I’ve already suggested an amendment here. Below are the two clauses I originally proposed:
1. Congress shall levy no tax on individual citizens except that it be applied equally to all, and without threshold, exemption, deduction, credit, exception, or limitation of any kind.
2. The Federal government shall be required to operate without an annual fiscal deficit except in years containing a period of declared war, not to exceed four consecutive years or to exceed a total of four years in any consecutive ten year period.
I am afraid now that, important though these two clauses are, they are inadequate. The Founders thought in terms of threes. Balance, in their eyes did not come from the two dimensional balance of the scale, rather it was the three dimensional balance afforded by the stool. Hence the three branches of government.
I alluded to this earlier when I opined that “a republic, unconstrained, will always overspend.” In that post I noted that the Framers set Congress on a path to where it would be constrained in the level of debt that it could assume by virtue of the fact that too much debt would come with higher interest rates. What the Founders never envisioned was that the effects of a fiat currency and a (seemingly) omnipotent central bank would combine to create a situation where debt could skyrocket but interest rates would (temporarily) stay low. My earlier amendment, only addresses two legs of the stool: spending and debt. Unfixed is the value of that debt. And that is a function of the value of the currency.
So what should be the third clause of this amendment?Comments Off