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207 weeks ago @ Tenth Amendment Center - The Problem Will Never... · 3 replies · +1 points

Article V provides a means for the STATES to call and conduct an actual Constitutional Convention, wherein the STATES themselves, outside the scope of the federal government (i.e. “the problem”), can vote on a new 'Bill of Rights' of sorts -- call it the "Bill of Federal Limitations" or something like that -- and impose it on the federal government. Just for kicks, some great legal minds, some conservative professor contacts of mine, and some very successful business persons and I have laid out five new possible Amendments for such a "Bill of Federal Limitations"; they include:

a) An absolute cap on the % of personal and corporate taxes that can be collected, one that puts a ceiling on the "revenues" the federal government can extract from private individuals and businesses, and associates it with a prohibition on any deficit spending (0% of GDP, or less), and demands that 25% of any revenues be directed toward debt service until all debts are paid -- we call it the "Allowance Amendment". This ties and pegs government revenues to economic prosperity in the private sector, if the federal government wants more "revenues", they will need to create policies that produce them. Or, failing that, it will force them to impose unpopular taxes that will get noticed, ones that are voluntary in that they come only from discretionary spending related sources (food, water all exempt), and ones whose pain is spread amongst everyone. In emergency cases only, the government may impose bonds on wealthier individuals, not to exceed a certain additional percentage, but will pay TAX-FREE INTEREST on those to these people, or their estates/assigns, within a reasonable time-frame -- no more unchecked borrowing from the Chinese, or elsewhere -- keep the money here.

b) A line-item veto power granted to the President, so he/she can have an extra weapon in the War on Pork -- call it a "Super Severability" Amendment.

c) Term limits of 12 years for the House and Senate (6 and 3 terms, respectively), with no grandfather clause for incumbents. We need to put an end to the practice of turning our citizen legislature into a lucrative career whose side effect is a perverse sort of celebrity status for many. This is the only way to restore those chambers to a state where they are serving the People, and not themselves.

d) A clarification of the Commerce Clause, which will put an end to the federal government's increasing abuses of this important provision as a carte blanche for unlimited power grabbing from the States. There needs to be real teeth in this one, and it bears much discussion, analysis, and revision.

e) Last, but not least, a serious upgrade to the 10th Amendment, one that gives it more teeth, more recourse, and more ability to exact local – over federal – control.

Now, how do we get there??? I have some thoughts on this, the prevailing one being the need to somehow create a coalition of all these various movements. I would suggest the possibility of organizing the leaders of this movement (Boldin?), and a few of the leaders of the other major movements (Tea Party, etc.), to create the basis for an actual Citizen-driven Constitutional Convention. You will also need state-level support to make this work, so I would propose five "administrative" delegates (from the major movements), and one each from the 50 states, to send another 55 "delegates" to Philadelphia again to revise and vote on some sort of proposed Bill of Federal Limitations, and plot a strategy for pushing it through the States, outside the control or influence of the unruly children in Washington; it is time the parents took back control of the house...

But, how to organize the 50 states??? There are surely numerous ways to accomplish that, some better than others, and I have what I believe is a unique possible approach that I think could generate that next level of front line participation we'd need to make this thing work -- a theory I'd be interested in testing out, but it will go nowhere if we don't first find a way to coalesce all of these legitimate, law-abiding movements.

If anyone is interested in discussing the possibilities I have brain dumped herein, please feel free to contact me. My e-mail is so cluttered by now that I'll invite you to "friend" me in Facebook; I can be found under "Jonathan D Linscott" in Scottsdale, AZ. Please mention “10th Amendment” in your message, so I will know where it came from.

No matter how things pan out, I will continue to support this movement both financially and in spirit, as I believe very strongly in it -- I'd just like to take it the next level and I am floating ideas out there for consideration.

That is my $.02, which, if we wait too much, will deflate itself to the relative value of $.01, leaving me only one more toss in the wishing well.

