Is This a Solution to a Federal Problem?

I like many Americans voted for Trump for pragmatic reasons. I supported Ted Cruz through the primaries, because I believed he was the best chance to curb the growth of the federal government. The exploding federal debt is one manifestation of this growth in the central government, who have become addicted to spending beyond our capacity to pay for it. It will lead to economic ruin, if we do not address the systemic issues driving it. No amount of “taxing the rich” will ever solve this problem.

Second, as power flows to the central government, we move further from the vision of the Founding Fathers, who were deeply concerned that any government can at some point become tyrannical with enough power. That was the genius of our Constitution and the balance between the federal government and states. As power flows to the federal government, the states lose control over their own destiny. It takes decisions away from those closest to the problems.

On November 8, 2016 a vote for HRC would have been a vote for the continuation of policies that I feel were pushing our country further towards economic ruin. There is a saying that encapsulates how I feel: “The road to economic ruin is lined with good intentions.”

So, a vote for Trump was as much based on the choice I was presented, and the hope that some of the things he said, particularly related to the ACA, tax and regulatory reform, a more business-friendly environment, SCOTUS nominations and energy policy could be realized. I was under no illusion he was the savior many thought he would be. That was no different than those who passionately believed Obama could walk on water and save the world. I put my trust in no politician.

A primary reason Trump bested a large field of Republicans for the nomination was anger at the “establishment” Republicans. Despite big wins in the 2014 mid-term elections, nothing they promised happened. They acquiesced to the Obama agenda. For me, I was particularly upset about the ACA for many reasons. It was sold as a way to reduce cost, but was really another entitlement and a step along the way to government run health-care. It was destined to fail as has become crystal clear. As much as anything, for me it represented a continued concentration of power at the federal level. That has been happening continuously since basically the FDR administration, with both Democrat and Republicans in power.

Now, after 6 months of the Trump administration, I am not optimistic that some key issues will get resolved, like replacing the ACA or tax reform. There is absolutely no discussion of the debt problem and the systemic issues that drive it.

Part of it is that the establishment Republicans are still there. They talk a lot, but they are vested in big government and their power, just like the Democrats. Trump might not be learning fast enough. He gives all those aligned against him including establishment Republicans, the entire Democratic party, the media, academia, the “deep state” and every other left dominated institution plenty of ammunition. It is sickening to watch. While we are caught up day-in and day-out over scandals, real or imagined, our kids and grandkids face an uncertain future.

So for folks like me who are concerned that the growing federal power is the root cause, and that both Republicans and Democrats are to blame as they are all vested in the status quo, have a decision. How can we stop it?

Maybe the solution is the Constitution, and specifically an Article V Convention. The constitution provides two ways to amend the constitution, including a convention of the states. It requires 2/3 of state legislatures to pass and submit an application to Congress, on the same issue. Congress cannot stop the process. The Founding Fathers gave us this recourse. They recognized the possibility that the federal government might become oppressive, and entrusted us with this process to restore the balance of power between federal and state governments.

The Convention of States is a grassroots organization driving this idea. The strategy is to build a grassroots organization and pressure state legislators to pass resolutions. The subject matter in the resolutions would be limited to amendments that “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for Members of Congress.”

The primary argument against this process, is a “runaway convention”. For instance, completely re-writing the Constitution. Based on the process, there is no way that can happen.

If you are in North Carolina, join me. Go to the website and sign the petition. This is the first political cause I have ever donated to, and am considering becoming involved in. The NC Senate has passed S36. It now has to be taken up by the House but there is resistance. NC could be the 13th state to pass the Convention of States Resolution.

What other choice do we have to restrain the growth at the federal level? It may work, it may not, but remember:

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely”….Lord Acton, 19th century British politician

Jeff Groh is a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. He believes more often than not, both sides of the political spectrum actually agree on the ends, but it is the means that fuel disagreements, with the far right and left resorting to name-calling rather than a pursuing a rational debate on the issues, trade-offs and unintended consequences. His consulting company, New Product Visions, helps companies improve their innovation management practices, and he is passionate about the creation of economic value and prosperity by restoring our country’s manufacturing base. Want to email me? jgroh@newproductvisions.com

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Is This a Solution to a Federal Problem?

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