The following is an excerpt from a great article by Tyler Watts, in which he explains why now is the best time to urge our state legislatures to call a Convention of States. You can read the full article here.

The United States is in a constitutional crisis, with a national government that will not and cannot control its growth. A single indicator tells the story: In the 68 years since the end of World War II, federal spending has exceeded revenue in 56 of those years. More importantly, the average size of federal deficits has ballooned from less than 1 percent of GDP in the 1950s and 1960s to over 5 percent of GDP today. Young Americans and coming generations will be left with a fiscal burden that will not be resolved without serious economic pain.

My school of economic thought, public choice, exposes problems inherent in politics that might make any attempt at reform seem daunting. We must face the fact, nonetheless, that the most common reform strategy, that of replacing our current set of leaders, is indeed hopeless. Reform should therefore not focus on particular personalities, but on changing the incentives and constraints within which these political animals operate.

Fortunately, we have a vehicle to do just that: the Article V convention process. The most important aspect of this reform is that it is state-led — it is a means by which the state governments can impose reform on Washington, D.C.

To begin this discussion, we should note that the burden imposed on the states by the federal bureaucracy and regulation has never been greater, and this federal interference has created distrust and disillusionment with the feds amongst state governments. In addition to being compelled to administer much of Congress’ welfare-distribution schemes, the states have been micromanaged by federal bureaucracies in everything from land and resource use to drinking ages to voting procedures.

Next, we should note that the last two election cycles have brought nearly unprecedented turnover in the membership of state legislatures. There has never been more “inexperience” (read not political elites) in the state legislatures.

This massive turnover in state assemblies arguably brings them more in line with public sentiment as opposed to interest-group sentiment, reduces the influence of the political elites and makes the state governments more amenable to imposing constitutional reform on Congress.

Read the full article here.


About The Author

Anne Reiner

Anne Reiner is the Administrative Support Manager for the Convention of State Project. Reiner graduated magna cum laude from Geneva College with a degree in Journalism. While at Geneva she interned in Washington, D.C., spent a semester studying abroad in Rome, Italy, and graduated from the World Journalism Institute in New York City. She has a passion for writing and has freelanced for World Magazine and World on Campus during her college years. Reiner grew up in the little town of Trout Run, near Williamsport, Pennsylvania.