Jim Rubens – Fiscal Responsibility Amendment

Guest Post by former NH Senator Jim Rubens

Will the agreements between Speaker McCarthy and the dissidents curb endless $1 trillion annual budget deficits?

Judging from comments on CNN this morning by lead McCarthy challenger and budget hawk Chip Roy (R-TX), the answer is maybe, slightly. Congressman Roy quickly took all but 20 percent of the federal budget off the table for cuts.

History does not look kindly on promises by Congress for fiscal restraint. Congress has repeatedly breached all of its prior statutory agreements, Gramm-Rudman in 1985, the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, and the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Since 1985, these repeated broken promises have given us 179 percent inflation and a 1985 dollar now worth 36 cents.

The single remaining legal and durable solution to theft-by-inflation is to place a constitutional limit on Congress’ unabated addiction to debt and printed money. And the only constitutional means to ratify a fiscal responsibility amendment is for the states to use their power granted under Article V.

The New Hampshire legislature has already spoken twice in support of this power. In 1979 (and again in 2012), our state became one of 39 (greater than the required 34) having passed applications required to launch a Convention for proposing Amendments limited to the subject of national fiscal responsibility.

But, since 1979, Congress has refused to do what Article V plainly requires, refusing to count these valid state applications and refusing to set the date and location for the Convention.

So, advocates for fiscal responsibility are left with only two choices:

  1. Give up, do nothing, wait for the debt bomb to explode.
  2. Ask the US Supreme Court to order Congress to obey Article V.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and former Comptroller General of the United States Dave Walker are leading the national Option 2 strategy, organizing state Attorneys General in filing a Writ of Mandamus. I have volunteered to help persuade New Hampshire to join this effort. In doing so, I will bring this resolution [click here to read] to the New Hampshire GOP annual meeting on January 28.

I am doing this because, while New Hampshire Republicans are unanimous in their alarm and disgust with ballooning national debt, there is debate about the safety of the state-led Article V process. My resolution backgrounder (page 2) [click here] lists the several layers of protection against the theorized “runaway” convention, including the two most potent:

  1. New Hampshire legislators will appoint delegates to the convention and have contractual power to immediately remove and replace any delegate who even proposes discussion of subjects other than federal fiscal responsibility.
  2. At the ratification stage, it takes only 13 of 99 state legislative bodies to kill any proposed amendment. Any amendment not massively supported by the public, including by strong conservatives, would be DOA.

On January 28 in Salem, New Hampshire GOP members will have a historic opportunity:

  1. To unite Republican moderates and conservatives in vital common purpose.
  2. For New Hampshire to lead the nation by adding our hugely successful governing philosophy of fiscal responsibility to the US Constitution.

Please be in touch with me if you’d like to join this effort to save our currency, prosperity, national security, and social stability.

Jim Rubens is a former state senator and a former chair of the NH GOP platform committee.

Initial Resolution cosponsors:

Harry Bean, Gilford, chair, Belknap County GOP

Eli Clemmer, Berlin, chair, Coos County GOP

Dan McGuire, Epsom, House Member

Richard Merkt, Westmoreland, 2022 chair, Cheshire County GOP

Jim Rubens, Hanover, organizing sponsor

Affiliations do not imply organizational endorsement

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