by David Safier
Once you read this, you lose the right to say you didn't know this was coming. The Goldwater Institute has been floating trial balloons recently about convening a Constitutional Convention. It's no biggie, G.I. says, the Founders expected us to do this kind of thing every few years.
What G.I. wants is a federal debt ceiling. More exactly, it wants the majority of state legislatures to have to approve any increase in the federal debt. Same thing, different language.
Now ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, is on board (Naive me. ALEC, I'm sure, was already on board, but this is the first I've heard of it). From a G.I. Daily Email:
Last week, model legislation for the National Debt Relief Amendment was preliminarily approved by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—a nonpartisan organization that brings together state legislators from around the country to discuss and debate public policy. Upon final approval from ALEC’s Board of Directors, the National Debt Relief Amendment will be ready for a nationwide effort to amend the U.S. Constitution with the following language: “An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.”
ALEC, you might remember, is a conservative gathering of business people and legislators which writes bills for legislators to carry back to their states. Hundreds of bills. SB1070 was written by ALEC and carried by Russell Pearce, word for word, to Arizona. Did I forget to mention private prison corporations had a huge part in ALEC's crafting of SB1070? My bad.
This federal debt ceiling idea is the next big push. If it comes at us bit by bit, seeming like a natural outgrowth of something that happens in 2011, don't be fooled. The groundwork has already been laid.
NOTE: Since they don't want to raise the federal debt, surely they can't be for tax cuts for the rich or a minimal estate tax that starts at $5 million, can they? They must want the rich to pay their fair share so we can provide for the needs of the country without raising the debt. I'm right, right?