Sunday, December 27, 2009

Out of Balance Constitution

In my last post, I discussed that the health care reform would probably require States to raise State taxes, hence an “unintended consequence” (or in my opinion, intended) of the health care bill and an out for congress to say it is “deficit” neutral. However, the senate passage of health care reform, on Christmas Eve, probably would not have been possible without the 17th Amendment, which changed the way Senators were elected. The health care bill is a prime example of how the 17th amendment has cause the Constitution to be out balanced. The States need to have a voice in the federal government, especially one so intent on spending and “bailing out”. It also, occurred to me that if the Senators were elected by the State legislators we would not have to worry about the “D” or the “R” in their name, because the Senators would be accountable to the legislative body of their state, not the “party”. It was pretty obvious that there was some party arm twisting, among other things to get the votes to pass the bill.

So what recourse do “We the People” have to get the Constitution back in balance. After doing some research into the 17th amendment, I found out that the way you repeal an amendment to the Constitution is by another amendment. It was done once before when the 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment, which abolished liquor. It just so happens, someone has already written a proposed amendment to repeal the 17th amendment. This proposed amendment puts the States back into the federal government; in addition the amendment has a provision that would allow the state legislator to remove a senator by a majority vote. Well, I am not a lawyer, so I am not sure that this particular proposed amendment is the exact one, but it is a huge step in the right direction. Ratifying a proposed amendment is not an easy task, but it can be done.

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