Skip to comments.U S Two States Away from Constitutional Convention
Posted on 12/11/2008 5:28:28 AM PST by GWMcClintock
This is the most urgent, most important action alert the American Policy Center has ever issued! The Ohio state legislature is expected to vote as early as Dec. 10th, to call for a Constitutional Convention (Con Con). If Ohio calls for a Con Con only one more state need do so and Congress will have no choice but to convene a Convention, throwing our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights up for grabs. Ohio's vote today poses a grave threat to the U.S. Constitution. Please immediately call the Ohio lawmakers listed below. ACT FAST - time is of the essence!
(Excerpt) Read more at christianworldviewnetwork.com ...
I think you can count on South Carolina too.
This is an immediate catalyst to breakup of this nation- I pray it never comes..!
Interesting! So this is how we usher in the one world government.
Where are your books sold? That was chilling.
I’m hoping for about March....I still have 25% to write.
News flash: Things are not going according to plan.
So get OFF the internet and get BACK TO WORK!!! ;-)
I'm really looking forward to it. I've read the others twice already.
Well hurry up already!
For some information that some may want to use for the “Constitutional Amendment” for a Balanced Budget. I can’t vouch for the source, because I was just looking up information on it, but, they’ve been around for a while. They do look like they might also be on the liberal side of some issues.
HOWEVER, they are presenting arguments *against* a Constitutional Amendment for a Balanced budget, saying that there are other ways to go about this goal.
Center on Budget & Policy Priorities
It’s an older article (note the date) and I don’t know if all the information is still useful or not, but it should be good for getting some reasoning and some facts...
Revised January 28, 1997
The Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: An Overview
By Robert Greenstein
Strong action is needed to reduce the long-term deficit. But a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget is not a sound way to achieve this goal. It is neither necessary nor wise, from the standpoint of keeping the economy strong, to have the Constitution mandate that the budget never be in deficit in any year. This analysis examines problems inherent in the constitutional amendment that will come to the House and Senate floors early in 1997.
The proposed constitutional amendment could weaken the economy by hastening or deepening recessions. It also would heighten the risk of a government default; once that occurred, even if it lasted only a few days, Treasury borrowing costs could rise. In addition, the amendment would undermine the principle of majority rule on which our system of government rests. Still another concern is that the amendment is likely to limit unduly public investments with long-term payoffs. Also, by making it harder to raise revenues and even to close unproductive tax loopholes than to cut programs, the amendment would tilt policy in favor of the wealthy and well-connected over the middle class and the poor. Finally, while many people point to state balanced budget requirements as evidence that a federal amendment is workable, these state provisions differ significantly from the proposed federal requirement.
Amendment Could Damage the Economy
The proposed constitutional balanced budget amendment would require the budget to be balanced (or in surplus) every year, regardless of whether economic growth is strong or weak. This is highly problematic. In years when growth is sluggish, revenues rise more slowly while costs for programs like unemployment insurance increase. As a result, the deficit widens. Under a balanced budget amendment, more deficit reduction thus would be required in periods of slow growth than in times of rapid growth.
This is precisely the opposite of what should be done to stabilize the economy and avert recessions. The constitutional amendment consequently risks making recessions more frequent and deeper. In the period from 1930 to 1933, for example, Congress repeatedly cut federal spending and raised taxes, trying to offset the decline in revenues that occurred after the great crash of 1929. Yet those spending cuts and tax increases removed purchasing power from the economy and helped make the downturn deeper; they occurred at exactly the wrong time in the business cycle.
This is why a balanced budget requirement is called “pro-cyclical.” It exacerbates the natural business cycle of growth and recession. It also is why most economists who favor tough deficit reduction measures strongly oppose a constitutional balanced budget amendment.
In testimony before the House Budget Committee in 1992, one of the nations most respected economists, then-Congressional Budget Office director Robert Reischauer, made a number of these points. “[I]f it worked,” Reischauer warned, “[a balanced budget amendment] would undermine the stabilizing role of the federal government.” He noted that the automatic stabilizing that occurs when the economy is weak “temporarily lowers revenues and increases spending on unemployment insurance and welfare programs. This automatic stabilizing occurs quickly and is self-limiting it goes away as the economy revives but it temporarily increases the deficit. It is an important factor that dampens the amplitude of our economic cycles.” Under the constitutional amendment, Reischauer observed, these stabilizers would no longer operate automatically.1
The amount of budget-cutting or revenue-increasing that would be needed to balance the budget during a recession would be large. CBO and OMB analyses indicate that a moderate recession can cause a fiscal imbalance equal to two percent of the Gross Domestic Product; by 2002, a budget that would be balanced in a normal economy would result in roughly a $200 billion deficit if the economy were in a moderate recession.
Amendment proponents note that the amendment would allow the balanced budget requirement to be waived for a particular year if three-fifths of the full membership of each chamber of Congress so voted. But it is unlikely a three-fifths majority would emerge until after the economy was already in a recession and considerable economic damage had been done. The Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office have rarely, if ever, forecast a recession before one started, and we usually do not know we are in a recession until the downturn is at least several months old. The largest deficit reduction measures would likely be taken in years when the economy was weakening but not yet in recession. Yet such actions could tip a faltering economy into recession or make an ensuing recession deeper.
Adding to this problem, a three-fifths majority could be particularly difficult to garner if a recession were regional rather than national, as is usually the case at least at the start of economic downturns. It might well be impossible to obtain three-fifths majorities until a recession had spread to a substantial majority of states and Congressional districts.
Past recessions have started in some regions and taken time to spread; they also have hit some regions much harder than others. In the most recent recession, for example, New England and the mid-Atlantic states began experiencing declines in employment by the second quarter of 1989, a full year before employment turned down in most of the rest of the country. If rising unemployment insurance costs and falling revenues in several regions pushed the federal budget out of balance, would enough Members of Congress from states where economic problems are not yet evident be willing to raise the debt limit and allow a deficit?
Economic downturns also last much longer in some regions than others. In the last recession, employment declines lasted two to four years in California and much of New England and the mid-Atlantic states, while a number of other states recouped their employment losses in a matter of months. In the recession of the early 1980s, this pattern was reversed; that downturn was sharpest and lasted longest in the Midwest and South. The regional patterns that characterize economic downturns raise serious questions about the efficacy of the three-fifths requirement.
