MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

March 2024 Newsletter

by | Mar 1, 2024 | AVC Newsletter | 0 comments


Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Speaks Out on the National Debt 

by Vickie Deppie

In an interview with 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell described the national debt as both “worrisome” and “urgent,” bursting the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) bubble. Like legs holding up a stool, MMT rests on three assumptions: the economy will continue to grow, interest rates will remain low, and there will always be someone willing to lend us money. The first two were known to be incorrect even before the economic havoc wrought by the COVID pandemic, and an examination of recent financial trends demonstrates that the last is untrue, as well. 

Powell pointed out that “the debt is growing faster than the economy…it is unsustainable. I don’t think that’s at all controversial.” Given that Congress has added to our national debt without fail every year since 1957, can we count on the current Congress to put the brakes on federal spending? Dr. David Primo of the University of Rochester says no, and it’s not just a matter of political will: it’s because Congress is constitutionally prohibited from dictating what a future Congress can or cannot do. Without a constitutional amendment imposing fiscal discipline, whatever progress made by the recently authorized Fiscal Commission can be undone in as little as two years when the next Congress is seated.  

Democrats as well as Republicans have a vested interest in getting the government’s fiscal house in order. Federally administered programs are less responsive and accountable to their constituents and are rife with waste, fraud, and abuse. Federal transfers force the states to subsidize one another’s policies whether they agree with them or not, and are used to manipulate state policy in areas where the federal government has no constitutional jurisdiction. The Congressional Budget Office reports that income inequality rises with increasing national debt, and the World Bank reports that high sovereign debt throttles economic growth. 

Our deficit spending can’t go on forever. The only question is whether it will be a chaotic restructuring most acutely felt by families living paycheck-to-paycheck, or an orderly transition to a more sustainable economy. To learn more about options to put federal spending on the path to sustainability, please visit the Academy of States 1.0 page


Article V News

The next meeting of the Phoenix Correspondence Commission (PCC) will take place on Friday, March 22 at 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST. Guest speaker Governor Mike Huckabee will discuss the “Critical Role of the States.” Normally PCC meetings are only open to delegates, but this meeting will be open to all state legislators. If you would like to receive credentials to attend this on-line, interactive event, please contact Executive Director W. Bruce Lee. Future guests include Dr. David Primo of the University of Rochester on June 14 and Thomas Jipping (tentative) of the Heritage Foundation on September 20. 

Arizona has joined Utah in calling for state collaboration to compel Congress to call the Article V Convention for a Balanced Budget Amendment that had 34 or more applications for decades beginning in 1979. 

Balanced Budget Amendment/Fiscal Restraints 

In Florida, H 703 has passed in both the House and the Senate. 

Convention of States Project 

In Idaho, SCR 112 has been reported out of committee with a do-pass recommendation. In Minnesota, HB 667 awaits a hearing in the State and Local Government Finance and Policy Committee. The Ohio House Government Oversight Committee heard testimony on HJR 3. In Rhode Island, H 7182 has been recommended to be held for further study by the State Government & Elections Committee. 

Delegate Selection and Oversight 

In Iowa, HF 336 has been reported approved and renumbered as HF2311 by the State Government Committee. In Kansas, HB 2807 has been introduced and assigned to the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. In Missouri, SB 1310 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee. In Virginia, SB 528 has been passed by indefinitely by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. 

Equal Rights Amendment 

In Georgia, HR 1167, attempting to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, awaits a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. 

Free and Fair Elections (Wolf-PAC) 

In New Hampshire, HCR 8 has been laid on the table. 

Term Limits 

In Florida, HCR 693 has passed in both the House and the Senate. In Indiana, HJR 3 was passed in the House and awaits a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In Kansas, SCR 1609 has been introduced and assigned to the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee.  

Rescission 

In New Hampshire, a minority report and amendment have been issued for HCR 9 in the House State-Federal Relations & Veterans Affairs Committee.  

Other 

In Florida, applications have been filed for a convention to propose a constitutional amendment granting a line-item veto for the president and one to prohibit Congress from exempting its members from laws imposed on the citizenry. H 7057 and H 7055 await committee assignment. 

In Maine, SP 705, a single piece of legislation creating separate applications for a convention to propose a term limits amendment and one for proposing an election integrity amendment, failed in the Senate. 

Media 

The New York Sun has provided coverage of Ron DeSantis’ support for amending the Constitution. 

Barry Poulson of the Federal Fiscal Sustainability Foundation and immediate former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker call for the Supreme Court to issue a declaratory judgement requiring Congress to record and count Article V applications in The Post and Courier and the Orlando Sentinel. 

Leonard Hayhurst writes in support of Ohio’s Convention of States Project application in the Zanesville Times Recorder

The Salt Lake Tribune takes a dim view of states organizing to prepare to use their constitutional authority to check the federal government. 

KTVB and KMTV provide coverage on Idaho’s Convention of States Project application. 

Jacob Ogles covers two new Florida Article V applications in Florida Politics

Dr. Nancy MacLean deploys the usual fear tactics against an Article V Convention for The New Republic. We won’t go into a detailed analysis here, but highlights include the fact that she seems completely unaware of the growing bipartisan support for a convention, the incredibly high bar of ratification (currently 38 states), that one-state-one-vote is not malapportioned, or the fact that even Fed Chair Jerome Powell has finally publicly stated that our deficit spending is unsustainable and is in urgent need of attention (see feature). For those who know the facts, the only rational conclusion to be drawn from these hysterics is that political elites like MacLean want everyday Americans to be afraid of an Article V Convention—afraid of self-governance—because they’re afraid of losing their power. 


Constitution Boot Camp

Congress has been in the news quite a bit lately, so this month’s lesson is especially timely: Article I, Sections 4, 5, and 6: Elections, Powers and Duties of Congress, and Rights and Disabilities of Members, beginning on page 9


Who Said It?

Each team is composed of good people who have something important to say. 

Jonathan Haidt