Mark Levin revealed some sobering facts about the coverage by the traditional media of the debt limit negotiations in his Sunday opening monologue on Life, Liberty, and Levin. He cited the reports of the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Management and Budget and the Trustees of the Social Security system to show that federal expenditures have gone insane. Levin describes it as frightening. Levin notes that the Executive Branch is controlled by the Biden Administration. Levin openly asks whether any members of Congress, let alone the Biden administration’s upper echelons, bothered to look at the reports. He concludes that our federal government is irrevocably damaged.
As hard as it may be to swallow, this is the truth.
Levin argues in the second half of his speech that Article V of our Constitution, the Convention of States, is the only way to fix the broken system. Let’s take a look at the depth of the problem before we hear Levin’s full-throated support for the Constitutional solution to fix our broken system.
Media coverage of corporate events has centered on the battle between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, his small Republican majority, and the Biden Administration and the exaggerated risk that the federal government will default on its obligations. No major news outlet has ever explained why the debt ceiling was created in the first instance, instead choosing to make it the next big crisis. Levin correctly points out that the failure to increase the debt ceiling would temporarily stop about 10 percent of federal expenditures, since most spending is governed by law and cannot be stopped.
The media has ignored the real issue. The United States has never spent so much money when it was not in an active conflict, and certainly never for this long. The GAO released The Nation’s Financial Health on May 23, 2009. Levin claims that the Executive Branch distributed this report to all members of Congress.
Levin wants to know “What does the GAO say?” Why do I care?” “Why do you care?” He asks.
The long-term financial future of the federal government is uncertain. The Office of Management and Budget, Department of Treasury and Congressional Budget Office all have long-term projections that show the debt is growing faster than GDP. This is not sustainable over the long-term.
It is not surprising to anyone who has been following federal government overreach from the Tea Party days or before. It’s amazing that these reports from the Biden Administration call into question policies that led to such crazy spending levels. Levin claims that the government has never written reports or spoken like this.
The report continues to state that the cost of financing our public debt is increasing as interest rates rise, leading to record-breaking deficits for fiscal year 2022. The Federal Reserve’s attempt to control inflation by raising interest rates has led to this inevitable outcome. Federal policymakers are now in a losing situation. Either we raise rates and let the debt spiral out of control to levels that we cannot pay, or inflation will take over and ruin our economy.
Flashback to 2012 or I think it was over when the Germans bombed the Fiscal Cliff.
If Congress and the Executive Branch had done their job, all of this could have been avoided. We have a Fed policy that has been in place for nearly 20 years and a domestic budget that is out of control. Nobody wants to change it. It wouldn’t make sense politically.
We are in a very difficult situation. The CBO states that “high and increasing federal debt as part of the economy increases risk of fiscal crisis.”
Levin concluded that “what they’re saying” is the economy could collapse. The CBO also emphasized this, reporting that public debt GROWN in three of the last four economic expansions. Normally, it shrinks proportionally to the size our nation’s gross domestic product.
This is a summary of the monologue. You will be able to see your hair turn white if you watch the whole thing.
What can we do if Washington, at any level of government, seems to lack the intestinal fortitude necessary to tackle the issue in a meaningful manner?
Levin uses this opportunity to pivot and cite the late Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma. Coburn lost his cancer battle in 2020. However, during his time in the Senate he was famous for his efforts to combat corruption within federal institutions. Levin:
He [Coburn] told me I’ve worked here for a long while, and I’ve fought this battle over the budget… he said that this was hopeless. The system is broken. Instead of trashing Kevin McCarthy or any of these individuals, perhaps he could’ve gotten a more favorable deal. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter. It’s not important. Social Security and Medicare were not discussed at all during the last week. Their trajectory continues to rise.
Levin read out Article V, which gives two ways to amend the Constitution to control an uncontrollable federal government. Article V states:
The Congress may propose amendments to this constitution whenever two-thirds of both Houses deems it necessary. Or, upon the Application of two-thirds of all the States, they may call a Convention to propose amendments. These Amendments will be valid for all intents and purposes, as a part of this Constitution when ratified either by the legislatures of three-fourths of each State or by Conventions within three quarters of those States. [emphasis added]
Levin, who has been a long-time supporter of the Article V convention idea, wrote The Liberty Amendments. Levin, who describes George Mason as an underappreciated founder, suggested the second way to amend the constitution. Levin notes that “two days before the Constitutional Convention ends on September 17, George Mason stands up and declares we cannot leave Congress to fix Congress, if Congress becomes oppressive.” They added language so the people could rein in an unruly Congress through their state legislators.
The Founders could not have imagined a Congress which relinquishes almost all its powers to non-elected bureaucracies, with little or no oversight. A series of congressional actions which shifted governmental operations and oversight away, has resulted in the Deep State.
Levin asks, “Why is any of this important, ladies and gentleman?”
Our Constitution can save us. All these conservatives are angry about what is happening. Why does not one of them speak up about Article V? They know I know you know. You now know if you didn’t before. No bill passed by Congress will change the fact that we are on an awful path. I am all for applying as many conservative principles as possible. We have a structural issue. It wasn’t yesterday. It has been happening for over 100 years. We have a way to escape. If the state legislators, state representatives, and state senators understood their power… They actually have more than Congress and the President put together… There are now 20 state legislatures who have adopted a motion for a constitutional convention. A constitutional convention is NOT what we are talking about. A convention of state. A convention of states. It still needs 34 states to request it. It still needs to be ratified by 38 states. It’s not an easy task. Where are my conservative colleagues in the House and the Senate? Where are the conservatives who are running for president in this country? You can save the country at least financially by doing this!
Levin spends the remainder of the monologue discussing his proposals to rein in federal spending, which he originally conceived in The Liberty Amendments. Here are many great ideas to fix our broken system.
Levin fully supports Convention of States Action and spoke at the grassroots leadership summit held in Orlando, Florida in October 2022.