December 14th, 2006

Liberty Amendment

Liberty

Liberty is the inspired and inspiring concept that started the American Revolution, and fuels continual revolution, dissent, and political battles today. Speaking of the importance of liberty, Frederick Douglass said:

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. (The Frederick Douglass Papers, Series One, Volume 3)

Showing that liberty is a continual struggle, Thomas Jefferson commented:

The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. (Letter to William Stephens Smith, 1787)

The quest for liberty is not idle in our day. I’m not sure why I have never heard of this before, but I recently came across the Liberty Amendment.

The purpose of the Liberty Amendment:

The purpose of this Amendment is to give full force and effect to the Constitution of the United States; to restore freedom and lost liberties to all Americans; and to restore sovereignty to the United States of America, the States and the body of the People.

The text of the proposed Amendment:

Section 1. The Government of the United States shall not engage in any business, professional, commercial, financial or industrial enterprise except as specified in the Constitution.

Section 2. The constitution or laws of any State, or the laws of the United States shall not be subject to the terms of any foreign or domestic agreement which would abrogate this amendment.

Section 3. The activities of the United States Government which violate the intent and purpose of this amendment shall, within a period of three years from the date of the ratification of this amendment, be liquidated and the properties and facilities affected shall be sold.

Section 4. Three years after the ratification of this amendment the sixteenth article of amendments to the Constitution of the United States shall stand repealed and thereafter Congress shall not levy taxes on personal incomes, estates, and/or gifts.

This Amendment, in my opinion, is sorely needed. It has quite a long history but present support and backing. Liberty is just what we need to protect and restore, and it is the Constitution that has secured it in the past. It will only continue to do so in the future as long as it is adhered to by our three branches of government. This Amendment would help assure just that. I look forward with earnest to tracking its progress through our rocky legislative process.

4 Responses to “Liberty Amendment”

  1. John Anderson
    December 14, 2006 at 12:27 pm #

    Anyone else find it moderately amusing that the "Liberty" amendment is filled with "shall not?"

    I like it, with the possible exception of Section 4. Budgets are pretty tight already, and the removal of income, estate, and gift taxes will make that specific problem worse. The dissolution of any other questionable (yet possibly profitable) business ventures will also cause additional strain. I don’t disagree with the idea behind the words, but the financial problems resulting from this idea would be significant.

    Do the proponents of this amendment address the fiscal impact this sort of measure will create?

  2. Connor
    December 14, 2006 at 12:33 pm #

    Anyone else find it moderately amusing that the “Liberty” amendment is filled with “shall not?”

    I find that humorous as well, though it’s understandable. Think about the gospel—it’s laden with “shalt not”s, yet it is what makes us free. Liberty and freedom come as a result of obedience to standards and laws.

    For example, President Faust said:

    Obedience leads to freedom. The more we obey revealed truth, the more we become liberated. (General Conference, April 1999)

    Budgets are pretty tight already, and the removal of income, estate, and gift taxes will make that specific problem worse.

    That’s just the thing though – there will be less of a need for money when all the un-Constitutional programs and divisions are closed. The Amendment’s web page explains:

    It provides a three-year period for selling or liquidating more than 900 agencies and business-type enterprises presently operated by the Federal Government without constitutional authority. Sale of these enterprises will bring in enough money to substantially reduce the national debt. Annual budget spending by the government could be reduced by more than fifty percent. Revenue from excise taxes on goods and services, and on corporation incomes, will increase at least twenty percent, without increase of tax rates.

    Sure, it’d be messy, but when has the fight for liberty ever not been messy? :)

  3. Curtis
    December 14, 2006 at 1:15 pm #

    I particulary like section 2. That would totally nip any free trade agreements that affect our sovereignity in the bud. It would have stopped the multilateral agreement on investment in its tracks.

    I’d like to see that list of 900 agencies though.

    I don’t know about the claim that corporate taxes would increase 20% without tax increases either. Sounds like there is a little voodoo economics (trickle down economics) being relied upon there.

  4. John Anderson
    December 14, 2006 at 1:37 pm #

    @Curtis:


    Sounds like there is a little voodoo economics (trickle down economics) being relied upon there.

    That’s my main beef too: even the best economist will probably admit that even the most well-studied and scientific economics are voodoo at best anyway.

    I’d be leery to support something like this not having a decent idea of what sort of impact it was going to make.

    @Connor:

    [T]here will be less of a need for money when all the un-Constitutional programs and divisions are closed.

    Not if their profitable. :)

    Sale of these enterprises will bring in enough money to substantially reduce the national debt.

    If I give you $20,000 will you reduce your income by $5,000 a year from now on? Sure it reduces debt now, but the long run is what I’m interested in here.

    Annual budget spending by the government could be reduced by more than fifty percent. Revenue from excise taxes on goods and services, and on corporation incomes, will increase at least twenty percent, without increase of tax rates.

    This seems like conjecture to me.

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