Friday, April 22, 2011

Twenty Eight Section 4 - 7

The first three sections of the 28th set the tax system right. Moving on to Sections 4 through 7 the focus shifts to state's rights and budgetary controls. These four sections are made necessary by the broad affect of the Commerce Clause of the original Constitution. The Supreme Court in its interpretation has again used the Parthenon as an example of a Nebraska sod house. An important and unfortunate emergence caused by the Court's interpretation is the existence of an implicit uniform national standard. Sometimes a uniform standard is useful, but not all the time applied to all things. The Commerce Clause is carte blanche to dictate programs, entitlements, and the like among the states. Washington says: "If you want the money you will learn to do business like we do." The result is the Consolidated States of America versus the United States.

The intent of the original Constitution was to allow the States to distinguish themselves, but in the same stroke establish standards so that an ounce of gold in North Carolina was equal to an ounce of gold in New York. Standards like the ounce are indeed reasonable, but entitlements and social programs are the responsibility of the individual States. The state governments already have boots on the ground. Why risk making a mockery of the mission in the doing?
Section 4
All agencies, programs, entitlements and other devices that will be excised by budgetary requirements will be returned to the responsibility of the individual States. No federal regulations or legislation will dictate how the States fund or execute such devices.

This is a practical system wherein the States, still under the constraints of Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution, can manage public programs commensurate with local circumstances. The States distinguish themselves by governing how local circumstances are handled. But even still, Congress has hold of the reins with respect to distributed revenue first generated through the income tax described in Section 2. Section 5 limits Congress' ability to stretch it's authority.
The Congress may not make State eligibility for redistribution of revenue contingent on compliance with regulations or legislation that in effect is a nationally uniform standard.

Ultimately, we the People are the source of budgetary revenue, be it state or federal. Revenue comes from the pockets of real persons and funds the budget. Funding any project requires a few preconditions. Control over spending is merely right business. So we clamp down hard on priorities and remove one more angle Congress could use as economic intimidation.
Section 6
Those areas of federal responsibility prescribed by the original Constitution will have budgetary priority. No bill will be passed that funds any other concern without first meeting the budgetary requirements of these areas. No funding will be included in the budget for a concern that is the responsibility of and reserved to the States.

Last and arguably most important, it's time to correct the Commerce Clause. The founders didn't foresee the advent of virtual shop space. They lived in a world where wagons crossed state boundaries to get to market. Today, data packets cross state and national boundaries by the second. Even doing business at a local grocery store, most likely the point of sale is talking to a computer in some other state. Virtually every purchase that's made from national chains crosses state boundaries. Every purchase falls under the Commerce Clause. Finally, we face the last elephant standing. All of the previous sections are dominoes that have fallen, but are meaningless if this one remains standing.
Section 7
Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution is hereby amended to read as follows: "To regulate commerce with foreign Nations and with the Indian Tribes."

The phrase "among the States" is notably missing. The great elephant itself is gone! Congress, having abused the interpretation of the Commerce Clause, can no longer lean on it. Section 7 completes a system of taxation and budgetary law that puts things right and forever prevents runaway spending. This amendment is more complete than any balanced budget amendment. It goes directly after the pain points that are causing the most trouble. Addressing the cause rather than legislating masks for the symptoms. The proposed 28th Amendment empowers the States, limits the power to tax, and constrains the extent of the budget. If Congress repeats history, it will do so outside of Constitutional boundaries. Send a copy of the proposed 28th Amendment to your representatives and while you're at it, tell them you want your money back.

You can find the complete proposed 28th Amendment here. Show your support for the authors who have put a great deal of thought into it.

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