Former CBO Director Robert Reischauer On the Balanced Budget Amendment
“A balanced budget rule could make it even harder to conduct discussions of policies on their own merits, and could lead to distortions of policies simply to meet budget goals....[In addition,] burdens might be shifted to state and local governments (through unfunded mandates) or to the private sector (through regulation or trade policy) even when the public good would be enhanced by keeping the programs at the federal level. And spending cuts that would result in immediate savings most likely would be made first, without much consideration of the long-run merits of the programs. Major deficit reduction surely entails spending cuts, but the reductions should be based on the long-run effectiveness of the benefits provided, not on meeting a rigid annual dollar target.”*
* Statement of Robert D. Reischauer, op. cit.
Amendment Could Increase the Risk of Government Default
The amendment envisions setting the debt limit so the government can no longer borrow funds and requires a three-fifths vote of both houses to raise the debt limit. This aspect of the amendment would be likely both to make crises where a default threatens more frequent and to heighten the risk that a default will actually occur.
Until now, it has taken a simple majority of Congress to raise the debt limit, and such a majority has proved difficult to amass on a number of occasions. Under the constitutional amendment, the votes of three-fifths of the members of both houses would be needed. Securing a three-fifths vote to raise the debt limit could often prove excruciating.
This is of particular concern, because there are likely to be a number of years when a budget that is balanced at the start of the year slips out of balance during the year for reasons beyond policymakers control, such as slower-than-expected economic growth, smaller-than-expected revenue collections, or a natural disaster. When that occurs with part of the fiscal year gone, the budget cuts or tax increases needed to balance the budget for the fiscal year could be precipitous, especially since they would need to be concentrated in the remaining months of the year.
Suppose, for example, government outlays turn out to be two percent higher than the CBO estimate at the start of the year, while revenues turn out to be two percent lower. A budget initially thought to be in balance would develop a deficit of about $30 billion. If the $30 billion deficit was recognized part way into a fiscal year, it would be difficult to address. As a point of comparison, the balanced budget plan embodied in the budget resolution the 104th Congress passed last year would have achieved only $27 billion in savings in fiscal year 1997, and it had a full 12 months in which to realize those savings.
In circumstances such as these, it may prove impossible to secure agreement on the budget cuts or tax increases that would be required to balance the budget, particularly if such measures would further slow a weakening economy. But the alternative enduring a deficit for the year in question entails borrowing funds, and that would require a three-fifths vote. If a three-fifths majority to raise the debt limit and prevent a deficit could not be secured, a default crisis would loom.
The amendment exacerbates this problem by outlawing the principal measures the Treasury Department used to avoid default in late 1995 when it took policymakers months to resolve the impasse that precipitated that years budget crisis and government shutdown. Default crises thus would both be more likely to occur and harder to resolve.
CBO has warned that even a default of a few days could have lasting consequences, because it could erode confidence in the binding nature of financial obligations of the U.S. Government and raise government costs as a result. The national debt is financed at relatively low interest rates because those who purchase government securities are confident they will be repaid in full and on time. Similarly, federal defense and highway contracts are less costly than they would be if contractors lacked confidence of being paid in full and on time. If a default occurred, even if only for a brief period, confidence in the U.S. Governments ability to make payment in full and on time could be shaken, and the cost of borrowing and government contracts could rise.
Undermining Majority Rule
The requirement that the budget must be balanced at all times unless three-fifths of Congress agree to waive this requirement would enable minority factions in Congress to block actions favored by a majority of Congress and the President. It would empower such factions to exercise an unprecedented degree of leverage over national economic and fiscal policy.
Minority factions could withhold support for a balanced budget waiver and an increase in the debt limit when a recession loomed, threatening to plunge the government and the economy into turmoil and the Treasury into default unless they were granted major policy concessions. Minorities willing to threaten turmoil and disruption to achieve their ends could gain unprecedented power. For example, one can envision a minority insisting on large tax cuts that do not expire when the recession ends (with the minority claiming the tax cuts would ignite economic growth) as its price for waiving the balanced budget requirement during a downturn. That, in turn, would require still deeper cuts in basic programs in subsequent years to offset the revenue loss resulting from the tax cut.
Several of the authors of the balanced budget amendment have acknowledged this problem. In a recent paper, Reps. Dan Schaefer and Charles Stenholm, the lead House sponsors of the amendment, state: “Under current law, Members of Congress not infrequently have rounded up 50 percent plus one of the Members of the House to threaten to push the government to the brink of insolvency unless a pet amendment is added to this must-pass legislation” [i.e., legislation to raise the debt limit]. Schaefer and Stenholm admit the balanced budget amendment would, in their words, have the effect of “lowering the blackmail threshold...from 50% plus one in either body to 40% plus one...”2 They agree their amendment would make such extortion easier.
They defend this feature of the amendment with the argument that by making extortion easier, the amendment would increase pressure on Congress and the White House to agree to a balanced budget in the first place. But they gloss over the critical point that even when a balanced budget is approved, a deficit of tens of billions of dollars can materialize within a short period of time due to factors beyond policymakers control. When that occurs and restoring budget balance for the year is not feasible or wise, the government can face a choice between failing to act and thereby risking default and authorizing a deficit and a rise in the debt limit. In such circumstances, minority factions will enjoy substantially enhanced powers of extortion.
Shifts in the Balance of Power
The amendment is likely to lead to major shifts in the balance of powers that has served our nation for more than 200 years. Suppose the budget slips out of a balance during a year, Congress and the President can not agree on budget cuts or tax increases large enough to restore balance, and three-fifths of Congress do not agree to waive the balanced budget stricture and raise the debt limit. In such an event, the President or the courts might take matters into their own hands.
The courts might decide how the constitutional amendment would be enforced. They might order cuts themselves. Alternatively, they might rule that the amendment gives the President unprecedented authority to cut programs unilaterally. Such authority would go far beyond line-item veto authority, which Congress can override and which applies only to recently enacted legislation.
A Constitutional Amendment Isnt Needed
Contrary to popular mythology, the nations track record in limiting deficits to modest levels is, overall, a good one. Furthermore, a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis shows that if deficits are kept to modest levels in the decades ahead, the economy will grow at a solid rate and future generations will be better off than current generations are.
