Lawmakers call for constitutional convention

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part, so go get a copy for yourself.

Both political parties have sacrificed fiscal sanity at the altars of power and politics. The result is a $22.5 trillion national debt with another trillion dollars added to it this year alone. That is a debt of $183,000 per person, or $732,000 for a family of four. There are many things that can kill a country, but massive debt is a sure way. History has repeatedly shown us that when the debt bill comes due, that massive taxes, hyperinflation,

and collapsing economies follow. Then comes unemployment, instability, riots, and bloodshed. The United States is not immune to these forces. If we do not control our debt, it is only a matter of time before our nation goes the way of Venezuela, Weimar Germany, or Argentina.

While the problems in our federal government are myriad and severe, calling a constitutional convention is not without risk. Once called, there is no way to restrict the activities of the convention to a specific list of goals. The convention can choose to completely rewrite the Constitution or do nothing at all. Recall that the venerated Constitutional Convention of 1787, which created our current Constitution, was called into being for the expressly limited purpose of making a few tweaks to the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they rewrote history.

When and if a constitutional convention is convened, it will be filled with delegates from across the nation with very different ideas about how our nation should look and what constraints, if any, should be put on federal power. Some will seek to impose the socialist utopia being advocated by some of the presidential candidates. Some will seek a drastic reduction in the federal government. Some will just want to clean up some perceived errors in the current Constitution. Some will seek a completely new construction.

Convening a constitutional convention is risky because nobody really knows what it will produce. Some will think that it is better to deal with the devil we know instead of possibly creating a worse one. But given that our federal government is on course that will obliterate our nation as we know it with seemingly no will or way to impede that course, it is worth the risk.