Article V Group Ignores States' Complicity in Federal Power Grab

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Article V Group Ignores States' Complicity in Federal Power Grab

Proponents of an Article V constitutional convention misrepresent states as victims of federal power grab, rather than as collaborators.

Of all the misrepresentations often repeated by the pro-Article V constitutional convention proponents, one of the most important is the “states as victims” mantra.

For example, on its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, the Convention of States (COS) organization writes:

"Washington, D.C., is broken. The federal government is spending this country into the ground, seizing power from the states and taking liberty from the people."

Of the four claims made in that statement, three are admitted as true: First, D.C. is broken; second, the federal government is spending us into perpetual poverty; and third, federal officials in all three branches are denying Americans of fundamental liberties they and their ancestors have enjoyed for over a millennium. 

However, the claim that the federal government is “seizing power from the states” cannot be stipulated to without falsely portraying states as victims rather than as accomplices to these crimes against the Constitution.

States, on average, receive one-third of their annual budget from the federal government. According to data collected in 2013, Mississippi receives nearly half of its money from D.C., followed closely by Louisiana and Arizona.

No one would argue against the assertion that governors and state legislators are addicted to the “free” federal money. The problem, however — and somehow the Article V/Convention of States people don’t want to admit it — is that this money isn’t free. As Tad DeHaven of the Cato Institute explained, responding to a report about Indiana’s dependence on federal largesse:

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