“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 9th Installment: Chapter Eight 2006: The Balancing Amendment (32nd)

Note: The Preface and Chapters One through Seven can be found here: The 15% Solution

by Jonathan Westminster, Ph.D. aka Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted on Buzzflash,com
Oct. 3, 2010

This is the ninth installment of a project that is likely to extend over a two-year-period from January, 2010. It is the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022. Under the pseudonym Jonathan Westminster, it is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Re-United States. It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press. Herein you will find Chapter 8. You can find a complete archive of the chapters published to date on TPJmagazine.us (lower right hand corner of the home page) as well as the Disclaimer, the cast of characters, the author’s bio, cover copy, and several (favorable) reviews.

A fairly recent commentator had this to say about the book: “I am in the middle of reading The 15% Solution. For some reason I assumed it was a recent publication. About 100 pages in I looked to see when it was published. It was published in 1996. That absolutely shocked me. What it was saying then is exactly what is happening now. The race-baiting, anti-homosexual crap that takes one’s attention away from what is actually happening, and it was written about 15 years ago. Even the 14th amendment controversy is discussed in this book, as well as so much more – ownership of the media, talk radio, etc. This is truly frightening, and if the Dems do not wake up and fight, I fear there is much worse to come.” Indeed!

Chapter Eight

2006: The Balancing Amendment (32nd)

The 32nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (2006):

Section 1. Commencing on the first day of the next fiscal year fol­lowing the date of ratification of this Amendment, separate Fed­eral budget ac­counts shall be established for the mainte­nance of the nation­al defense, for the payment of interest on the na­tional debt, and for the general operations of the Feder­al gov­ernment.

Section 2. The 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 3. Commenc­ing on the first day of the next fiscal year follow­ing the date of ratification of this Amend­ment, any bud­get adopted by the Congress under which funds are appropriat­ed for the sup­port of any general operations, activity, or func­tions of the Federal gov­ernment must show a sur­plus of income over expenditures of at least one dollar.

Section 4. No tax, fee, or other charge levied for the purpose of support­ing any general operations, activities, or functions of the Fed­eral govern­ment may be increased without the approval of two thirds of the members of each House of Congress.

Section 5. Every item in the Federal budget for the support of gen­eral operations shall be considered to have been presented separately to the President and be subject to the procedural pro­vi­sions of Arti­cle 1, Section 7, of this Constitution.

Section 6. In addition to the powers enumerated in Article 2, Sec­tions 2 and 3 of this Constitution, the President shall have the au­thority to declare a “special national emergency.” To take ef­fect, any such declaration must be approved by a simple majority of the members voting of each House of Congress. During any such spe­cial national emergency, the President shall have the au­thority to rule by decree for a period of sixty days. This au­thori­ty may be renewed by the Presi­dent unless it is re­scinded by a vote of two thirds of the membership of each House of Congress. Any Presiden­tial decree made under the provisions of this Amendment may be nullified by a vote of two thirds of the mem­bership of each House of Congress.

Section 7. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. (1)

1. Author’s Note: The Fourth Amendment to the old U.S. Constitution read: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, pa­pers, and ef­fects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and partic­u­larly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

A Curley Oakwood Radio Broadcast Transcript, October 13, 2006

Well my friends, ladies and gentlemen, now we’ve really got the liberalniggerlovers where we want them. No more excuses. Just a lot of sobbing. That imperious congress is finally going to have to toe the line. We’ve got a balanced budget amend­ment that’s going to work this time, not like that old, wimpy, good-for-nothing liberal monstrosi­ty, the 28th. We’ve got the line item veto in the Constitu­tion, where it belongs. Con­gress is just going to have to stop, stop, stop spending your money on things you don’t want it spent on and let you start spending it the way you know best. Yes, you do know best how to spend your money and Con­gress doesn’t.

You know my friends, they just don’t get it, do they? But now they’re going to have to get it, because now it’s right there in the Con­stitu­tion, large as life, for everyone to see. Just think. No more gov­ernment hand­outs. No more anybody who feels the urge taking your money out of your pocket, no more Demo­crats lining up the votes of the lazy-good-for-nothing-bums by giving them something for noth­ing. Yes, this is a great, great day for the American people.

