Compact mode of delivering Article V amendments is so compelling and powerful.
Attorney Rick Masters - the guy who literally wrote the book on interstate compact law - addressed whether compacts that exercise state power require congressional consent.
Compact for America CEO Chip DeMoss (also a CPA) explained how the Balanced Budget Amendment at the heart of the Balanced Budget Compact provides the enforcement mechanism to reach the balanced budget promised by President Trump's latest budget proposal.
Arizona State University Economist Steve Slivinski explained why constitutionally limiting the federal debt is more important than any other fiscal reform.
Georgia State Legislator and Compact Commissioner Paulette Rakestraw gave her thoughts about the notion that electing the "right people" alone can balance the budget.
Constitutional scholar and Article V skeptic Trent England discussed the importance of setting expectations in advance for an untried political process such as a convention of states.
Former Tea Party Patriots Constitutional Coordinator Bill Norton addressed the advantages and disadvantages of the Article V compact approach.
Economist J. Scott Moody discussed his findings on the future of national debt interest rates and the prospects of a balanced budget saving us from Greek-style bankruptcy.
National security and budget expert Baker Spring explained what makes unlimited federal borrowing so uniquely dangerous to our nation's survival.
And we didn't forget the powerful Prosperity States Compact effort. In this podcast Economist Mark Lutter explained why we should expect huge levels of economic growth in small jurisdictions that adopt deep free market reform.
A New Policy Report - Converging on the Solution
We also published our 17th policy report (not bad for an organization in business for little more than 3 years). In it, economist and fiscal policy expert Dr. Byron Schlomach explained why it is not an accident that the Balanced Budget Compact's amendment is the only Balanced Budget Amendment that has garnered ratification commitments from any state, let alone the five member states of the Balanced Budget Compact.
Diplomacy to Unite the Movement
The Compact for America team also worked overtime to keep the peace among the various Article V efforts. We published Arizona Speaker J.D. Mesnard's important email missive urging each movement to "recognize the synergies between the various efforts lest they all be ended before they have really begun."
And on rockstar talk radio host J.T. Harris' show, Nick Dranias lauded the Arizona Article V planning convention while also explaining the merits of the Balanced Budget Compact approach.
Compact for America Finds a New Talk Radio Champion!
The top rated Dallas-based Chris Salcedo Show recently discovered our effort. Compact for America experts have been invited to the show on almost a weekly basis for over a month now.
Chip DeMoss knocked it out of the park in the inaugural interview.
And listen to former White House official and Council of Scholars member Dean Clancy share with Chris Salcedo his thoughts about the recent move by President Trump to suspend the debt limit for three months.
That's a lot of work for just three months (and it is actually only a small glimpse at what we've been doing).
We have much more to do before we rest! At least two more policy reports will be published shortly.
With your continued support, we will succeed.
And please let us know if you can help the Balanced Budget Compact Commission with the introduction of the Balanced Budget Compact legislation in your state or encouraging your congressman or U.S. Senator to partner with the states on the effort!