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Ten Proposed Amendments

 

These proposed constitutional amendments are all designed to restore the Constitution, limit federal government, and eliminate corruption as the founding fathers intended. All of these issues need to be resolved by a constitutional amendment, as normal legislation would be challenged on constitutional grounds.

New Amendment One—Term Limit on Congress

All representatives shall be limited to four terms not to exceed a total of eight years. All senators shall be limited to two terms not to exceed a total of twelve years.

In order to limit special interest entrenchment and corruption, we need to ratify a constitutional amendment defining a limit on congressional terms. Individual members of Congress remain in the federal government so long that even the most honest become susceptible to undue influence. The most dishonest of them become criminally corrupt.

New Amendment Two—Term Limit on Supreme Court Justices

There shall be nine Supreme Court justices, and all appointments to the Supreme Court shall be for eighteen years. No person shall be appointed to more than one term or serve more than eighteen years. Appointments to the nine seats shall be staggered by two years. If a justice cannot complete their term, another shall be chosen to complete that term only. To transition to this system, the most senior tenured justice’s term will expire on July 1 of the first even-numbered year after the passage of this amendment. On July 1, two years later, the next most senior tenured justice’s term will expire and so on.

The Supreme Court has become much more political than intended. Justices are also being chosen based on being young enough to serve a long term, and thus push the desired agenda of the political party, making the appointment for an extended period of time. Justices are now timing their retirements so that the political party of their choosing can pick their replacement. In order to prevent justices from playing politics with their resignations, we need to ratify a constitutional amendment defining a limit on their term on the court.

New Amendment Three—State Check on the Federal Government

At a convention open to all states, any 2/3 vote may void any law passed, executive order issued, federal court ruling, or Supreme Court ruling made by claiming the federal government does not have constitutional authority granted to it by the states to have taken such action. Once this action is taken, it should be considered law by all the branches of the federal government.

As the federal government has bullied, blackmailed, and strong-armed the state governments as well as unconstitutionally usurped state powers, there needs to be a check that the states can use to defend themselves from such action. This will give the states a check on all three branches of the federal government.

New Amendment Four—Individual Check on the Federal Government

All legislation should be made public in its final form after all amendments and modifications are made at least one month before it is voted on. In the case of an emergency, a vote may be taken earlier if the president so requests, and three-quarters of the legislature agrees that an exception is necessary.

As stated earlier, the federal government has taken the approach to rush legislation through, before it can be read and debated. They do this because they know if the public understood what they were doing, they would be against it. The public needs to have the opportunity to see all legislation and have their voices heard on the matter before any action is taken.

New Amendment Five—Gold Standard

The value of the U.S. dollar shall be defined as a fixed weight of gold and redeemable as such. (The amount can be determined at the time the amendment is officially proposed.)

Devaluation of the dollar is the way government can stealthily tax an individual’s wealth. Gold is an individual’s way to protect their wealth from their government, and the gold standard is a way to protect all of society’s wealth and its currency against the federal government.

A return to the gold standard will return the nation to monetary and fiscal responsibility. Without a gold standard, the temptation will always be to print money and run deficits. Abandoning the gold standard allowed the federal government to change the nation into a welfare state and run large deficits. Without a gold standard, any saving is at the mercy of the federal government being responsible and not destroying the value of the currency via inflation.

New Amendment Six—Flat Sales Tax

The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution shall be repealed. It shall be replaced with a national sales tax that will apply to all retail sales of products and services. (A maximum rate can be determined at the time the amendment is officially proposed.)

This amendment will eliminate the ability of the federal government to tax income in any way. This will simplify the entire tax system. It will encourage savings and investment, overspending, and debt. A maximum rate should be set in the amendment so that the federal government will have to go back to the people if it wants it raised.

New Amendment Seven—Balanced Budget

For any fiscal year, total actual outlays shall not exceed total actual receipts. Total outlays shall include everything except debt repayments. Total receipts shall include everything except those derived from borrowings. There shall be nothing off budget. If under an active state of declared war, the president may request and Congress may agree by three-fifths vote to spend more in a fiscal year not to exceed the direct cost of the declared war.

I could argue that with the previous amendment of a gold standard, we do not need this specific amendment because, as stated earlier, a gold standard will place monetary and fiscal discipline on the federal government. This is why we did not have a debt problem until we went off the gold standard. However, it would not hurt to have both so we could also pass a balanced budget amendment to help restore fiscal discipline upon the federal government. This amendment needs to be written so that everything is included and nothing is off budget. We do not want a balanced budget with loopholes that just serves to fool people into thinking we have a balanced budget when we really do not. There would have to be a narrow exception for times of a declared war on a defined enemy.

New Amendment Eight–Line-Item Veto

The President may approve any appropriation or provision and disapprove any other appropriation or provision in the same appropriation bill. In such case he shall, in signing the bill, designate the appropriations and provisions disapproved; and shall return a copy of such appropriations and provisions, with his objections, to the House in which the bill shall have originated; and the same proceedings shall then be had as in case of other bills disapproved by the President. {Note: this is from a current proposal that currently exist–House Joint Resolution (HJR12) from the 101st congress}

In order to limit corruption and help impart fiscal discipline, a constitutional amendment granting the president a line-item veto over all spending bills is needed.

New Amendment Nine—All Laws Must Sunset

All acts of Congress and laws shall be in effect for a period not to exceed twenty years. If Congress does not extend such act of Congress or law, then it will expire at this point. Executive orders and presidential directives shall also expire in twenty years if not extended. All votes on such extensions shall be done separately and individually. Congress shall review and extend any required current acts and laws it has passed within five years from the passing of this amendment. The executive branch shall also have five years from passage of this amendment to extend any executive orders and presidential directives. After this initial five-year period, extensions shall not be made more than one year prior to the scheduled expiration.

The federal government will tend to continue growing unchecked unless conscious efforts and systems are put in place to keep it in check. The federal governments will pass laws, set up agencies, and levy taxes that may make sense at one point or to address a specific issue, but then time passes and circumstances change to the point that what was done no longer makes sense. However, there is no system in place to force past decisions to be reviewed to see if they are still relevant and correct. In addition, there is no review to see if the law that was passed is working the way intended. A system that forces a constant review of its laws will give the people a chance to eliminate laws and programs that are not working or are no longer needed. This will also help keep federal government growth in check. Further, all laws need to be voted on separately in order to prevent the continuing of an unpopular law by bundling it with a popular one in order to get it passed.

New Amendment Ten—Rules to Limit Gerrymandering

All congressional districts shall be formed by no more than four lines. These lines must be straight, follow the path of a state border, or follow a significant body of water defined as a being a river or lake.

Gerrymandering is the act of dividing an area into districts, giving one political party a small majority in a large number of districts and concentrating a few districts with large majorities on the other party’s supporters. This has created congressional districts that do not make any sense and result in representatives that embody the most extreme political viewpoints. This has led to more extreme and entrenched politicians as well as legislation that the country on a whole does not support. Whichever political party controls a state legislature redraws the lines that determine the congressional districts to maximize the number of districts that are likely to vote for their party. In order to prevent this political corruption of our system and abuse of power, we need to ratify a constitutional amendment eliminating gerrymandering.

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