Barney Brenner

It’s long been evident that Congress has no intention of curbing its profligate spending. Despite racing 90 mph in the wrong direction, instead of reversing course, their meager budget reductions are the equivalent of simply slowing to 70.

The inevitable result of this reckless behavior –- whether triggered by a US government credit failure, a vast inflation of the currency or a repudiation of the debt -– will be economic chaos.

There’s a growing call coming from outside the halls of Congress for addressing this dilemma. Last week, Ohio’s Governor John Kasich called for an Article V Convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment.

In the first chapter of his new book The Liberty Amendments, Mark Levin makes the case for the safety, propriety and necessity of this method. He notes his transition from being a skeptic of an Article V Convention to becoming “a confident and enthusiastic advocate.”

Concerns have been voiced by many individuals and organizations, both by those who revere our founding charter, as well as those who wish to maintain the status quo, about a “runaway convention,” where our constitutional protections may be abrogated, the document may be discarded entirely or our very form of government might be changed.

Levin ably makes the case for these fears being unfounded.

But what if there was a legitimate and well-designed approach to Article V which not only provided supplemental safeguards, but simultaneously expedited the amendment process and secured the outcome ahead of time?

It takes 34 states to initiate a convention but 38 to ratify proposed amendments. Why not have an agreement, or compact, among the states where a full complement of 38 proposes the convention, approving in advance all the guidelines, language, restrictions and obligations, thus pre-ratifying everything necessary to enact an amendment?

That, essentially, is what the Goldwater Institute, a public policy organization in Phoenix, is advocating.

With the initial focus on a federal balanced budget amendment, Nick Dranias, Goldwater’s Director of Policy Development and Constitutional Government, has designed a virtually turnkey approach to the amendment process.


Barney Brenner

Barney Brenner is a retired business owner in Tucson, Arizona