Rep. Arrington to Introduce Resolutions on Article Five Convention as Inflation Reaches Historic High

Rep. Arrington to Introduce Resolutions on Article Five Convention as Inflation Reaches Historic High
Congressman Jodey Arrington (R-Tex.) at SiriusXM's Congressional Veterans Forum at the Cannon House Office Building on May 23, 2017 in Washington. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
John Ransom

Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) will introduce today two pieces of legislation aimed at forcing Congress to heed a decades-old demand for a convention under Article Five of the Constitution to address runaway federal spending and inflation.

Arrington’s office refused to comment on the resolutions to the Epoch Times other than to confirm by email that Arrington will be introducing something “on this issue.”

Bipartisan advocacy group Let US Vote for a Balanced Budget Amendment Citizen’s Campaign (LUVCC) says that as of 1979, 34 states—or the required two-thirds—had submitted calls to Congress for a convention under Article Five “imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government toward achieving a balanced federal budget” while noting that “Congress has failed to comply with its Constitutional mandate to call for a convention.”

The group said that five additional states have called for a convention since 1979, bringing the total to 39 states calling for a convention to consider some sort of balanced budget amendment.

“I commend Rep. Jodey Arrington for his leadership in introducing legislative proposals designed to restore federal fiscal sanity and recognize the rights of the states under Article V of the Constitution,” David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States who was responsible for running the government’s General Accountability Office (GAO) from 1998 to 2008, told the Epoch Times in a conference call.

Walker currently is a co-founder of LUVCC.

Historic Inflation Headwinds

The issue takes on added impetus as the country faces historic inflation of double digits as the producer price index hit 11.3 percent in June according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number foreshadows higher inflation for consumers (CPI) in the near-term, rivaling, if not outdoing, the disastrous inflation under President Jimmy Carter.

Because of changes to how inflation is calculated now compared to the Carter years, one economist, John Williams, who runs the economic reporting service Shadow Stats, which reports on government economic forecasting, said that inflation is closer to 17.3 percent using the methodology that was in place in 1980.

“In general terms, methodological shifts in government reporting have depressed reported inflation, moving the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living,” said Williams.
CPI topped out at 13.5 percent in 1980 according to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, before dropping to 4.8 percent at the end of President Ronald Reagan’s term in 1989.
The LUVCC said that, in part, Congress has never called an Article Five convention of states because Congress has never formally developed a process that assigns responsibility for tracking and calling such a convention.

‘The Government Is Too Big, Too Intrusive’

Arrington’s legislation would contain two specific measures, according to copies of the proposed legislation shared with The Epoch Times.

First, it would require Congress to set a time and a place for a convention of states to consider the existing call by the 39 states for an Article Five convention to consider a balanced budget amendment under a concurrent resolution.

Secondly, it would require the Congressional Archivist to keep track of Article Five applications and “notify Congress when the threshold for calling a convention has been satisfied,” under a bill proposed by Arrington.

“Other countries have taken the lead in imposing fiscal constraints on their governments, and this resolution will allow U.S. citizens for the first time to incorporate fiscal constraints in our Constitution,” Dr. Barry Poulson, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Colorado who supports the LUVCC, told The Epoch Times

“The federal government is too big, too expensive, and too intrusive in our lives. It is time for citizens to decide how much government we want and are willing to pay for,” Paulson concluded.

GAO Says Debt Growing Faster Than The Economy

Since 2008, federal debt has soared from $10 trillion to $30 trillion, while figures from the Federal Reserve show that the public debt owed by the federal government was just $845 billion in the fourth quarter of 1979.
As a percentage of GDP, federal debt is now higher than it was at the end of World War II said the Federal Reserve, with the cost of interest on the debt threatening other budget items such as national defense as interest rates climb to combat inflation.
“I’ve been warning Americans about Biden’s Inflation Bomb spending agenda from the beginning, and now every American is paying for it,” Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) told The Epoch Times previously.

“In Fiscal Year 2021 we threw away $562 billion on nothing but debt service—that’s 72% of what we spent on defense that year,” added Braun.

And the GAO’s current Comptroller General of the United States, Gene Dodaro, has warned that without substantial changes to how the government spends money “the federal debt is poised to grow faster than the economy, a trend that is unsustainable.”

The debt is poised to grow faster than the economy because historically low interest rates likely won’t last, meaning that even more of the federal budget will be tied up in paying interest rates rather than delivering services to citizens.

That puts more pressure on the economy to grow faster to keep up with interest rate growth, which in turn, fuels more inflation.

Initial estimates by the Federal Reserve, while not official, indicate that the economy contracted in the second quarter after also contracting in the first quarter—which would officially signal a recession.

“Our country seriously needs a strong reminder of both states’ rights and the seriousness of acting fiscally in the best interests of our country and our national security,” William Owens, a retired United States Navy Admiral and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Epoch Times regarding the Article Five legislation proposed by Arrington.

“This convention for proposing amendments will not only be historic, but it will also be a monument to our founders and to our present-day legislators taking the right action on behalf of our people,” added Owens.