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The First 1,461 Days of a Constitutionalist President

Assert the executive power, limit and prevent future crises, and fully separate powers.

James Anthony
January 8, 2021

Fast, extensive change for the better moves people to living much better much sooner [1].

When people live much better much sooner, this quickly disempowers incumbents and empowers new winners, forging a new, lasting power balance that keeps everyone living much better.

Secure Life, Liberty, and Property

The Constitution’s bedrock rule is that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without the use of constitutional criminal or civil law and procedures.

  1. In the event of a conflict between life, liberty, and property, first secure each individual’s life, next secure each individual’s liberty, and next secure each individual’s property.

Assert the Executive Power

Once laws are enacted, legislative power ends and the executive power controls. Executives control organizational structures, layoffs and hiring, projects, and operations.

  1. Organize the structure of the executive branch.
  2. Have the vice president preside over the Senate full-time. Have the vice president require simple-majority voting, which the Constitution requires [2].
    Simple-majority voting is the only way each senator has one vote, as the Constitution requires. Simple-majority voting is also the only way the vote in the Senate can be evenly divided so the vice president gets a vote, as the Constitution requires. The Constitution’s rules are supreme over the Senate’s rules.
  3. Don’t keep existing employees in office not doing what’s needed to protect the Constitution.
  4. Lay off and hire in every position not otherwise controlled explicitly within the Constitution—especially including all congressional staff and judicial staff.
  5. To execute scope you consider constitutional, appoint officers suited for protecting the Constitution as they execute the law.
  6. To fulfill grandfathered obligations [3], appoint officers suited for selling unproductive assets, managing productive assets, and fulfilling limited, defined obligations.
  7. To shut down the remaining operations that you don’t consider constitutional and that aren’t grandfathered obligations, appoint officers suited for protecting the Constitution by shutting down enterprises efficiently.
  8. Don’t generate revenue to support spending you consider unconstitutional.
  9. Set operational targets and control spending by department.
    “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law” only requires that the president spend no more than Congress’s total appropriations. Congresspeople cross a president’’ boundary when they claim to have executive power over line-item spending, and a president fails to defend his boundary when he doesn’t assert executive power over line-item spending.
  10. Assign tasks and require timely performance.

Limit and Prevent Future Crises

In defense, economic weakness enables enemy attacks. Stop doing what doesn’t work, and free our people to build economic power faster than enemy governments’ people do [4].

In commerce, debt adds instability [5]. Stop pushing people to take on debt. Free every customer and every producer to choose for himself what action to take, and when. Free every borrower and every saver to choose for himself what action to take, and when.

  1. Command people to exit undeclared wars.
  2. Command people back from bases in other countries and from patrols near other countries.
  3. Don’t command people to risk death without Congress first passing ROE cards [6] that first and foremost protect our own people [7].
  4. Don’t command people to risk death without Congress first passing a declaration of war to eliminate the enemy governments that place our people at risk of death.
  5. Stop building current weapon systems, and stop building weapon systems overtly.
    Building-out weapon systems, and undercutting their value by making potential enemies aware of our capabilities, weakens us economically.
  6. Start designing future weapons systems covertly—in rapid, successive design cycles, the same as during an existential war.
  7. Screen, review, and insist that Congress repeals each statute that interferes with customers freely buying or with producers freely selling [8].
  8. Stop enforcing statutes, regulations, and opinions that unconstitutionally help banks loan out money that wasn’t saved by depositors [9].
  9. Identify, and insist that Congress fully repeals, each existing statute that unconstitutionally interferes with people using gold as money.
  10. Identify, and insist that Congress fully repeals, each existing statute that unconstitutionally interferes with people using equities (shares of ownership in companies) as money or using aggregated equities as money.
  11. Identify, and insist that Congress fully repeals, each legal-tender statute, which unconstitutionally force people to accept paper money that’s not backed 100% with reserves [10].
  12. Identify, and insist that Congress fully repeals, each existing statute that produces unconstitutional government control over money, banking, and much insurance.

Fully Separate Powers

The separated powers are the powers of the people, local governments, state governments, and the national government. The separated powers within a government are the powers to pass laws, enforce laws, and opine on cases.

Any national statute that in any part grabs power not enumerated for the national government, or that in any part grabs power not delegated to the legislature, is unconstitutional.

Bills and statutes can be screened for constitutionality using these criteria:

  • No misleading parts.
  • Only uses powers enumerated for the national government.
  • No delegation of legislative power.
  • No grabs of executive power.
  • No grabs of judicial power.
  • Not noncritical, complex, or long, and not helping make the total corpus of law incomprehensibly complex or long.

The few bills and statutes that fail this screen but are constitutional are easy to recognize. Congress’s few exceptions and regulations on national courts, for example, read like grabs of judicial power, but Congress is explicitly delegated the power to make these, to offset the judicial power.

Bills and statutes that are constitutional consist entirely of rules and associated penalties, with all tradeoffs already made [11]. All that’s left to do after enactment is enforce the law and judge cases.

This way from the start, powers are separated simply and fully.

  1. Screen and review each existing statute, and insist that Congress fully repeals each existing statute that’s in any part unconstitutional.
  2. Veto any bill that’s in any part unconstitutional.

The key step in making individuals’ lives, liberty, and property secure is to limit governments. To limit governments, government people must use constitutional powers against other government people.

Starting on the first 1,461 days of a constitutionalist president.

References

  1. Havrylyshyn, Oleh, et al. 25 Years of Reforms in Ex-Communist Countries: Fast and Extensive Reforms Led to Higher Growth and More Political Freedom. Policy Analysis no. 795, Cato Institute, 12 July 2016.
  2. Coenen, Dan T. “The Filibuster and the Framing: Why the Cloture Rule Is Unconstitutional and What to Do about It.” Boston College Law Review, vol. 55, no. 1, 2014, pp. 39–92.
  3. Pinera, Jose. “The Success of Chile’s Privatized Social Security.” Cato Policy Report, vol. 18, no. 4, July/Aug. 1995, pp. 1, 10-1.
  4. Harrison, Mark. “The Economics of World War II: An Overview.” The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison, edited by Mark Harrison, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 1–42.
  5. Keen, Steve. “Modeling Financial Instability.” Steve Keen’s Debtwatch, 2 Feb. 2014, www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2014/02/02/modeling-financial-instability/. Accessed 8 Jan. 2021.
  6. USA Constitution, art. I, sec. 8, cl. 14.
  7. Etzioni, Amitai. “Rules of Engagement and Abusive Citizens.” PRISM, vol. 4, no. 4, Apr. 2014, pp. 87–102.
  8. Lewis, Hunter. Crony Capitalism in America, 2008-2012. AC2, 2013, p. 13.
  9. Werner, Richard A. “A Lost Century in Economics: Three Theories of Banking and the Conclusive Evidence.” International Review of Financial Analysis, vol. 46, July 2016, pp. 361-79.
  10. Khan, Ali. “The Evolution of Money: A Story of Constitutional Nullification.” University of Cincinnati Law Review, vol. 67, 1999, pp. 393–443.
  11. Schoenbrod, David. “Goal Statutes or Rules Statutes: The Case of the Clean Air Act.” UCLA Law Review, vol. 30, 1982, pp. 740–828.

James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries and rConstitution Papers: Offsetting Powers Secure Our Rights. He also publishes rConstitution.us, and has written articles in The Federalist, American Thinker, and Foundation for Economic Education. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.

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