Levin’s book is centered around the Constitution’s Article V (aka “Article 5”). That article specifies two methods for amending the Constitution. Just briefly —
In the first method of creating amendments, Congress proposes and the States dispose.
In the second method of creating amendments, the States propose and the States dispose.
The second method has never been used successfully, although there have been many attempts. It is that second method that the Founders provided as a remedy for an overreaching federal government.
In the second method, neither Congress, nor the President, nor the Supreme Court have any voting or veto authority whatsoever. The states are in full control. Period. It is, by design, the ultimate remedy for an over-spending, over-taxing, over-regulating, and increasingly dictatorial and lawless federal government. Clearly, its time has come.
In that second method, Congress has at most a mere ministerial role. Of course Congress is very protective of its power, and could, through delay and inaction, attempt to convert their mere ministerial role into a de facto veto power, halting any attempt for a state-driven amendment action.
Apparently Congress has done exactly that many times, acting in bad faith and contrary to the Framers’ spirit and intent for Article V which is clearly expressed in the Federalist Papers. Legal scholars have been trying to find a way around the federal government’s intransigence, so far with little success.
Now more than ever, it is time for We the People to bring the power of Article V to the center ring of American politics. That starts with awareness, and Levin’s book will bring more Americans than ever to the fight for a Constitutionally limited federal government.
Three of Levin’s proposed amendments appear below. As you read these, imagine what just these three alone could do to break up the ruling-class cliques in Washington that have driven us, our children, and our grandchildren so deeply into debt.
An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for Members of Congress
SECTION 1: No person may serve more than twelve years as a member of Congress, whether such service is exclusively in the House or the Senate or combined in both Houses.
SECTION 2: Upon ratification of this Article, any incumbent member of Congress whose term exceeds the twelve-year limit shall complete the current term, but thereafter shall be ineligible for further service as a member of Congress.
Two Amendments to Limit Federal Spending and Taxing
SECTION 1: Congress shall adopt a preliminary fiscal year budget no later than the first Monday in May for the following fiscal year, and submit said budget to the President for consideration.
SECTION 2: Shall Congress fail to adopt a final fiscal year budget prior to the start of each fiscal year, which shall commence on October 1 of each year , and shall the President fail to sign said budget into law , an automatic, across-the-board, 5 percent reduction in expenditures from the prior year’s fiscal budget shall be imposed for the fiscal year in which a budget has not been adopted.
SECTION 3: Total outlays of the federal government for any fiscal year shall not exceed its receipts for that fiscal year.
SECTION 4: Total outlays of the federal government for each fiscal year shall not exceed 17.5 percent of the Nation’s gross domestic product for the previous calendar year.
SECTION 5: Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States Government but shall not include those derived from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government except those for the repayment of debt principal.
SECTION 6: Congress may provide for a one-year suspension of one or more of the preceding sections in this Article by a three-fifths vote of both Houses of Congress, provided the vote is conducted by roll call and sets forth the specific excess of outlays over receipts or outlays over 17.5 percent of the Nation’s gross domestic product.
SECTION 7: The limit on the debt of the United States held by the public shall not be increased unless three-fifths of both Houses of Congress shall provide for such an increase by roll call vote.
SECTION 8: This Amendment shall take effect in the fourth fiscal year after its ratification.
SECTION 1: Congress shall not collect more than 15 percent of a person’s annual income, from whatever source derived. “Person” shall include natural and legal persons.
SECTION 2: The deadline for filing federal income tax returns shall be the day before the date set for elections to federal office.
SECTION 3: Congress shall not collect tax on a decedent’s estate.
SECTION 4: Congress shall not institute a value-added tax or national sales tax or any other tax in kind or form.
SECTION 5: This Amendment shall take effect in the fourth fiscal year after its ratification.
The remaining eight amendments have the following titles (see the book for details):
An Amendment to Restore the Senate
An Amendment to Establish Term Limits for the Supreme Court Justices and Super-Majority Legislative Override
An Amendment to Limit the Federal Bureaucracy
An Amendment to Promote Free Enterprise
An Amendment to Protect Private Property
An Amendment to Grant the States Authority to Directly Amend the Constitution
An Amendment to Grant the States Authority to Check Congress