Consider the following. Over the past decade, Congress and several administrations have succeeded in sharply lowering the high deficits of the early 1980s; the deficit has declined from 5.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in fiscal year 1986 to 1.4 percent in fiscal year 1996. In addition, a bipartisan agreement to balance the budget by 2002 is likely this year. The oft-sounded claim that policymakers will only balance the budget if a constitutional amendment requires them to do so is on the verge of being proven incorrect.
Nor is the last decade atypical. For more than 200 years, the nation strove to keep deficits small or non-existent, except during wars or recessions.3 The only other time in the past 200 years that the government has adopted policies that sharply widened the deficit was during the early Reagan years, and those policies were adopted in the mistaken hope that the 1981 tax cuts would generate so much economic growth that deficits would not rise. When it became clear this experiment was not working, Congress and three administrations spent the rest of the 1980s and 1990s pushing the deficit genie back into the bottle. The deficit, measured as a percentage of GDP, has shrunk more than 70 percent over the past decade.
This progress was achieved without a constitutional requirement. Evidence is lacking that the nation needs such an amendment, with all the risks it would entail, to pursue responsible fiscal policies and avoid large, damaging deficits.
Moreover, a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis punctures the notion that budget balance must be attained in most or all years. In a report issued in 1996, CBO examined what would happen if deficits through 2030 are held to approximately 1.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product or about $110 billion a year in 1996 terms.4 (This is about the same level as the deficit in 1996, which equaled 1.4 percent of GDP, or $107 billion.) CBO projected that under such a policy, total income per person would grow 41 percent between now and 2030, after adjusting for inflation. In other words, with moderate deficits of this size, the U.S. economy would continue to grow and living standards would rise. CBO also projected that if the budget were balanced each year through 2030, average income per person would rise 43 percent, nearly the same amount.5 Citing these findings, CBO has noted that “...sustainable policies do not require balanced budgets” if deficits are kept to moderate levels.6 CBOs finding that there would be little difference in average living standards over the next 35 years under a balanced budget approach and a policy of moderate deficits illustrates the fallacy of the claim that the balanced budget amendment is needed to save us from an economic meltdown and a deterioration of the living standards of future generations.
Public Investments with Long-Term Payoffs
Public investment that improves long-term productivity growth such as certain investments in education, infrastructure, research and development can boost long-term economic growth. This type of public investment complements the increased private-sector investment that results from lower deficits. But a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget every year would likely result in less such public investment.
The constitutional amendment would largely deny to the federal government a basic practice that most businesses, families, and state and local governments use judicious borrowing to finance investments with long-term payoffs. Businesses borrow to invest in new plant and equipment that help them grow. A business that failed to modernize because it could not borrow would soon be left behind. Families borrow to finance home purchases and college education. State and local governments borrow to finance road construction, the building of new schools, and similar capital projects; they typically balance their operating budgets, not their overall budgets.
Under the proposed constitutional amendment, however, the federal government could borrow to finance needed investment only if three-fifths of the members of both houses agreed to waive the balanced budget requirement and authorize the borrowing to take place. Over time, the likely result would be less public investment.
This is particularly true because the proposed amendment would impose a rigid requirement that the overall budget, including Social Security and Medicare, be balanced every year, even when the baby boom generation is in old age. For total federal expenditures including Social Security and Medicare to equal federal receipts year after year during those years would likely require shrinking public investment to a level unhealthy for long-term economic growth.
Families and states address matters such as these by accumulating savings or reserves that can be drawn down when the need arises. For example, families accumulate savings that are later used to pay for college tuition, and many states have “rainy day” or reserve funds that can be drawn upon when additional state expenditures are needed. But the proposed federal constitutional amendment bars such practices; it would prohibit expenditures in any year from exceeding the revenue the federal government collects in that year, regardless of whether the government had accumulated reserves in prior years. The requirement that the constitutional amendment would impose in this area is akin to requiring a family to pay for a childs college tuition for a given year entirely out of that same years earnings, rather than allowing the family to save money for this purpose in prior years or to borrow money for college that is paid back after the child graduates and begins to earn money. Businesses, families, and state and local governments do not impose upon themselves the fiscal straightjacket that the constitutional amendment would place on the U.S. government.
Amendment Tends to Favor the Wealthy Over Other Americans
While the balanced budget amendment does not dictate any particular approach to deficit reduction, it increases the likelihood that the fiscal policies adopted in coming decades will favor the well-off at the expense of poor and average Americans. It does this because it would alter Congressional voting procedures that have existed for more than 200 years and make it harder to raise revenues than cut programs.
Under current law, legislation can pass by a majority of those present and voting on either a roll call vote or an unrecorded “voice vote.” The balanced budget amendment, however, would require that legislation raising taxes be approved on a roll call vote by a majority of the full membership of both houses, rather than a majority of those present and voting. Spending cuts, by contrast, would continue to require only a majority of those present and voting and could be passed on a voice vote.
The amendment thus would require more votes to curb special interest tax breaks such as tax subsidies for the oil and gas industries and other tax breaks considered “corporate welfare” than to cut programs such as Medicare, veterans’ benefits, education, environmental programs, and assistance for poor children. Moreover, deficit reduction measures that contain a mix of program cuts and revenue increases as did virtually every deficit reduction package enacted between 1982 and 1993 would require more votes to pass than deficit reduction measures consisting solely of program cuts with no revenue measures whatsoever.
This raises significant equity issues. Wealthy individuals and large corporations receive most of their government benefits through tax subsidies, or “tax expenditures” as they are sometimes called. By contrast, low- and middle-income families receive most of their government benefits through programs. A constitutional amendment that makes it harder to reduce tax subsidies than to cut programs tends to favor the affluent over Americans of lesser means.
Tax expenditures are essentially spending programs that operate through the tax code by reducing the tax liability of particular taxpayers. In testimony in 1994, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan referred to these measures as “tax entitlements” because they entitle those who qualify for them to government subsidies provided in the form of a special tax reduction. Tax expenditures cost more than $400 billion in forgone revenue in fiscal year 1995, more than the government spends on defense or Social Security.