Author’s Commentary

This was classic Oakwood, echoing his Transi­tion Era Right-Wing talk radio mentors, using distortion and outright lies to paint a mythi­cal picture of a political reality that was almost the complete opposite of that which he was describing:

  • Bashing Congress as an institution when it was thoroughly under the control of his own party (and had been for quite some time).
  • Bashing by implication a welfare system that even in its heyday had never taken up any sig­nifi­cant percentage of Federal spending, but under the 31st Amendment to the Constitution adopted the previous year did not even exist.
  • Putting responsibility for the first “balanced budget” amendment on the “lib­erals,” when the liberal forces at the time, within and out­side the Congress, had strongly opposed it.
  • Claiming that the Democrats offered to provide handouts in return for votes and had always done so, when for the most part people on wel­fare did­n’t vote anyway and never had done, official Democrat­ic Party support for welfare had been virtually non-existent for 15 years, and now, with no wel­fare sys­tem would not have had that rea­son to vote Demo­cratic even if the latter had sup­ported it.

On this last point, at best the old welfare sys­tem had provided sup­port for only the most mea­ger of living standards. Perhaps if during the Tran­sition Era the Democrats had been able to do something signifi­cant for the poor, like establish­ing and implementing a broad, compre­hensive plan to eliminate pover­ty, as we have done in the Re?United States, they would not have become the permanent minority they did. But that’s another story, to which we shall re­turn briefly at the end of this book.

Note that Oakwood doesn’t even mention either Section 6 or Sec­tion 7 of the 32nd Amendment, although he must have known how signifi­cant they were. He was also probably aware that this time around in the amending process the real goal of Hague and the R-CA was getting those items, not the “balancing” ones, into the Constitution. But the Hagueites didn’t want to pub­licly acknowledge what was really at stake.

In hindsight, the Hagueites were obviously out to destroy the basis of Constitutional democracy in the old United States, and use the Con­stitution itself to accomplish that end. But during pre?dictatorship times, when they still had to be concerned with such matters, in public?relations terms it was much better for them to use a “stealth” approach than try to confront the issue direct­ly. And so, as Oakwood and all of his ilk did, so much the better to focus on false “Imperial Congress” and money themes than on what their real agenda was.

A Connie Conroy Note, January 12, 2006

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I’ve got to say, this President is just bril­liant. He knows that as our enemies continue to con­spire to pull us down, to pull our nation down, to pull our peo­ple down, he is, he’s got to be, the bul­wark against this. And as much as we’ve got that Con­gress in our pocket now, as old George used to say, “who needs Con­gress?” And so now we’ve finally got a way around them, even when we’ve got them.

But did the President directly go after the power he needs? Nosiree bob (or is it Bob?) He used the old misdirection play he learned so well from Newton. He went right back to the tricks of the 104th and its great, great “Freshman Class” that gave him his start. He actually mentioned just the other day what he called the “tax-cut-to-put-money-back-in-your-pocket” ploy. (2)

He told me that what his guys really wanted was to get that mon­ey back into the pockets of the rich. “After all,” he said, “re­member Newton’s First Law of Politics: Reward Your Friends.” And it was the rich guys who sent the famous “Fresh­man Class” there. But un­der Newton’s leader­ship the tax cut was made to sound like it was for every­one. And the poor old Dems. They just didn’t know how to handle it. (3)

So with this one J.D. concentrated on selling a “no-loop­holes” BBA and the line?item?veto, to “balance things out” be­tween that dirty old Con­gress (even if it’s our dirty old Con­gress now) and “the people’s Presi­dent.” He just kind of slid in the decree power (still “checked and bal­anced,” natural­ly), with the “well, if you’re going to balance things out, might as well do this too” argument. And repealing the Fourth? Well, that one was “for balance” al­so-“balancing things out for the peo­ple and against the crimi­nals.”

Naturally, everyone knows that that balanced budget and line item veto shit are nothing more than that, shit. We control the Con­gress and the White House, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon, particularly given that the Demo­crats, what’s left of them, look to be on life-support. The Con­gress does what we tell them to. So who needs a line item veto, any­way?

