Right now, the United States of America is over $18 trillion in debt. The debt per citizen is over $56,000 and debt per individual taxpayer is over $154,000.
Not only is this unsustainable, it is simply immoral. Washington, D.C. continues toborrow from the next generation of Americans to pay for their overspending today. Are we handing off to our children the same opportunities for freedom and prosperity that were given to us, or will they inherit a nation in economic decline?
Most Americans are coming to believe that our leaders in Washington, D.C. either cannot or will not take the steps necessary to stop this downward spiral.
The framers of the United States Constitution believed in a limited federal government, and that all other power would be reserved to the states. They intended for the states to be the final check on the power of the federal government. I believe that our current fiscal situation is exactly what our founding fathers feared, and it is therefore time for states to exercise this control.
The U.S. Constitution provides two methods to propose constitutional amendments. This first is for two-thirds of each house of Congress to propose a particular amendment, which is the mechanism that has been used in the past. The second is for two-thirds of the states to call for a “convention of states” to propose amendments. Under either plan, proposed amendments must be ratified by three-fourths of states.
Because Washington, D.C. lacks the political will to act, I have filed HJR 8, which sets forth Iowa’s application to Congress for a convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. Our resolution calls for this convention of states to propose an amendment “to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the federal government’s power and jurisdiction.”
It is time for new constitutional limitations on the federal government. It is time to restore greater responsibility and authority to individual states in the manner envisioned by our founding fathers. It is time to take power away from Washington, D.C. and return it to us locally, where we can be more efficient, more responsible and more transparent.
This is not a partisan endeavor, and it will take leadership from people across the political spectrum to make this work. This is an issue not between political parties and ideologies, but between a federal government that has grown too large and too costly, and each of us as citizens.