This aspect of the amendment has particular implications for the elderly. Social Security offices lack information on the current incomes of Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. As a result, proposals to trim Social Security or Medicare benefits for the well-off elderly while shielding the low- and average-income elderly usually entail using the tax code. For example, the provision of the “Blue Dog” budget (a budget developed by a group of conservative and moderate House Democrats) that would increase Medicare premiums for affluent seniors uses the tax code to collect the added premium charge. Under the constitutional amendment, such a measure would require more votes than an across-the-board increase in Medicare premiums for all beneficiaries or an across-the-board Social Security cut.
How significant is the requirement that a measure which raises revenue must secure the votes of a majority of the full membership of both Houses? Might such a rule ever come into play? The answer is “yes.” Had this rule been in effect in 1993, the 1993 Clinton budget would have failed. It initially passed the Senate 50-49; the conference report subsequent passed 51-50 with the Vice-President breaking the tie. Under the amendment, both such votes would have resulted in the budgets defeat.
Amendment Could Adversely Affect Younger Generations
Despite claims that the constitutional amendment is needed to protect our children, the amendment could work against their interests, since it would prohibit adoption of the type of fiscal policies that would treat them most equitably in coming decades. This is particularly true because of the amendments effects on the Social Security system.
Social Security has traditionally operated on a “pay-as-you-go” basis; in other words, the payroll taxes contributed by todays workers finance the benefits of todays retirees. But in coming decades, Social Security faces a large demographic bulge. There will be so many retirees when the baby boomers grow old that it will be very difficult for the workers of that period to support the retired baby boomers without a large increase in payroll taxes.
The 1983 bipartisan Social Security commission headed by Alan Greenspan recognized this problem. It moved Social Security from a pure “pay-as-you-go” system to one under which the baby boomers would contribute more toward their own retirement. The Social Security system is now building up surpluses as a result; by 2019, these surpluses will equal about $3 trillion. After that, as the bulk of the baby boom generation moves into retirement, the Social Security system will draw down the surpluses. This is akin to what families do in saving for retirement during their working years and drawing down their savings when they retire. It is essential to keeping the burden on younger generations from growing too large when the baby boomers retire.
The balanced budget amendment, however, would undermine this approach to protecting Social Security and promoting generational equity. The amendment states that total government expenditures in any year including expenditures for Social Security benefits may not exceed total revenues collected in the same year. This effectively means that the Social Security surpluses could not be used to ease the burden on younger generations of financing the benefit costs of the baby boomers when they retire, since those benefits costs would have to be financed in full by taxes collected from people working in those years. That would eviscerate a central achievement of the Greenspan commission and would almost certainly lead to the imposition of heavy burdens on those whose peak earnings years are between about 2020 and 2040.
In fact, the constitutional amendment would likely precipitate a major crisis in Social Security about 20 years from now even if legislation had been passed in the meantime putting Social Security in long-term actuarial balance. The nation would face an excruciating choice at that time between much deeper cuts in Social Security benefits than are needed to make Social Security solvent and much larger increases in payroll taxes than otherwise would be required. The third and only other alternative would be to finance the Social Security “deficit” in those years (i.e., the amount by which the Social Security benefits paid in those years exceed the payroll taxes collected in those years) by raising other taxes substantially or slashing rather severely the rest of government, with the result that government could fail to provide adequately for basic services, potentially including national defense.
Given the vast numbers of baby boomers who will be retired in those years and their likely political clout, deep cuts in Social Security benefits are not probable at that time. As a result, the constitutional amendment would likely cause those working between 2020 and 2040 to have to shoulder both large increases in taxes and sharp reductions in basic government services. Spreading the retirement costs of the baby boomers over a longer time-frame, as the Greenspan commissions recommendations began to do, would be much more equitable.
Risks to the U.S. Banking System
The constitutional amendment poses a risk to the stability of the U.S. banking system. In the event of a potential banking crisis, the amendment could prevent the U.S. Government from making urgently needed deposit insurance payments if such payments would unbalance the budget, unless Congress was able either to muster a three-fifths majority to waive the balanced budget requirement or to make what could be very large cuts elsewhere in the budget on very short notice to offset the deposit insurance costs. If the government is unable to respond to a banking crisis, the guarantee that the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government stands behind the U.S. banking system will not have as much meaning; that, in turn, could have adverse consequences for financial markets. This is another reason why writing a balanced budget requirement into the Constitution, something no other major national government does, is ill-advised.
Dont States Have to Balance Their Budgets?
Supporters of the constitutional balanced budget amendment often dismiss concerns about its impact, arguing that states balance their budgets and the federal government should also. But these allusions to state balanced budget requirements overlook six critical points made in a GAO study of state balanced budget rules:7
— Many states are required to balance their operating budgets, not their total budgets. States typically maintain separate budgets for operating expenses and capital expenses, and the requirement for budget balance often applies only to the operating portion of the budget. This means investments in roads, bridges, school construction, and the like often are not subject to budget balancing requirements and can be financed through bonds or other borrowing measures. This is widely regarded as a sound practice at the state level because such capital investments are designed to yield long-term benefits that strengthen state economies and because such investments may be placed at a disadvantage if they have to compete for funds, under a balanced budget regime, with ongoing costs for government operations. The proposed constitutional amendment does not make such a distinction. This is one of the several reasons it differs fundamentally from, and is cruder than, the balanced budget procedures in place in many states.
— Many states have established “rainy day” or reserve funds, which they draw upon when their budgets would otherwise be out of balance. Nearly all states either have a rainy day fund or allow surpluses from one year to count toward balancing the budget in the next year. This enables states to save now in order to finance increased needs later. The constitutional amendment would prohibit the federal government from saving funds to finance increased needs later, due to the requirement that total federal expenditures in a year including expenditures financed from a reserve or trust fund not exceed the revenue collected in that same year. The federal government could neither save to finance future needs nor borrow to pay for investments with long-term pay-offs; states, businesses, and families typically use both financing methods.
— Many states require that the governor submit a balanced budget or that the legislature enact a balanced budget but not that year-end balance actually be achieved. Such requirements recognize that developments in the economy and other circumstances beyond a state’s control often push budgets out of balance. Under the constitutional amendment, such practices would be impermissible unless three-fifths of the House and Senate voted to authorize them.
