The National Debt is Supporting Inflationary Conditions as it did in the 1970s

Now, as then, the States are Calling for an Inflation-Fighting Fiscal Responsibility Amendment

The Problem

It has been more than 60 years since the United States Congress last paid down any of the nation’s debt. While much has changed since 1957, the trajectory toward unsustainable deficits and debt has gone uninterrupted. Under current law, trillion dollar-a-year deficits are expected indefinitely, and the national debt now stands at over $30 trillion.

By 1979, the States were becoming very concerned about the economic implications of uncontrolled federal debt and had launched a serious effort to propose an Inflation-Fighting Fiscal Responsibility Amendment through the state convention method outlined in Article V. The state of Nevada explained their rationale this way: “Continuous deficit financing by the Federal Government supports inflationary conditions which adversely affect the national economy and all Americans, particularly those persons with fixed or low income.” Sound familiar?

Congress Fails in its Duty

From Applications compiled by the Article V Library, it appears that more than enough were received in Congress by the end of that year to satisfy the constitutional requirement to call the convention and propose an amendment to impose fiscal restraint. However, these Applications were never officially acknowledged, authenticated, sorted, or counted, and the Congressional call for the Convention for Proposing Amendments never came.

While the States waited, the nation’s debt soared from $830 billion to over $30 trillion, and the value of the dollar declined by over 70%. Inflation too has rebounded to the levels that were suppressing economic growth and hurting Americans at the gas pump and grocery store in the 70s. In April of 2022, the Department of Labor calculated that the Consumer Price Index had “increased 8.5 percent for the year ended March 2022,” the “largest 12-month advance since December 1981.”

It’s Time to Act Now

By 2032, the CBO projects the United States will spend 1.2 trillion dollars annually to pay the interest on the national debt, eclipsing spending on national defense. This is 1.2 trillion dollars of our tax revenue for which the nation will receive no benefit. The States can be silent no longer. If the immoral legacy of reckless spending is to end with our generation, we must call on our elected representative to support the call for a convention now.

The Federal Government Needs an Inflation-Fighting Fiscal Responsibility Amendment & Fiscal Rules

At this link, you will find articles and papers from reputable sources on why fiscal rules and an Inflation-Fighting Fiscal Responsibility Amendment (FRA)are needed to avoid a fiscal cliff for America.

The History of Article V

Discover Article V of the Constitution through a selection of articles and scholarly papers from the State Legislators Article V Caucus.

Dive Deeper! Books on Article V:

Here you’ll find a list of books that include substantial information on Article V and why America needs to use it now!

Quotes on Fiscal Responsibility and Article V

Growing U.S. Debt Burden Poses Economic Risks “Debt that is high and rising as a percentage of GDP boosts federal and private borrowing costs, slows the growth of economic output, and increases interest payments abroad. A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets.”

Congressional Budget Office 2021 Long-Term Budget Outlook
Congressional Budget Office 2021 Long-Term Budget Outlook

Unsustainable Deficit Spending Needs to Be Addressed Quickly “…We’re on an unsustainable path. Debt is not at an unsustainable level, but the path is unsustainable—meaning it’s growing faster than the economy, meaningfully faster than the economy. We have to address that over time. We will address it over time. And the better way to do it is soon.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, January 11, 2022
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, January 11, 2022

Constitutional Scholars Believe the Article V Convention for Proposing Amendments is Safe and Effective “In modern conditions, it is literally impossible for an amendments convention to exceed its authority; the ‘run away’ scenario derives from ignorance of basic facts.”

Professor Robert G. Natelson
Professor Robert G. Natelson