The Article V Convention movement has really gained traction since the release of Mark Levin’s book last summer titled The Liberty Amendments. The book stayed at number one on the NY Times bestseller list for three consecutive weeks and in it Levin explores eleven ideas for amendments to the U.S. Constitution to restore our Republic. In future articles I plan to provide an overview of some of his proposed amendments to demonstrate how feasible it is for the states to correct the problems our nation is facing with an Article V convention.
However, long before Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments was released there was an actual proposed amendment in Congress known as The Liberty Amendment. The origin and history of this amendment is rather extensive and it has been rewritten a few times. For background on this amendment visit the Liberty Amendment website. This amendment, has been introduced in every Congress from 1957 to 1963 and in subsequent years with the last sponsorship by Congressman Ron Paul in 2009.
What this amendment could accomplish if proposed and ratified by the states is phenomenal. It is designed to correct a number of problems that have been caused by the abuses of the federal government. The Liberty Amendment would eradicate decades of these abuses and would restore the balance of power back to the states. Below is the text of the Liberty Amendment as it was presented to Congress in 2009.
Text of the proposed Liberty Amendment
Section 1. The Government of the United States shall not engage in any business, professional, commercial, financial or industrial enterprise except as specified in the Constitution.
Section 2. The constitution or laws of any State, or the laws of the United States shall not be subject to the terms of any foreign or domestic agreement which would abrogate this amendment.
Section 3. The activities of the United States Government which violate the intent and purpose of this amendment shall, within a period of three years from the date of the ratification of this amendment, be liquidated and the properties and facilities affected shall be sold.
Section 4. Three years after the ratification of this amendment the sixteenth article of amendments to the Constitution of the United States shall stand repealed and thereafter Congress shall not levy taxes on personal incomes, estates, and/or gifts.
What makes the Liberty Amendment so powerful is that it corrects a multitude of issues from federal land ownership, income taxes, public education, medicine, energy, etc. Below are 45 issues that the Liberty Amendment website claims will be corrected by this amendment. (The following text is from www.libertyamendment.com):
- Kill the specter of inflation.
- Restore the right of the people to take home a full pay check.
- End the involuntary servitude of the “Withholding” system.
- Halt the confiscation of land and enterprise, restoring both to the people and state jurisdiction.
- Restore to the people the right to have their local city and county officials run affairs without federal dictation or mandates.
- Transfer to the states and the people the millions of acres of land now held by the federal government in violation of the Constitution.
- Prevent the destruction of our sovereign nation by one world governance with unelected global elitists bureaucrats.
- Put an end to the IRS audits of personal income and affairs and being used to harass and intimidate citizens who speak up for their rights.
- Restore the Constitution and put us back on the road to greatness
- Balance the budget by limiting spending to constitutionally specified purposes – this will reduce the cost to one that we can afford.
- Cut the cost of the federal government in less than half.
- Protect private property and enterprise from political corruption, and end the unconstitutional federal government land grab projects.
- Suspend the princely privilege of rent free, tax exempt political enterprises.
- Get the power business back to economic management.
- Stop the corruption of urban renewal.
- Abolish all the unconstitutional projects under the guise of environmental protection and job safety.
- Put the defense department back into the business of defending us instead of competing with those that it defends.
- Restore the defense of the United States against attack by enemies, both foreign and domestic, as the first and primary responsibility of the Federal Government, as intended by the Founders of the Constitution.
- Halt the federal failing operation and control of schools and restore control to local jurisdiction.
- Permanently arrest the threat of socialized medicine.
- Stop the impoverishment of the people with our so-called poverty programs.
- Eliminate the threat of mental health programs.
- Disengage us from detrimental international entanglements and unconstitutional use of our military.
- Reestablish our independence from foreign domination.
- Stop the federal government from being the number one arms merchant of the world.
- Reassert the power of liberty to the captive peoples of the world.
- Terminate Supreme Court violations of the Constitution.
- Eliminate the special privilege of the tax exempt foundations (so many of which currently support anti-liberty activities) by extending tax exemption to all.
- Restore farm control to farmers and eliminate farm subsidies.
- Stop the issuance of “funny money” and restore a sound currency Put coinage back into the hands of Congress.
- Stop the terrible waste of billions of hours and billions of dollars worth of effort now spent in filling out unnecessary federal government forms.
- Cut-off “Foreign Aid” to foreign tyrants.
- Stop the political foul-up of our economy.
- Get our own innovative industrial economy moving again.
- Put the people in control of energy instead of having federal interference for the benefit of special interest.
- Restore to elected state and local governments the powers which have been usurped by unelected “regional government” bureaucracies.
- It will put and end to the federal takeover of local police forces through the system of federal grants and control, and restore “Posse Comitatus” to full force and effect.
- It will stop the federal government from funding programs which incite racial strife and tensions.
- It will let the people put an end to the energy “crisis” instead of having the government make it worse as an excuse for more taxes.
- It will let the people concentrate on useful pursuits instead spending time, energy, and money playing the crazy “tax loophole” game.
- It will restore the American Dream for the young people of being able to own their own homes.
- Establish the blessings of equity and justice in all our business relations.
- Enable the people to support the charities of their choice instead of being forced at the point of a gun to support those “good causes” selected by the bureaucrats.
- Eliminate the abusive use of the Executive Order and Presidential Decisions to make laws and implement provisions of unratified treaties by withholding funds from unconstitutional activities, thus eliminating government by fiat. … and oh yes, last but by no means least:
- It will repeal the federal personal income tax.
Obviously an amendment such as this will never pass in Congress because it is designed to actually limit their power and jurisdiction. To believe that Congress will ever limit it’s own power and jurisdiction is sheer folly. Our nation’s problems have been going on for far too long and it is too late for elections to correct them. It is time that We The People flex our constitutional muscle if we ever intend to stop the overreach of this federal government. It is time for the states to go big by proposing amendments to the Constitution that will impose term limits, fiscal restraints and limit the size of the federal government. The Liberty Amendment is just one example of how this can be accomplished by the states. The hour has arrived for the states to wake out of their slumber and fulfill their duty as described by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 85 in reference to an Article V convention where he stated, “We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.” Hopefully our legislatures will have the fortitude to answer their call of duty to erect the barriers needed before it is too late.
Citizens concerned for the future of their country, under a federal government that’s increasingly bloated, corrupt, reckless and invasive, have a constitutional option. We can call a Convention of States to return the country to its original vision of a limited federal government that is of, by and for the people. Join us at the Convention of States and like our Maine facebook page to get involved.
Ken Quinn is Coalitions Director for the Convention of States Project in Maine
Editor’s Note: This column is the third in a series that will explore the Convention of States. For more information or to volunteer, please visit www.conventionofstates.com.