— The federal budget has a larger impact on the U.S. economy than state budgets do. Federal fiscal retrenchment during periods of slow growth can have adverse consequences of a much greater magnitude than the effects wrought by state austerity measures. Moreover, the fact that states cut their budgets and raise taxes when the economy slows or recession hits is itself a reason the federal government should not follow suit. Federal counter-cyclical policies are essential during such periods to stabilize the economy and offset the drag on the economy caused by state and local retrenchment.
— Many states allow governors to act unilaterally without legislative approval to cut spending in the middle of a fiscal year. The President does not have this power at the federal level. Providing the President with this authority would represent a dramatic shift of power and responsibility over the nations purse strings from Congress to the executive branch.
— The large majority of states require the same number of votes to raise revenues as to cut programs. By contrast, the proposed federal constitutional amendment would make it somewhat harder to raise revenues than to cut spending.
What About Families?
Amendment supporters also frequently say that families balance their budgets, and the federal government should too. But when a family balances its checkbook, it is making sure that incoming cash including borrowed money is sufficient to cover the payments it is making, including payments on debts for such items as mortgages, cars, and student loans.
Few families balance their budgets the way the constitutional amendment would require the government to balance its budget. To do so, families would have to cover the full cost of a home they wished to buy out of that same years income or the full cost of a childs college education out of the current years income.
Families typically save in some years so their expenses can exceed their income in other years. They also borrow for items like a home, a new car, or a college education. If the goal is to require the federal government to act as families do with their own budgets, the constitutional amendment is not the appropriate route to follow. Moreover, if families had to budget by the rules in the constitutional amendment, that would wreak havoc on their finances and render millions unable to buy a home or car or send their children to college.
* * * * *
The deficit reduction packages enacted in 1990 and 1993, along with other measures, have made important progress in shrinking the deficit. Over the past 10 years, the deficit has declined 70 percent as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. A budget agreement is likely in 1997 that will eliminate the remaining deficit and balance the budget by 2002.
Further action still will be needed; health care reform with tough cost-containment measures and Social Security reform to place the system in long-term actuarial balance also will be necessary. Achieving a budget agreement this year, followed by action to address health care and Social Security reform, is the course the nation should chart.
Such a course of action does not require altering the U.S. Constitution to write in a rigid fiscal policy prescription. A balanced budget constitutional amendment that risks making recessions deeper and more frequent, heightens the risk of default, weakens our tradition of majority rule, makes it harder to raise revenues, favors wealthy Americans over middle- and low-income Americans, jeopardizes the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, and leads to reductions in needed investments is neither necessary to achieve fiscal responsibility nor a prudent path for the nation to follow.
1 Statement of Robert D. Reischauer before the House Budget Committee, May 6, 1992.
2 Materials on balanced budget amendment circulated by Reps. Dan Schaefer and Charles Stenholm, November 18, 1996.
3 Until the early 1980s, any deficits in periods other than wars or recessions were sufficiently small that the national debt declined as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. For example, the nation ran small or modest deficits during most years of the 1960s and 1970s; between 1960 and 1980, the debt declined as a percentage of GDP.
4 In future years, a deficit equal to 1.5 percent of GDP would constitute a deficit somewhat large than $110 billion, measured in 1996 dollars. This is because economic growth will have raised the Gross Domestic Product in future years to a larger size than in 1996.
5 Congressional Budget Office, The Economic and Budget Outlook: Fiscal Years 1997-2006, May 1996, Chapter 4.
6 Statement of James L. Blum, Deputy Director of the Congressional Budget Office, on “The Long-Term Budget Outlook and Options,” before the Senate Budget Committee, January 22, 1997, pp. 16-17.
7 General Accounting Office, Balanced Budget Requirements: State Experiences and Implications for the Federal Government, (GAO/AFMD-95-58BR, March 26, 1993).
Center on Budget & Policy Priorities
Their own statement about who they are...
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is one of the nations premier policy organizations working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.
The Center conducts research and analysis to inform public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that the needs of low-income families and individuals are considered in these debates. We also develop policy options to alleviate poverty.
In addition, the Center examines the short- and long-term impacts that proposed policies would have on the health of the economy and on the soundness of federal and state budgets. Among the issues we explore are whether federal and state governments are fiscally sound and have sufficient revenue to address critical priorities, both for low-income populations and for the nation as a whole.
Over the past two decades, the Center has gained a reputation for producing materials that are balanced, authoritative, accessible to non-specialists, and responsive to issues currently before the country. Our materials are used by policymakers and non-profit organizations across the political spectrum, as well as by journalists from a variety of media outlets.
Who knows..., you may get some good “talking points” about the Constitutional Convention for a Balanced Budget from some “liberals”... LOL...
You asked — “Are you sure that the approval process is the same?”
It’s Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution...
A starting reference to Article 5 of the Constitution and some discussion...
You can go from there and look at other sources.
Now..., some here have said that this Constitutional Convention could be a Democrat’s dream to enable him to change the Constitution to fit his own liberal wishes. HOWEVER, one must note that not all liberals are of the same mind with this issue. And when you can take your enemies arguments and make them work for you and refer to their own materials to help your own cause..., well, all the better... LOL...
American Federation of State, County and Federal Employees, AFL-CIO
Resolution No: 193
27th International Convention
June 23-27, 1986
BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT AND CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
Efforts are still being continued to convene a constitutional convention to consider an amendment requiring a balanced federal budget every year, and also to force Congress to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment through the Congress. These efforts are being spearheaded by right wing interest groups with the active support of the Reagan Administration and the Senate Republican leadership; and
During the last eleven years, 32 states have passed some form of resolution petitioning Congress to convene a constitutional convention; and
Most constitutional scholars maintain that a convention could not be limited to a single issue. An endless number of emotional and divisive issues could be brought up in an open convention repeal of the income tax, affirmative action and abortion, to name only a few. Such a proceeding would serve as a catalyst for demagogy of the worst kind; and
The constitutional convention that is being petitioned for would, at a minimum, reach into areas which are properly left to the legislative process. Such a convention, by writing particular social and economic policies into the U.S. Constitution, would infringe on the democratic right of American voters to choose between economic and social programs in elections; and
The attempt to mandate an annually balanced federal budget without regard to the condition of the U.S. economy is both politically and economically irresponsible. It is shameful that such an amendment is being vigorously supported by a President who has added one trillion dollars to the national debt and who has submitted a budget with deficits in excess of $200 billion; and
Deficits are occasionally necessary to stimulate the economy and to counter recessions, and as an econometric study commissioned by AFSCME has shown, the implementation of a balanced budget two years ago would have meant a continuation of recession; and
A balanced budget requirement would dangerously restrict the flexibility of the federal government’s economic policy and would greatly reduce the government’s ability to undertake new initiatives to satisfy pressing social needs.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
That this 27th International Convention oppose efforts to mandate balancing the budget either through Congressional amendments or the calling of a constitutional convention. AFSCME will vigorously oppose Congressional amendments which would require a balanced federal budget, and will urge state legislatures to defeat resolutions calling for a constitutional convention and to withdraw any calls already submitted to Congress; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
That AFSCME urge Congress to support a responsible federal budget policy by rejecting a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
International Executive Board
Page that was referenced above...