As for that balanced budget crap. We haven’t had one in years. And we won’t get one any time soon, either. That’s be­cause the “balancing” re­quirement applies only to the “other” expenditures, not defense or inter­est payments, the two largest items. But it looks good, right there in the Constitution, with no loopholes, heh, heh. But ruling by decree and the end to that “unreasonable search and seizure” crap. Now we’ve really got something.

Prez sez he’s going to be careful with the decree power. He probably won’t use it just yet. He’ll see how things are going, but he may actually wait until Term II. But no Fourth? Now we’re really going to be able to go after those Connie bas­tards.

2. Author’s Note: The “tax-cut-for-you” when-it-was-anything-but tac­tic Conroy refers to itself harked all the way back to the 1978 “Proposi­tion 13” tax cut in Califor­nia (Brinkley). That one was sold to the voters as a “tax cut for everyone” but in reality provided most of the reductions to business. It saved business mon­ey indeed. But it was a major factor in the decline of California that occurred over the succeeding two de­cades. For example, in 1978, when Proposition 13 had passed, California’s schools were among the nation’s best (Blumenthal, 1995). By 1995, money starved by the property taxation strictures of Prop. 13, they ranked among the worst.

3. Author’s Note: There was ammunition. But the Democrats didn’t use it. Many of their leaders were wedded to a “your taxes are too high” fiction them­selves. For exam­ple, the 1995 tax cut proposed by the Re­publicans would have provided the average American taxpayer with -68 cents per day (Rosenbaum). This was at the cost of sig­nificant reduc­tions in the two partial national programs for paying for some of the costs of health services, “Medicare” for the elderly and “Medicaid” for the disabled and the poor, environmental protection, public health servic­es, veterans’ benefits, occupational safety and health protection, Federal recreational activities, and virtually every other direct and indirect ser­vice provid­ed by the Federal government other than the military and pris­ons.

An Alex Poughton Letter

October 31, 2006

Dear Karl,

Halloween is an appropriate day to be writing you about what is going on here now. It’s scary. The basis for dictator­ship has been established, right in the Constitution, no less. And no one seems to know it, or least they don’t acknowledge it publicly. “It’s just part of the balancing act” my “White House sources” say as I make the rounds preparing my next puff (or is it Pough) piece on this place. As for repealing the Fourth Amendment, they just mumble something about “main­taining a balance in inter­nal security.” Well, I really don’t think that allowing the police to ride roughshod over one’s per­sons and property just because they think it’s a good idea is the way to ac­complish that.

You can’t tell from government propaganda that there is any un­rest or even unhappiness here, because they just tell you all the time how terrific everything is. After all, the major me­dia here have been owned by large manu­facturing or enter­tain­ment cor­porations for quite some time, and they just follow the gov­ern­ment line (or do they make it?)

I can’t find out anything directly because it’s been a couple of years since even “friendly” foreign journalists like me could free­ly go any­where and talk with anyone. And you have a hard time telling any­thing from eco­nomic or social data because there is so little of it avail­able.

You may know that David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s first Bud­get Direc­tor once said that he would like to vastly reduce govern­ment data publish­ing because that would deprive the lib­er­als of ammunition. Well, they’ve finally done it. There either is no data, or it’s based on “optimis­tic” pro­jections, like that old “dy­namic budgeting” ploy the Republicans used in ’95 to try to sell the country once again on that “supply-side” eco­nomics non­sense that cutting taxes for the wealthy would actu­al­ly in­crease govern­ment revenues.

Well I suppose it’s because, data aside, there may well be some­thing nega­tive going on here. After all, if everything is so terrif­ic, why do they need to possibly destroy basic civil liber­ties as well as establish the basis for a Presidential dictatorship? On the first of those points, I recently came across a statement that Winston Churchill made when he was Home Secretary way back in 1910 (Lewis):

“The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treat­ment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civili­zation of any country. A calm dispassion­ate rec­ognition of the rights of the accused, and even of the convict­ed criminal, against the state-a constant heart-searching by all charged with the duty of punishment. . . . These are the symbols which . . . mark and measure the stored up strength of a nation, and are a sign and proof of the living virtue in it.”

So much for the thought of a true conservative, compared with those of this reactionary rabble.

