To Save a Generation Jordan Sillars December 2, 2013 Michael Farris In order for America to survive as a free nation, the states must use their constitutional authority under Article V to strip the federal government of all powers except those actually intended by the Founders. If allowed to continue on its present path, Washington, D.C., will bankrupt this nation and turn our children into servants of the government as they struggle to pay off the mountain of debt Congress has foisted upon them. Clearly, then, the first amendment we must consider is a balanced budget amendment (BBA). I’d like to outline one possible way such an amendment could be written. In doing so, my purpose is not cause conflict over this proposal’s advantages and disadvantages. Rather, I’d like to get you thinking and give you a glimpse of what a Convention of States could do to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. A BBA could require a balanced budget except in cases of a declared war or if a 75% majority of Congress determines that there is a national emergency. But, to prevent this from becoming commonplace, when Congress determines for three consecutive years to use this national emergency power, all members of Congress become ineligible for reelection. If Congress believes the nation truly needs such a budget, they can prove themselves true statesmen by stepping aside from their offices as the price of saving the nation. This amendment could also require a two-thirds majority to make any tax increase. And (this is perhaps the amendment’s most important feature), all existing taxes will be automatically repealed within five years of the ratification of the amendment. Of course, such taxes can be replaced—but it will require the two-thirds majority to do so. Taxes that were supposed to be temporary (but have become permanent) as well as taxes that have become oppressive will all be repealed. It will take a super-majority to tax us in the future. Forcing the federal government to balance the budget is not enough. We need to limit Congress’s ability to tax us as well. Such a structural change is absolutely essential. We must prevent Congress from spending money that this generation has no intention of paying back. Each generation must pay its own way if we are going to live up to the Constitution’s promise to guarantee liberty to our posterity.