I can hear the argument among conservatives now... “Well if the liberals don’t want it, then we should, because obviously we should be the opposite of whatever the liberals want...” LOL...
Here is Ohio House Joint Resolution #8:
HJR 8 was put on the schedule yesterday in the Judiciary Committee:
The Joint Resolution appears to have been only assigned to a committee, not voted on by that committee or gone any further.
My question is - how many other states have this same bill filed? It sounds great, but is extremely dangerous, especially at this point in our history.
“I just never expected to see it in my lifetime.
Semper Fi ...”
But better now than later for our children and grandchildren. In most cases, we are better trained.
Although the Corps can be proud of its performance in the ME.
(We will be happy to ride around on your M48!)
“You posted this junk - do you believe it?”
With all due respect, I was sent this information by the source. I had hoped that by posting it on FR, two things would occur:
1. Produce other comments from folks who are far more knowledgeable than myself to shed light on this.
2. To alert those at FR that this is in the undercurrent of American politics at this most dangerous time.
To ask whether I believe it is not the point. If that was the case, no one could post anything here from the MSM or other liberal rags!
Oh, heavens, Travis, too friggin’ close to reality!!!
I tend to believe it is meant to be the latter. There is already a mechanism in place for amending the existing Constitution. A Constitutional convention could write a new Constitution from scratch.
It would be essentially a re-boot of our system.
Thanks. Since it would requires 3/4 of the states, or 38, to ratify it, I feel much more secure.
What the US Constitution says about the issue at hand. Whether it is coming from the Congress or a Constitutional Convention it takes the same number of States to adopt the change[s].
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
It was tough enough to get the 13 original colonies to agree on a Constitution. A radical rewrite of the Constitution that would get 3/4 of the States to sign on is really only possible in the type of fiction someone posted upthread.
Ah, the legendary Dubya Cringe.
Good idea! Maybe this one as well, or one or the other with crosslinks.
Symbolism’s long inauguration history
FirstRead: MSNBC | December 10, 2008 | John Rutherford
Posted on 12/11/2008 7:57:42 AM PST by Pharmboy
There Will Be No Civil War;
The Military will not mutiny against The One (piss be upon him);
None of you Free Republic Internet Rambo's will ever fire a shot in anger at another American;
There will be no "conservative revolution", because you think too highly of the rule of law to ever disobey - and The Left knows it!
You used too many words.
The Sheep will never read it.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
And I think they can then approve the rewrite without any states voting.
How could they do that? Somebody would have to ratify the Constitution. And as things stand, it would probably be state conventions.
I don't think we need a new constitutional convention or a new Constitution. But if the country's as divided as everybody says it is, where would you get the kind of agreement necessary to scrap what we have and replace it with a new one?
What happened in 1787 happened because the franchise was still rather narrow. Voters tended to have similar interests. Nowadays, it's less likely that there'd be such agreement about fundamentals.
Now whatever would make you think DC would not let states secede?
There’s a much larger excerpt on the website, if you want to read more in the meantime.
You said — “You used too many words. The Sheep will never read it.”
Well, I feel sorry for those who figure that everything can be understood and solved in the space of a 60-minute TV show... :-)
You have just expressed your sorrow for The Sheep more diplomatically than I could have.
All I can express is contempt.
“Between the Lines” said — “There is no consensus as to whether or not the convention would have the power to simply disavow the Constitution altogether and propose replacing it with an entirely new document”
And then you replied — “I tend to believe it is meant to be the latter. There is already a mechanism in place for amending the existing Constitution. A Constitutional convention could write a new Constitution from scratch.”
Well, in case you didn’t realize it, there are *two ways* to amend the Constitution, which is “constitutional”... LOL..
One way is for the Congress to propose the Amendment and submit it to the states for ratification. The second way is for the states to submit an amendment and ratify it themselves — again by the *same* ratification procedure for all amendments — being that 3/4 of the states have to ratify it. This second way was put in the Constitution for the case in which Congress *would not act* the way the states wanted. So, this gave the states the ability to do it themselves, thereby bypassing the Congress. That’s the purpose of having two ways in the Constitution.
And the Balanced Budget Amendment was one of those things that Congress refused to submit (on their own). So, the states have taken this amendment into their own hands, thereby bypassing Congress and their refusal to act on it. That’s what is going on.
Furthermore, several states have provisions that the people whom they send to the Constitutional Convention will not be able to vote on any other amendment, or else their “right” (granted by the state sending them there) will be revoked and they will remove them from the Constitutional Convention, and they will *withdraw* from the Constitutional Convention.
And since all the states who have passed the Constitutional Convention route for getting the Balanced Budget Amendment — have specified that they are *only* acting on this one amendment, that means that at least 34 states will *refuse* to vote on anything else (if it were to come up). That would kill the Constitutional Convention and nothing would pass. It would be D.O.A. at that point.
That’s why it wouldn’t be a “runaway Constitutional Convention”....
It’s “Article 5” of the Constitution, by the way. You can read more about it, as a “staring point” right here — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution
You said — “Now whatever would make you think DC would not let states secede?”
Ummm...., perhaps Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War... LOL...
[I think the bloodiest war in America’s history settled that particular and *primary issue* that caused the war...]
You said — “Is there any TRUTH in this? Anyone have a link to the list of states? Can anyone find the resolution in their State’s minutes? We have a lot of very connected people on FR who pay close attention and somehow we are to believe that 32 states have voted on this and no one here has ever heard about it, until now? BULL FEATHERS !!!
