From: David Biddulph, Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force
To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: Vote Yes on U.S. Balanced Budget Amendment HJR 8 To Pass on The American Dream "We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect (via Article V) barriers against the encroachments of the national authority." Alexander Hamilton,...
Date: Fri Mar 07 15:33:00 MST 2014
Vote Yes on U.S. Balanced Budget Amendment HJR 8 To Pass on The American Dream
"We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect (via Article V) barriers against the encroachments of the national authority."

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 85 

1.    Did the Constitutional Convention of 1787 "runaway"?

 Answer - NO


James Madison in Federalist 41 concluded, "...the charge against the convention of exceeding their powers (in drafting our Constitution)...has no foundation to support it." Constitutional Law Professor (ret.) Rob Natelson's research concluded, "Of the 55 delegates, therefore, only Nathaniel Gorham and Rufus King of Massachusetts arguably exceeded their authority by signing (proposed U.S. Constitution)"


2.    Can an Amendment Convention be limited to just the subject of balancing the budget? Answer-YES


James Madison, Federalist 43 - "It (Article V), moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other." Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 85 - "And consequently, whenever nine (2/3), or rather ten (3/4) States, were united in the desire of a particular amendment, that amendment must infallibly take place." Professor Natelson's research into interstate conventions found:  "As was true of earlier interstate gatherings, the convention for proposing amendments is called to propose solutions to discrete, pre-assigned problems. There is no record of any federal convention significantly exceeding its pre-assigned mandate -- not even the Constitutional Convention, despite erroneous claims to the contrary."


3.    Wouldn't a Balanced Budget Amendment Convention be as unpredictable as a political party convention? Answer - NO


A Balanced Budget Amendment Convention would be nothing like a political party convention because: 1. Voting would be by state so no single delegate could propose an unrelated amendment to the Convention 2. Delegates would be given instructions by the legislature limiting them to drafting a balanced budget amendment 3. Faithless delegates, like faithless presidential electors who attempt to "runaway", could have their vote voided, be immediately recalled/replaced and face civil or even criminal charges for violating their oath of office (See: Utah's HB 392 Passed by the House). Political party convention delegates are not bound by state law to limit the scope of their debates or their occasional antics.


4.    What will the rules be for the Balanced Budget Amendment Convention? Answer - Undetermined


The rules for the Convention will be determined by a majority of states represented.  However, a bipartisan task force of state legislators from over 30 states, called the Mt Vernon Assembly, is holding two meetings this year for the purpose of developing proposed Amendment Convention rules.


5.    Can Congress dictate to state legislatures or the Article V Convention anything beyond the time and place to convene the multi-state drafting conference? Answer: NO


Our Founders, in Article V, granted the sovereign States and Congress equal authority to propose an amendment. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 85 - "Concluding Remarks" stated, "The Congress "shall call a convention." Nothing in this particular is left to the discretion of that body...alterations in it (our Constitution) may at any time be effected by nine (two-thirds) States... But every amendment to the Constitution would be a single proposition, and might be brought forward singly"


Professor Rob Natelson's research confirms our Founders intended that Congress's roll be limited to setting the Convention's time and place, "...founders affirmed that the States could amend the Constitution in any way they desired...the states "run the show"... Congress has almost nothing to say about it beyond fixing the time and place of the call and identifying the subject matter specified by the States in their applications."

Top Ten Reasons to Vote for U.S. Balanced Budget Amendment
1. The U.S. is $17 trillion in debt... or $150,000 per income taxpayer.

2. Only 10 countries out of world's 193 have a higher debt to G.D.P. ratio than does the U.S. (107%). That list includes: Greece - 159%, Jamaica-147%, Italy-127% & Portugal-123%. (Source: I.M.F.)

3. The total U.S. debt has increased every year but 5 since 1930 (1947-1948, 1951, & 1956-1957). The total debt paid off in those 5 budget surplus years was... $22 billion. (Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury)

4. The U.S., under current law, is projected by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (C.B.O.) to borrow an average of $2.7 trillion more per year until we are bankrupt.

5. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen (Ret.) stated, "I've said many times that I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is our debt"  (Interest on U.S. debt to exceed military spending by 2020)

6. A strong Balanced Budget Amendment could, according to the C.B.O., in four generations: Pay off the national debt, quadruple family incomes, and cut taxes 30%.

7. Passing 34 B.B.A. Resolutions will lead to the use of our Founders' constitutional safety valve that empowers the states and the people to fix national problems, like potential bankruptcy... a risk that that the federal government is creating and refuses to address.

8. Join with 21 states of the 34 required to hold a state B.B.A. drafting conference with confidence that, like all previous interstate conventions including 1787, delegates will not be allowed by state law to propose amendments unrelated to balancing the federal budget.

9. Take the first step to placing a U.S. Balanced Budget Amendment on the November 1, 2016 ballot where the citizens, 74% of whom favor a Balanced Budget Amendment, would likely decide that the U.S. Government should be constitutionally prohibited from bankrupting our Country and killing the American Dream.

10. Heed the advice of our Founders:

"To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution ... an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing," Thomas Jefferson.

In a letter from George Washington to John Ar mstrong,our first  president wrote "It should be remembered that a constitutional door is open for such amendments as shall be thought  necessary by nine (2/3) States"
Article V BBA Resources



We Demand a Balanced Budget


Citizens Against Government Waste


Families for America


National Tax-Limitation Committee


I Am American


The Jeffersonian Project


The Reagan Project

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Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force | P.O Box 1261 | Leesburg | VA | 20177