Ralph Benko

“The only threat to our freedom is the concentration of power. Congress is using its unfettered ability to generate debt for its own benefit at the expense of the American people. It is called taxation without representation. We at RestoringFreedom.org have decided to take a stand. We are confident that support will continue to build because it addresses America’s debt crisis by breaking up the monopoly of power in Washington and holds Congress accountable to the American people.”

— Glenn Hughes, co-founder and chairman, RestoringFreedom.org

No matter which party wins next November Washington again will — with a phony show of reluctance — raise the debt limit to allow it to continue its borrowing binge on our tab. Most Americans understand that the debt ceiling debate is as choreographed, as predetermined, as a professional wrestling match. Eyes full of crocodile tears, Washington will increase its debt ceiling by hundreds of billions … or trillions … of dollars.

But a cavalry of state legislators and concerned citizens is riding, outside the notice of the elite media, out of no fewer than 16 states to put a halt to this crooked game. These are citizens and citizen-legislators fed up with Washington’s bankrupting America.

Cutting federal spending is a holy grail of conservatives, libertarians, populists like the Tea Party Patriots, and the fiscally responsible — whether Republican or Democrat.

But … how?

The 18-word National Debt Relief Amendment, that’s how: “An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate states.” This strips the Congress of the power to raise the national debt ceiling and shifts it to the States —establishing a serious check on Washington’s borrowing, and thus spending, power.

In 2011, North Dakota and Louisiana passed this Amendment. This year the Arizona and Oklahoma Senates have passed it. It is pending in their respective Houses. It has been introduced in a dozen other bodies. Texas and Montana, among others, will introduce it as soon as their state legislatures again convene.

The Amendment uses an “emergency cord” embedded in the Constitution by the Founders. Article V allows a supermajority of states to call for constitutional amendments. The proponents of the National Debt Relief Amendment are invoking that power to take the ability to raise the national debt ceiling out of the hands of a profligate Congress and place it in the hands of state legislators, lawmakers more accountable to the people.

Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.