Yours in Liberty,
Jonathan D. Linscott
Scottsdale, AZ

207 weeks ago @ Tenth Amendment Center - The Problem Will Never... · 5 replies · +1 points

Now, it strikes me that this condo board was a true microcosm of the current condition in our federal government: they are the problem, and we can't expect the problem to fix itself. WE need to do something about it, outside of the scope of the problem itself, and I am concerned that our collective efforts our being diluted and not directed in a profitable way. We are NOT going to send a golden boy (or girl) off to DC and have them reverse the momentum of corruption and self-dealing that has taken root there; it is delusional to think so. Thus, it occurs to me that a REAL SOLUTION to this would be to find a way to dispense with any individual notion of ego, stop viewing this as a Tenth Amendment movement, or a Tea Party movement, or whatever, and COALESCE into a peaceful, legally-motivated AMERICAN MOVEMENT, on a par with our original founding. Article V provides a road map to this, as I am sure Mr. Boldin of this organization would agree.

207 weeks ago @ Tenth Amendment Center - The Problem Will Never... · 6 replies · +1 points

This is "Jonathan D Linscott of Scottsdale, AZ", whom Shane Musgrove quoted in his fine article above.

I agree wholeheartedly with "grapeape68's" suggestions that we ratchet up the resistance, but I think we have better avenues and recourse at our disposal, which are within the confines of the current laws.

This federal government reminds me of a bad condo homeowner's association I once quarreled with, which was managed by an arrogant, self-dealing chairman, who got elected by promising the moon to widows and meek people in the association who could not see through him. He surrounded himself with "believers", greased their palms with leniency on condo fees, gave them petty powers to stroke their egos, and lined all their pockets with kickbacks from vendors, etc. Wherever it was expedient, he/they would cite our association by-laws (our owner's "constitution", if you will) verbatim, and would hold you strictly accountable to it (especially if you disagreed with him). However, wherever it was inconvenient to him/them, the by-laws (our "constitution") were dismissed to the extent necessary as a "guideline" that shouldn't be allowed to stand in the way of the great things he/they were doing for our association.

Mind you, our association was BROKE, the building was in need of many repairs, the parking lot for the condo complex was the eyesore of a revitalizing urban area, and within 18 months of buying that unit I had to cough up "special assessments" (i.e. taxes) that totaled more than 10% of what I had bought the condo for in the first place. Sound familiar???

I went after this guy with vigor, and passion. He, of course used my passion against me, to paint me as a rabble-rouser, and to marginalize my legitimate issues to the point where he could basically neutralize them administratively (strictly citing our by-laws, of course, wherever he could). Beyond that, regardless of promises made in each gathering of owners and/or rules set forth in our by-laws themselves, board meetings were routinely held behind closed doors, favoritism was granted to the “non trouble makers”, and votes for board seats were counted off-site. The one time I was able to force a recount in person, I learned I had been granted 50.86% of the ownership vote (and over 85% of the actual votes cast, with one vote conveniently denied me because it was “faxed in an hour late”), and because our by-laws (constitution) required a board member to get 51% of the ownership vote, he/they rallied behind that requirement vehemently, and denied me a board seat, choosing instead to exercise another option in the by-laws to re-appoint the incumbent who had gotten less than 15% of the votes cast (a form of “reconciliation” of sorts to get the desired result). They knew that, if I got on the board, I would profoundly disrupt their fiefdom. I would do things like demand competing bids from vendors, disallow “management fees” for board members, and seek a retroactive audit. Well, they just couldn't have that...now could they? They were the problem, so how was I going to get them to fix the problem when they were clearly willing to bend and break the rules in their favor, and do whatever they could to hold their “power”??

After 2+ years of going back and forth like this, I finally went around the association board, and sued the board chairman in court, at which time he promptly put his unit up for sale and fled to another association. Once I learned he had gotten the association to pay for his legal fees (our constitution mattered where it was convenient to him, of course, and he pressed for this, of course), I dropped the case, and simply bid him good riddance. I was able to get the “rich” owner on the board (he owned 30% of the units), and trusted that we would act in the best interests of himself, as an owner of many units, and this would in turn benefit everyone except the corrupt board. It has – for years now.

The moral of this story is that I took a small provision in our by-laws (constitution) and went OUTSIDE the board to pursue a more fair and fiscally sound arrangement for ALL the owners, not just the 5 on the board; I went to District Court at my own expense to root them out, and while I had hoped to recoup the tens of thousands of dollars this self-serving, condescending board chairman had stuffed in his pockets at the expense of the majority of the owners, I did at least chase him out of there and restore a modicum of order to the place. A small victory that has produced enduring results!