The Liberty Amendment has been around since 1949. Needless to say it was always a good idea:
The welfare state has grown into a colossus devouring every liberty in sight in the more than 60 years since it was first proposed. The Liberty Amendment (LA) as written tried to address two government attacks on liberty in a pre-welfare state America; hence, the idea behind the LA is good while the wording needs to be updated.“The government of the United States shall not engage in any business, professional, commercial or industrial enterprise in competition with its citizens except as specified in the Constitution, nor shall the Constitution or laws of any state, or the laws of the United States, be subject to the terms of any foreign or domestic agreement which would abrogate this amendment.”
The first government attack on liberty is funded by income taxes; so I’m not certain how effective the LA will be as long as the XVI Amendment remains the law of the land. The government; i.e., the courts had a century to build a maze of XVI Amendment tunnels undermining liberty. It would take at least a century —— after ratification —— to close off every tunnel. Here’s one example:
Tax dollars fund Hillarycare II. Countless companies in the healthcare industry are traded on Wall Street. A strict interpretation of the LA would stop tax dollars from going to those companies. Wall Street would then argue that healthcare companies receiving tax dollars is not the same thing as the government engaging in competition with its citizens. Case after healthcare case would drag through the courts for decades, and that’s just one tunnel the government has for use against liberty.
Here’s another tunnel:
The First Amendment guarantees a free press. It does not guarantee public funding with tax deductible advertising dollars. On top of Wall Street’s healthcare interpretation of competition, media lawyers will add First Amendment protection. You do not have to be a constitutional scholar to know the court will rule for the media on that one. It will take a lot more than the Liberty Amendment to close off the media tunnel undermining liberty.
The second part of the amendment was necessary in 1949 because of US membership in the United Nations. I cannot prove this, but I’ll wager the UN’s tyrannical 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights had a lot to do with the thinking behind the Liberty Amendment. Since 1948, UN treaties have become the biggest external threat to individual liberties.
Traditional treaties between two nations is an obstacle to an updated LA must overcome. Once a treaty is ratified it becomes the law; so the wording in the LA has to distinguish between nation to nation treaties and treaties with International organizations even after the United Nations is gone. Treaties with organizations of every stripe should be unlawful forever.
Let me close with an excerpt from a most informative article by Dr. James P. Lucier, Sr. The following three sentences are the reason every candidate for federal office, and every judge nominated to the federal bench, must be required to state clearly where they stand on US membership in the United Nations. These three sentences also show why the government’s media ——owned by billionaires —— works against the American people and against individual liberties:
Withdrawing from the United NationsBoth major political parties in the United States are controlled by billionaires who are highly intolerant of those who love their country. Both parties have already colluded to push the United States to the brink of accepting UN hegemony. Those who prefer that the United States should stand strong for peace and independence should insist that we withdraw from the Organization of the UNbelievers.
Do we need amendment to protect our liberty?
Posted: Saturday, July 14, 2012 7:01 pm
FRANK MIELE/Daily Inter Lake Daily Inter Lake
Just when you think there is no possible solution to the mess facing our country, you discover that the solution has been around for more than half a century.
No doubt a handful of my readers have heard of “The Liberty Amendment,” but I never had until I was reading a syndicated column in the Feb. 10, 1952, issue of the Valley Morning Star of Harlingen, Texas.
This particular paper was one of 10 daily newspapers published by Freedom Newspapers Inc., a partnership that was based on belief in “a system of natural law.” That same belief in natural law is what led to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, but that is another story.
For now, I want to focus on this particular column by Willis E. Stone about a “Proposed 23rd Amendment” as it would have existed in 1952. Stone had actually proposed the amendment in 1949, but it was first introduced in Congress in 1952, and over the years starting with Wyoming in 1959 was endorsed by nine states. As recently as 2009, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas (yes, THAT Ron Paul) introduced the amendment as House Joint Resolution 48.
The Liberty Amendment has evolved somewhat since 1952, but that initial kernel which I read about in Stone’s column was enough for me to realize that a structure has existed for more than 50 years that would have put fetters on the federal government so that the very idea of Obamacare would be recognized as anathema to a free and united people. The Supreme Court wouldn’t have been able to meretriciously invent new government powers to try to convince us that a little bit of slavery is a good thing.
Here’s the text of this remarkable philosophical construct, which now is like a vestigial appendix that merely reminds us of what once was and what could have been:
“The government of the United States shall not engage in any business, professional, commercial or industrial enterprise in competition with its citizens except as specified in the Constitution, nor shall the Constitution or laws of any state, or the laws of the United States, be subject to the terms of any foreign or domestic agreement which would abrogate this amendment.”
Or as John Lennon might have said, if he were a conservative: “Imagine there’s no socialism; it’s easy if you try.”
A large part of that long-ago column by Willis Stone dealt with trying to convince the average reader that he would be better off with the amendment. As he put it, “Briefly, the answer is: taxes would be reduced about 45 percent, the personal freedom of each citizen would be multiplied many times, and the peace of the world would improve.”
The astounding thing to note from his column though is that on the basis of the federal budget from 1950, “the hidden costs and losses of the federal corporations [that would have been banned by the amendment] consumed a total of more than 10 billion tax dollars.”
Yep, $10 billion. That was the crisis then.
Today we spend almost $10 billion every week just on the interest on the national debt, and massive amounts of that debt has been accrued just exactly by the government becoming involved in “business, professional, commercial or industrial enterprise[s] in competition with its citizens.”
We call those enterprises by various names, but basically if the federal government is engaged in some enterprise that doesn’t involve building roads or mailing letters, they have almost certainly gone beyond their constitutional restraints. You can look for examples in Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy and of course the Affordable Care Act (which is the final step in ensuring that health care will be endlessly more expensive to taxpayers).
Getting rid of those institutions and expenses would probably be impossible now. Just as Europe has seen its population protesting and rioting over the possibility of losing entitlements, so too would America erupt in massive turmoil should we suddenly decide to bring back the liberty that our Founding Fathers had envisioned for us.
Is that a conundrum? People rioting to forestall a return to liberty? Not when you realize that their liberty had been bought with a comfortable life. Many a wild animal has been tamed with a nightly steak dinner. So too can free men and free women be caged easily by the promise of creature comforts.
Because one thing is certain. Liberty is worthless without a correspondence of responsibility. So too is a Constitution.
Note: You can read the entire history of the Liberty Amendment at http://libertyamendment.org/