It’s true. It happened about 20-30 years ago. There’s no time limit for how long the states have to take to request this Constitutional Convention. It can go on for another 20 years and if another two states request it — it’s a “done deal”.... That’s how it works.
There was even a Constitutional Amendment that took about 200 years to pass. The last state ratified it 200 years later and that Amendment went into effect.
So, it’s not all like you think...
AND, the reason why no one here picked up on it — is, very simply — this happened long before web browsers, the popular Internet and before half of the FReepers were ever born.... LOL...
You said — “Yeah. Politicians are critically worried about balancing the budget.”
Well, they must be, because they’re about 2 states away from doing it... LOL...
AND..., in addition, they’ve got provisions in these requests that if the Constitutional Convention goes on to other matters, other than a Balanced Budget Amendment, then they will withdraw from the Constitutional Convention. They’ve all specified that this is *only* about a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Besides that, whatever is put forth (for an amendment) *still* has to be ratified by 3/4 of the states. If these states pull out if anything else is submitted — how on earth can you ever get to 3/4 of the states... LOL..
“They cant simply re-write the Constitution. They must propose amendments that 3/4 of the states must ratify, before anything can take effect. Its the same standard for ratification for the Congress proposing a Constitutional Amendment.”
Thanks for the details. I didn’t know those details, but still do not trust anyone to do what you just described. ;)
Ah yes..., it’s a sad day when a person can trust no one in government. It makes one wonder how we can even *function* as a government anymore???
Perhaps it’s not the Constitution that’s in trouble, but the entire government, itself will collapse (Constitution or not), because no one can function any longer...
“..Perhaps its not the Constitution thats in trouble, but the entire government, itself will collapse ..”
Let’s hope it won’t get that bad, but who knows anymore. Keep praying and pack heat. lol
Follow Texan here
What did Davy Crockett say?
“The rest of you may all go to Hell. As for me, I’m going
Like it said on the flag “Come and take it!”
All hyperbole aside, Freinds of mine and I talk about Seceding regularly.
This last part is where lurks the danger of a runaway convention. Article V. lets Congress determine all of the modalities, that are dangerously ambiguous and undefined here. We know what the state legislatures are, but what the heck are "Conventions in three fourths thereof?" Who defines the places and times and delegates to these state ratifying conventions? It implies that Congress does, but this is not stated explicitly, Article v. only says that Congress chooses the "Mode of Ratification." But who organizes and chooses the voting delegates at these conventions? It is said nowhere, and in this there is great room for mischief, as I described in my fictional "Kangaroo Convention" back at reply 49.
I fear a con-con during a period of great national stress, with a 'rat congress pushing and running the show, and defining the means and choosing the delegates to bogus "state ratifying conventions" that the Congress would then endorse as valid.
I already DID. Perhaps you’d like a proofreader for the whole thing?
[cue Oliver Twist] Please sir, may I have some more?
Check da mail.
Unfortunately, they (we) either don't have the time, are not willing to take the time and/or are ignorant.
Save the Constitution Ping
I am new here and I have an accent so I hope you will forgive my typos...
Ive been following this birth certificate story since a while. Here is what I read today and I will pass it on because it seems so important - just came up today on http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com/ .
Here is the article:
URGENT!!! URGENT!!! - CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION Secretly Being Railroaded Through!!!
Posted 11 December, 2008 by doctorbulldog
Categories: Abuse of Power, Orwellian, politics
Yesterday, Ohio tried to become the 33rd state to vote in a Constitutional Convention!!!
This article is a day old, but it IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!
Here is my personal update to the story:
Due to public concern, the vote on Ohio House Joint Resolution 8 ( HJR 8 ) was TEMPORARILY halted, but it WILL come up again! - there are rumors it could be today or tomorrow!
Even the PETA-like Libtards are fighting against this!!!
Only 34 states are needed to CHANGE THE U.S. CONSTITUTION!!!!
And, once a Con Con is approved only two more states to go! Congress (think Nancy Pelosi - Harry Reid) can select who will be on the committee to CHANGE the Constitution.
The states have NO CONTROL over what the committee decides to change in OUR CONSTITUTION!!!
They can change ANYTHING. And, its ALL LEGAL and binding!!
A list of the states that have secretly slipped this by the public can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered my state of Missouri on that list!!!
TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS!!!!
WRITE EVERY PUBLIC SERVANT YOU KNOW!!!
H/T - az_conservative
U.S. Two States Away from Constitutional Convention
APC is now offering you a quick and easy way to multiply your efforts and help win more battles! Simply click http://www.referralblast.com/rblast.asp?sid=7137 to send this APC Action Alert to up to TEN of your friends! Its fast, its easy, and most of all, its extremely effective in KILLING LEFTIST POLICIES!
This is the most urgent, most important action alert the American Policy Center has ever issued! The Ohio state legislature is expected to vote today, Wednesday, Dec. 10th, to call for a Constitutional Convention (Con Con). If Ohio calls for a Con Con only one more state need do so and Congress will have no choice but to convene a Convention, throwing our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights up for grabs. Ohios vote today poses a grave threat to the U.S. Constitution. Please immediately call the Ohio lawmakers listed below. ACT FAST - time is of the essence!
I apologize! This malignancy most foul remained undetected by our radar until a good friend brought it to our attention yesterday. The hour is late, but WE MUST TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!
It does not matter where you live. Ohios vote today endangers everyone in every state in the Union, so we must pressure Ohio lawmakers to discard this disastrous legislative effort.
Thirty-two (32) other states have already called for a Con Con (allegedly to add a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution). 34 states are all that is required, and then Congress MUST convene a Convention.
The U.S. Constitution places no restriction on the purposes for which the states can call for a Convention. If Ohio votes to call a Con Con, for whatever purpose, the United States will be only one state away from total destruction. And its a safe bet that those who hate this nation, and all She stands for, are waiting to pounce upon this opportunity to re-write our Constitution. We dare slumber no longer; we must take immediate action to preserve this nation!
Certainly all loyal Americans want government constrained by a balanced budget. But calling a Con Con risks a revolutionary change in our form of government. The ultimate outcome will likely be a new constitution; one that would possibly eliminate the Article 1 restriction to the coinage of real money or even eliminate gun or property rights. So what may look like a good idea to the legislators driving this effort - all Republicans - will certainly make them prey to the law of unintended consequences - at the very least insuring the U.S. will never have a balanced budget - while destroying what vestiges of liberty the government still allows.
