Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

25 February 2014

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

I am proposing the following constitutional amendments.  Many would not have been necessary had Americans understood and lived by the principles of the Framers of the Constitution.  Given decades of ignoring the Constitution and a huge excess of laws, regulations, and government spending, I think these amendments would go far in correcting the many problems we have with excessive, tyrannical government.

Good law requires that the welfare of every individual is increased by the law.  For this reason, it a super-majority of individuals do not approve of a law or a regulation, it should not become law or it presently law, it should be repealed.

My amendments are:

1) Amend the 16th Amendment authorizing an income tax to state that one and only one marginal tax rate will be applied to incomes equal to 75 percent of the median taxable household income and all higher taxable household incomes.

2) Repeal the 17th Amendment requiring the popular election of Senators.  Return to the original election of Senators by state legislatures.

3) Every adult owns his own mind, body, and labor and may use them, maintain them, and dispose of them as he pleases, so long as he does not initiate the use of force upon others.    Individuals have the right to protect their minds, body, and labor from violence.

4) Every adult has the right to the results of his labor or thought and to his property.  The goods he has made, the land he has improved, and the ideas he has originated and put into the form of a product or process are to be protected from theft by government.  No government taking of property is permitted except with just and reasonable compensation or because that property was used by the owner in the commission of a crime as determined by trial.  No government taking of property not used in the commission of a crime is allowed except for necessary and proper government use.

5) Every adult individual has the right to associate with others for the purposes of his choosing in voluntary relationships, contracts, and trading.  Adult individuals have the right to exercise their own judgment in their associations, contracts, and relationships with others.  Government will protect individuals from violence and fraud which has actually happened or is in the process of happening, but will not limit the freedom of association out of fear of potential future violence or fraud.

6) The government does not control or manipulate the economy or trade and commerce.  It provides a constant value supply of currency for government functions and general use, but does not prevent the circulation of other distinctive currencies.  It forbids state and local governments from interfering with trade, commerce, and travel by the People across state boundaries.

7) Individuals have the right of privacy so long as they are not engaged in acts of violence or fraud.  Information not available to the general public will not be collected and saved about any individual without a court order attesting to the reasonable likelihood that the individual is engaged in violent acts or fraud.  No means of obtaining private information on individuals will be used without due process.

8) Any law or act of Congress may be repealed by a vote of 40% or more of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The President may not veto such repeal votes.

9) Any law or act of Congress requires a vote of 60% or more of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The President may use his veto power on such acts of Congress.  The same 60% approval is required for all Executive Branch appointments reviewed and consented upon by the Senate.

10) Any member of Congress who has voted for a bill must attest in a written document that the member has read the bill and believes it to be in the interest of the general welfare, necessary, proper, and constitutional.

11) Any federal law may be repealed by act of 40% or more of the state legislatures.

12) Any regulatory rule by an executive branch agency of the federal government may be nullified by votes of 40% or more of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by 40% or more of the state legislatures.  Any new regulation produced by a government agency which will impose costs of $25 million or more must be specifically approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate with votes of 60% or more.  Any legislative attempt by Congress members to review any regulatory ruling which has the support of 40% of the members of that house cannot be kept from a vote in that house.

13) No federal law shall exempt members of Congress or federal government employees from its application to them, except by an explicit and recorded vote in favor of such an exemption by at least 80% of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

14) No member of Congress shall serve in Congress more than 12 years continuously and no more than 20 years in a lifetime.  After 12 years of service, there must be at least a ten-year period of non-service in the federal government before further service commences.

15) Senators and their staffs will be paid by the state they represent.  Senators will not receive any payment or benefits for services, nor will they receive any payments or benefits after the termination of their service, from the federal government.

16) Members of the House of Representatives will not receive any payments or benefits from the federal government after the end of their service in the House of Representatives.

17) Authorizations for the existence of each and every executive branch agency or department must be renewed by an individual, specific act of Congress every four years for that executive entity.  The budget for every such agency or department must be individually reviewed and approved at the same time.  Congress will also at that time review and evaluate the actions of that agency or department over the last four years and make that review available to the public, with only national security exceptions upon the vote of 60% or more of the members of each house of Congress.  If Congress does not authorize the agency or department and its budget individually on this four-year cycle, all operations of that agency or department must cease at that time.

18) No appropriations may be made by any Congress which are binding upon any future Congress.

19) Decisions of the federal courts may be overturned by a vote in both houses of Congress of two-thirds of the members of each house.  Federal court decisions may be overruled by two-thirds of the states by acts of their legislatures.

20) Annual federal government spending may not exceed a fixed percentage of the annual national gross domestic product except in times of declared war and then by no more than half the annual cost of that war unless both houses of Congress approve such additional spending with a vote of 80% or more.  The upper limit fixed percentage will initially be 18% and will be decreased by 0.5% with each new Congress, until it reaches 8% of gross domestic product. 

21)  Annual federal government spending may not exceed government revenues by more than 3% except in times of declared war and then by no more than half the annual cost of that war unless both houses of Congress approve such additional spending with a vote of 80% or more.

22) Total government debt may not exceed the annual national gross domestic product except by the vote of 80% or more of the members of each house of Congress.

23) No one may vote in a federal election unless they present a valid picture identification at the time of voting.  Only federal employees on duty outside the United States of America may cast their vote more than 2 weeks prior to the day of the election.  They may not vote earlier than 6 weeks prior to the election.

I plan to revisit these proposed amendments to discuss them in more detail.  I am sure that some of them need to be tuned up and I will welcome comments with suggestions on how to do that.


Greg said...

May I suggest that before you amend the 16th Amendment you take a little time to actually understand its meaning and purpose:

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Would you be Greg as in the Greg Sutton referred to in the link you provided?

I was aware that ordinary wages and salaries were not properly defined as income at the time the income tax amendment was added to the Constitution. I was aware that to this day the government tip toes about the issue, though it does require employers to withhold tax and submit it from ordinary wages and salaries. The government will also garnish wages from employers even if the wage earner has not submitted a tax form calling those wages income. So, for many practical purposes many people are being unconstitutionally robbed of their property in their labor.

I found the link to be very interesting, but I fail to see how my proposed amendment changed the real meaning of income. In fact, the excise tax or duty on privileged income, that on the income of government office holders or recipients of government payouts for benefits, should be of a uniform percentage. However, in our history before much of the deception since WWII, there was a lower limit exemption, which my alteration allows for. If the median privileged income of a household is zero, as it may be, then the rate of the income tax is absolutely uniform for everyone.

Whether the People rebel against the incorrect collection of taxes on their wages, salaries, and government benefits or not from government sources, my proposed amendment would neither change the valid meaning of income as privileged income nor allow the present collection of non-privileged income to be popular with the majority of voters. It would mean that no special advantage could be taken of a higher earning minority by a tyrannical majority of voters looking to redistribute the earnings of a higher-earning few to their benefit.

I did find your link to be fascinating and very informative. Thank you for directing my attention to it.