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Amendment

The People's Amendment – Text

© 2009-2012 Philip Bitar

The price of government shall be defined as the annual income plus the total debt of the United States government expressed as a fraction of the gross domestic product. The gross domestic product consists of the total value of expenditures for all final goods and services produced in the United States in a twelve-month period.

Upon ratification, this amendment shall take effect the following fiscal year, at which time the current price of government shall be established as a ceiling on the future price of government. The citizens shall raise or lower the ceiling by vote tallied both by state and by nation, a two-thirds vote in both tallies to raise the ceiling and a majority vote in both tallies to lower the ceiling.

Normally a measure to change the ceiling shall be requested by a vote of each branch of Congress, a two-thirds vote to raise the ceiling and a majority vote to lower the ceiling, or by a petition containing, for each state, number of valid signatures satisfying the signature threshold of the state. Each state shall complete a certification procedure for a petition of its citizens within four weeks after receiving the petition and, if it is valid, shall immediately present the petition to an election officer appointed by the President, who shall complete a certification procedure within two weeks. The signatures on a petition may be dated anytime after the last regular congressional election. A voter may sign multiple such petitions for measures that appear on the same ballot.

After a request by Congress or after petition certification for all states, the respective measure shall be scheduled for the next regular congressional election if the election occurs at least six months in the future.

On a given ballot, a voter shall indicate which measures, if any, they are in favor of, but they may not vote to both raise and lower the ceiling. If multiple measures are approved to raise the ceiling, the approved measure having the highest ceiling shall prevail. If multiple measures are approved to lower the ceiling, the approved measure having the lowest ceiling shall prevail. An approved ceiling shall take effect the following fiscal year.

The initial signature threshold for a state shall be four percent of the ballots cast in the state in the last election of President. But in every subsequent regular congressional election, the citizens of each state shall vote on the threshold percent for the state. The choices shall range from zero percent to a maximum percent in increments of one percent. The votes shall be cumulated in that order, and the percent at which a majority is obtained shall prevail. Congress shall decide on the maximum percent.

To address an emergency, a measure to change the ceiling may be requested by a three-fourths vote of each branch of Congress and placed on a special ballot that occurs at least two months in the future. A ceiling approved in this manner shall take effect immediately.

The voters in each state shall be those citizens qualified to elect a member of the House of Reprsentatives. Congress shall have power to implement this article by appropriate legislation but shall not establish or allow unnecessarily restrictive petition deadlines, rules, or charges, shall not prevent the citizens from printing petitions single-sided on a paper size that is accepted by most citizen-owned printers, and shall prohibit the public disclosure of the names and other information of the petition signers.

Reference citation.  Philip Bitar, "The People's Amendment: Amendment Text", excerpt from unpublished book The Second American Revolution: We The People vs. The Special Interest Groups, posted at www.ThePeoplesAmendment.com, 2009-06-29, last updated 2012-12-01. Originally published as "The Silver Bullet Amendment" at www.philipbitar.com, 2009-02-17, last updated 2009-05-11.


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