You may have heard that some of those 32 states have voted to rescind their calls. This is true. However, under Article V of the Constitution, Congress must call a Constitutional Convention whenever 2/3 (or 34) of the states apply. The Constitution makes no provision for rescission. Weve been told advocates of the convention are waiting to capture just two more states - Ohio, and one other. They can then challenge the other states rescissions in the courts while going ahead with the Convention. Congress alone then decides whether state legislatures or state conventions ratify proposed amendments.
You may have heard the states can control the subject of any convention. In truth no restrictive language from any state can legally limit the scope or outcome of a Convention! Once a Convention is called Congress determines how the delegates to the Convention are chosen. Once chosen, those Convention delegates possess more power than the U.S. Congress itself; if it were not so they would not be able to change the U.S. Constitution!
We have not had a Constitutional Convention since 1787. That Convention was called to make small changes in the Articles of Confederation. As a point of fact, several states first passed resolutions requiring their delegates discuss amendments to the Articles ONLY, forbidding even discussion of foundational changes. However, following the delegates first agreement that their meetings be in secret, their second act was to agree to debate those state restrictions and to declare the Articles of Confederation NULL AND VOID! They also changed the ratification process, reducing the required states approval from 100% to 75%. There is no reason to believe a contemporary Con Con wouldnt further modify Article V restrictions to suit its purpose.
As former Chief Justice Warren Burger said in a letter written to Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum:
there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention would obey. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we dont like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederation Congress (emphasis mine)
We were blessed in 1787; the Con Con delegates were the leaders of a freedom movement that had just cleansed this land of tyranny.
Todays corrupt politicians and judges would like nothing better than the ability to legally ignore the Constitution - to modify its problematic provisions to reflect the philosophical and socials mores of our contemporary society.
The majority of U.S. voters just elected a dedicated leftist as President. Republicans are at their weakest right now! This is a horrible time to try such a crazy scheme. We cannot control the debate right now! Dont for one second doubt that delegates to a Con Con wouldnt revise the 1st Amendment into a government-controlled privilege, replace the 2nd Amendment with a collective right to self-defense, and abolish the 4th, 5th, and 10th Amendments, and the rest of the Bill of Rights. Additions could include the non-existent Separation of Church and State, the right to abortion and euthanasia, and much, much more.
Our uniquely and purely American concept of individual rights, endowed by our Creator, would be quickly set aside as an anachronistic relic of a bygone era; replaced by new collective rights, awarded and enforced by government for the common good.
The problems our nation faces are not a result of deficiencies in our Constitution; rather, they are the direct result of our disregard for that divinely-inspired document of liberty.
There is no challenge faced by this nation that cannot be solved either by enforcing existing law, or in limited cases, by writing new law. We do not need, AND MUST NOT RISK THE LIBERTY OF THE UNITED STATES with, a Constitutional Convention!
Ohio must not vote for a Con Con! We cannot control the debate! And state #34 is likely sitting silently in the wings, ready to act with lightning speed, sealing the fate of our once great nation before we can prevent it.
Stop the Ohio bill and we can stop the Constitutional Convention.
ACTION TO TAKE
We need only stop the House bill, HJR8, sponsored by Representative Louis Blessing, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (there is a Senate bill too).
1. Call Chairman Blessings office and tell his staff you oppose a Constitutional Convention and you want this process stopped.
Tell them this is the most dangerous time ever to call for such a convention.
Tell them no one can control the debate or outcome of a Con Con.
Representative Louis Blessing
Phone: (614) 466-9091
Fax: (614) 719-3583
2. Call Representative Bill Batchelder. He is a very good man. Ive known him for years. But he has been misled on this issue. The word is he is wavering. Your calls can convince him to withdraw his support. That can kill this bill.
Representative Bill Batchelder
Phone: (614) 466-8140
Fax: (614) 719-3969
3. It is URGENT that you make your calls right now. The bill could be voted on as early as this afternoon (Wednesday).
Im so sorry for this late notice. We just found out about this last night.
Please get this message out far and wide. This task requires our very best effort! E-mail and call your friends, family and neighbors. Network anywhere and everywhere possible. If you know someone who never takes action, encourage them to break that habit this one time. Our Constitution is under assault!
Visit the American Policy Center website
SEND THIS MESSAGE TO AT LEAST TEN MORE PEOPLE! APC is now offering you a quick and easy way to multiply your efforts and help win more battles! Simply click here to send this APC Action Alert to up to TEN of your friends! Its fast, its easy and most of all, its extremely effective in KILLING OPPRESSIVE POLICIES!
no...no...there are far more red states, and they’d require those red states to change anything.
ping for later view
What you say is true. Oddly, had Virginia wished to retain the “right’ to own humans as property, all they had to do was lay down their arms and rejoin the Union. There was no objection to slavery in the North except for some Quakers and others. Certainly Lincoln had not stated any objection to the vile institution until the war was well into it’s second year. It was a political move for him more so than any moral conviction.
Motivations to fight for the North in the majority of cases, were to preserve the Union, not end slavery. That came later. In the South, at least 80% of the men fighting, had no slaves nor had any interest in it.
Virginia, for example, had outlawed the import of any more slaves to the colony immediately after declaring its independence from England, several days before even joining the other colonies in their revolt.
Virginians, especially slave owners, had long been in favor of freeing the slaves. The lack of any realistic plan on how to do that and protect the citizens and communities from the after effects.
I don’t have data at hand on the population of slaves in 1860 Virginia, but it has to have been greater than 100,000 souls. Were they to given freedom all of a sudden, where would they go? What would they do? A certain number would gain employment from their former masters to be sure, but not all.
Though I don’t condone it, I can understand their concern given the era they were living in, and contemporary thinking at the time.
I believe you are correct though, the outcome of such a horrible contest might turn out much different this time around. God please help us avoid such a disaster, but give us strength to prevail should there be no alternative.
As for liberal glee at our departure, who would pay all of their taxes? Who would they have to “rule” if not for us? Themselves? I just can’t see that happening, not nearly as satisfying.