March 19, 2019
by Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director
Leave it to Scott Walker to land a job that could do further damage to our democracy – and take the nation’s economy down with it.
On Monday, the Center for State-Led National Debt Solutions announced that Walker is its new national honorary chairman.
That group is one of the leaders of the so-called Article V movement, which wants to call a convention of the states to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced budget amendment.
Already 28 states have called for such a convention. If six more states follow suit, you’re going to wake up one morning to the news that we’re actually having a constitutional convention for the first time in 230 years.
There are two fundamental problems with this effort that Walker now heads.
First, the last time we had a Constitutional Convention in 1787-1789, delegates ended up rewriting our governing document top to bottom. This could result in the erasure of some of our most cherished and fundamental rights, which are enshrined in the Constitution. That’s why, for instance, the National Association of Gun Rights and the Gun Owners of America oppose an Article V Constitutional Convention. And that’s why the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia opposed it, too, saying in 2014: “I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. Whoa! Who knows what would come out of it? … A Constitutional Convention is a horrible idea.”
And second, the specific amendment that Walker’s group is trying to pass is an idiotic one. It would tie the hands of the federal government in times of an economic downturn. The only reliable medicine for bringing large economies like ours out of a recession is deficit spending. It’s like the economy has cancer and you won’t give it radiation or chemotherapy. It’s like the economy has diabetes, and you won’t give it insulin. You’ll just let the economy die.
Had this balanced budget amendment been in place in 1933, we may never have gotten out of the Great Depression.
Had it been in place in 2009, we may never have gotten out of the Great Recession, which would have turned into another Great Depression.
If this amendment actually were to pass, millions and millions of Americans would needlessly face unemployment and immense hardship the next time the economy took a turn for the worse.
But for the corporate interests that back this amendment, like the Koch Brothers, tying the hands of government is a great thing. It means there would be less money for government regulation, so that corporations could pollute our environment with impunity, and break the labor laws with impunity, and engage in financial fraud with impunity.
So it’s a perfect job for Walker. Once a water boy for the corporate interests, always a water boy.