News & Politics

Tom Coburn Says Millennials Must Embrace a Convention of States

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Senator Tom Coburn says that millennials will be hardest hit by an out of control federal government, and explains why they must embrace the responsibility of taking back the government for themselves in part two his interview with PJ Media (see part one here).

Self-interested politicians, more concerned about their grip on power than doing what’s right for the nation, have created a federal government that is systematically destroying personal liberty and prosperity, Coburn says. Regulations written by unelected bureaucrats, out of control spending that shows no sign of abating, and incumbent career politicians who effectively face no opposition in their reelection efforts: Millennials stand to be the generation hardest hit. That’s the argument advanced by former Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and it’s why he now advocates for an Amendments Convention to be convened as described in Article V of the United States Constitution.

In fact, he has written a book about it, due out May 30, called, Smashing the DC Monopoly: Using Article V to Restore Freedom and Stop Runaway Government


Coburn explained why he believes millennials are going to need an Article V Convention the most:

Here’s the financial consequences of inaction. I saw an explanation on the web of what a trillion dollars is. If you make 40,000 per year, you have to work 25 years to make a million dollars. You have 25,000 years to make a billion. You have to work 25 million years to make a trillion dollars. That’s how you can get some appreciation for what a billion and a trillion is.

Sixty-four percent of milliennials don’t trust Washington, but fifty-six percent of them want more government. Millennials are not looking forward and seeing that they’re not gonna have any money. They have to be educated. They have to read this book. They have to understand how big the problems are.

Coburn laments the attitude of lawmakers in Washington who refuse to make difficult decisions to fix what’s broken in our federal government, regardless of who’s in charge:

Ask yourself this question: We’re going to run maybe a $400-$500 billion deficit this year, maybe $500-600 billion next year. You hear anybody talking about fixing that? You see anything in the news? Where is the effort to fix it? We have $20 trillion worth of debt. We can continue, because we’re a reserve currency, to print money. But it only works if people continue to buy our bonds. The way we’ve gotten out of it the last eight years is that the federal reserve has bought our bonds. So all they did is create fake money. Now if that doesn’t get resolved, what that implies, if it’s $4 trillion, out of a $20 trillion economy, that means the value of your money is going to decline by 20%. So what they’re doing is, the way they’re handling our debt, is decreasing the value of our money, which decreases the value of our retirement savings, everything we’ve ever worked for. It decreases the value of everything except hard assets. So if we all owned gold, and we all owned a home, we’d all be ok. But we don’t get paid in gold. We get paid in dollars that decline in value every single day.

Explaining exactly what this means for the generation that’s going to have to pay back all this debt, Coburn paints a bleak picture:

It effects everybody from the upper-middle incomes on down. They say the upper-middle family income declined $8000. They went from $78,000 to $70,000. The median family income went from $64,000 to $52,000. This is going to hurt everybody who isn’t in the top 10% in our country. And it’s really going to hurt the people who are dependent and are struggling today. It’s just going to make them poorer. The moral question is, is it ok to steal the future and the standard of living for all the millennials, and their kids and grandkids, because we don’t have members of Congress that have the spine to stand up and make the hard choices? Is that morally ethical? Is that right to do that?

The problem of an out of control federal government extends beyond party lines, and the solution is nonpartisan. Both parties are responsible for the expansion of governmental intrusion into our lives, and the limiting of personal liberty. Smashing the DC Monopoly sets out to explain how unbalanced the government has become, and how we can take back the power over the government to eliminate the dysfunction in D.C. The entire point, as Coburn explained, is to return local decision making to the states.

It’s bipartisan. If you really want decision making returned to the state, you gotta be for this. What can we do? Can we actually return, and renew, and recapture, the intent of our Founders on individual rights, and states’ rights, and the balance of power between the three branches of government, which is now totally askew? That includes the balance of power between the states and the federal government.

Coburn believes the answer is yes, but firs, we must understand the root of the problem—the disease, as the doctor says, not just the symptoms.

The disease is we don’t have good representatives. Why don’t we? Because the incumbent has such an advantage that no one can defeat him. Plus we’ve gerrymandered all the districts to where if you’re a Republican, you’re locked, if you’re a Democrat, you’re locked, so there are very few districts up for competition.

President Trump was elected on a platform of draining the swamp, but Coburn believes that is impossible without drastic action to rein in the federal bureaucracy.

I think he’s done more than any president in my lifetime in terms of turning things around with Executive Orders. So I think they’ve done a lot. But you can’t drain the swamp. It’s not drainable. In 2010 the Republicans took back the House from the Democrats. Then in 2014 they took over the Senate. Then in 2016 we got the White House. Tell me what’s changed? Here’s the problem. You have to put muzzles on the alligators. You can’t drain the swamp, but you can catch them and put a muzzle on them with a balanced budget amendment, with a big change to the commerce clause, with limiting terms. If you do all those things, we’ll actually cure the disease, instead of just treating the symptoms. You’re never going to change the Senate. I used to have this debate with Jim DeMint all the time. He thinks you could eventually get 60 Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns. You can’t! You have to limit the damage from the people who are not Jim DeMint or Tom Coburn with a return to our Constitution via Article V.

The problem is career politicians, Coburn said. Republicans and Democrats both will do whatever it takes to protect their power, and will often sacrifice the best interests of the nation to do so.

They’re protecting their position. I’m in this position, I’m going to stay here, whatever it takes. Even if it’s counterintuitive to good politics. They won’t do the things that are counter to that in terms of fixing things for our country. In my experience in politics, I had a lot of people who didn’t like me. What I made sure was that people trusted me. The reason I got 74 percent in my Senate reelection wasn’t because people agreed with me, it was because they trusted me. That’s the missing factor in Washington these days.

The bottom line for millennials, said Coburn, is that they’re stuck having to pay for the bad decisions of previous generations.

We’re now up to $124 trillion in unfunded liabilities, which, over the next 50 years, the major portion of that is going to have to be paid back. Guess who’s going to have to pay that back? Millennials. That’s $30,000 per year per milliennial. What do you think is going to happen to their standard of living? It’s going to abruptly decline. We have to fix that. We The People – we’re the ones that can fix that. The original Constitution is a little pocket sized book, right? The annotated Constitution weighs 74 pounds, when you include all the agency rules and court decisions that took away the real meaning of the Commerce Clause, and the General Welfare Clause.

If millennials want to maintain and grow their standard of living, they are going to have to embrace the ideal that governmental decisions are best made at the local level, and that the size and scope of the federal bureaucracy will need to be drastically reduced for them to succeed.