November 2021 Newsletter
· Spending Spree
· Full Circle: an Interview with Montana State Senator Tom McGillvray
· Fiscal Controls for Washington: a Bipartisan Approach
· Article V News
· Who Said It?
While everyone’s attention is on the trillion-dollar-plus spending packages currently under consideration by Congress, AMAC Action President Bob Carlstrom warns that our national debt has already surpassed GDP, and interest paid to our creditors is projected to exceed all other categories of federal spending by 2028. As President Obama famously said, “You can’t change Washington from the inside.” The good news is that state legislators have been empowered by the Constitution to fix Washington from the outside. The entire article is available HERE.
Full Circle: an Interview with Montana State Senator Tom McGillvray
Senator Tom McGillvray was only vaguely aware of Article V when a constituent asked to meet with him to discuss the Convention of States Project. After the meeting, McGillvray did a deep dive into Article V, exploring materials like Rob Natelson’s The Law of Article V (including many of the resources cited in the footnotes), legal journals and law reviews, and the history of interstate conventions. By the time he had finished his research, he became convinced that Article V wasn’t just an opportunity, but an obligation; and if state legislators choose not to use Article V, they are complicit in Washington’s dysfunction. “The answer is not elections: it’s structural reform through amendments.”
After the CoSP application was narrowly defeated on the Senate floor, McGillvray organized a series of events with CoSP, Professor Rob Natelson, and other civic organizations to educate colleagues and mobilize constituents, just as his constituent had educated and mobilized him.
The entire interview is available HERE.
Fiscal Controls for Washington: a Bipartisan Approach by Vickie Deppe
Many in the Article V movement assume that placing fiscal limits on Congress is an idea that is only supported by conservatives. While the 34th and final application necessary to hold an Article V Convention to propose a fiscal responsibility amendment could be passed as early as next year, the prospects of getting an amendment all the way across the finish line to ratification are dubious if Republicans and Democrats cannot come together to draft an amendment that both sides can support.
The reality is that Democrat state legislators should be just as—if not more—motivated to rein in Congress’ profligate spending as their Republican colleagues, because most of our nation’s “donor states” (those that receive less in federal aid and contracts than their taxpayers send to Washington) are blue states. According to an analysis performed earlier this year by WalletHub, seven of the 10 “biggest losers” when it comes to federal spending are blue states and include some of the most populous and productive in the nation such as New York, California, and Illinois.
Many donor states struggle with budget shortfalls, unpaid obligations, and inadequately funded pensions. Residents of these states would directly and substantially benefit from the recapture of monies disbursed by Washington to fund corporate welfare, waste, and fraud. Using non- and bipartisan sources like the Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office, Citizens Against Government Waste has identified potential cuts to wasteful federal spending totaling over $370 billion. Returning these funds to donor states would allow them to close budget shortfalls and clear outstanding obligations, put them on-track to fund their pensions, and enable them to eventually establish rainy day funds. All this can be achieved not by imposing austerity measures, but by simply cutting waste, fraud, and abuse in Washington.
Holding an Article V Convention—the first in our nation’s history—that fails to produce a ratified amendment would be worse than not holding one at all. After passing hundreds of applications spanning more than two centuries and nearly every state in the Union, an unproductive Convention would leave many Americans with a bitter taste in their mouths and state legislators hesitant to try again. “We tried Article V once…it didn’t work” must not be our legacy.
The time to begin a bipartisan dialogue at your state house is now.
Article V News
State legislators have the opportunity to kick off the American Legislative Exchange Council’s States & Nation Policy Summit by attending the second Article V Academy & breakfast in San Diego on December 1. Attendees will hear from subject-matter experts and Article V proponents including former New Hampshire Senator and American Promise Board Member Jim Rubens; David Walker, US Comptroller General during the Clinton & Bush (43) administrations; Sam Fieldman, National Counsel, Wolf-PAC; Nick Tomboulides, Executive Director, US Term Limits; and David Biddulph, Co-Founder of Vote “Americans’ Prosperity First” Amendment. The event will also be live-streamed. To register or receive additional information, please contact Mae James at 386-423-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who Said It?
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”