On the second point, even with access by the domestic media and our­selves both tightly controlled, you do hear stuff, the rea­sons why a dicta­torship might just be in the cards. Like real in­comes continuing to fall, as they were 10 years ago, and for 20 years before that (Thurow). With the decline of American man­u­factur­ing that began back in the Reagan Presi­dency likely to be continu­ing, there’s no reason to believe that that isn’t the case.

Like real unemployment climbing-and even in the 90s when reliable num­bers were available, because of the way they count­ed (Sklar) real unem­ployment could have been up to three times the reported figure. Like the widening of the long-standing gap be­tween the rich and everyone else (Cassidy), both poor and “middle-class.” An author of the mid-90s called the process “Colombianization” [Author’s Note: see Chapter one]. There is no data, but if what one sees on the street truly represents reali­ty, it’s happening.

You hear stuff like increasing numbers of people going to bed hun­gry, and perhaps starvation becoming a real factor (with the absolute end of wel­fare, food purchase assistance, and so on). Certainly de­spite the best efforts of the police to sweep the streets clean, the num­ber of beggars you see around in the ma­jor cities is increasing. And you hear stories about street sweeps being made and beggars and the homeless being sent to those camps that were set up on abandoned army bases under Pres. Pine’s “Real Drug War.” But no one can get close to the camps, so who knows.

Certainly the R-CA and most especially its Oakwood style co­horts try to maintain racial tensions and homophobia and xeno­phobia in the old Repub­lican style to distract people from what’s really go­ing on. As then Arkansas Gover­nor Bill Clinton said when he announced for the Demo­cratic Presi­den­tial nomi­nation back in 1991:

“For 12 years, Republicans have tried to divide us-race against race-so we get mad at each other and not at them. They want us to look at each other across a racial divide so we don’t turn and look to the White House and ask, why are all of our incomes going down, why are all of us losing jobs? Why are we losing our future?”

(Too bad he never followed through politically on those thoughts.)

On the other side of the struggle, you do hear sto­ries too of oc­ca­sion­al joint black-white-Hispanic labor pro­tests. The pri­vate sector trade unions are al­most gone, and many states have banned pub­lic employee un­ions en­tirely. But some workers, I hear, are begin­ning to real­ize one way or another what’s really been done to them.

“Labor unrest.” I wonder if that’s the real reason why Hague rammed through the decree power now. Well, only time will tell.

Keep well. Your friend, Alex.

A Parthenon Pomeroy Diary Entry, June 19, 2005

We did it, we did it. We’re finally going to get on the right track in this country. Now our President is going to have real power. That’s what we really need. One man can make a dif­fer­ence. And that meddling Con­gress can’t stop him unless it really wants to. This is going to fix things up all right. This is what we need to get Ameri­ca to where it ought to be, to what it can be, to what it always was and always will be. Thanks, God, and thanks Pat, too.

Author’s Commentary

The 32nd Amendment was a catch?all along the lines of the “Mo­rality Amendment” (the 31st). Like the latter, the 32nd placed into the Constitu­tion a number of desiderata of Rightwing Reac­tion har­king back to the Transi­tion Era (HRC; RNC) i.e., its sections 1 – 5 and 7. Of course, in his­torical terms, section 6 was the 32nd’s most signif­i­cant element for them, and it was new. It ulti­mately made it possible for Rightwing Reaction to use the Consti­tution to destroy Constitu­tional government in the old U.S.

Legislating by Amending

The Hagueites put the most political emphasis upon the provisions of the 32nd designed to force the Congress to balance the Federal bud­get. In this regard, the 32nd was following the Rightwing penchant for attempt­ing to solve what were essentially legislative problems through the medium of a Con­stitutional amendment. For ex­ample, historians now generally consider that Sec­tions 2, 3, and 4 of the 31st Amendment (respec­tively prohibiting sex edu­cation, constitutionalizing anti-homosexual discrimina­tion, and restricting wel­fare maintenance solely to persons institutional­ized for the purpose) had more of a legis­lative than constitutional nature.

By doing this kind of detailed work in the Con­stitution, Rightwing Reac­tion was following a pattern that it increasingly ad­hered to begin­ning with the adoption of the first Balanced Budget Amendment in 1999. Fol­lowing legisla­tive proce­dures, the Congress could have adopt­ed a bal­anced budget any time it wanted to. And any President could have proposed one too. But those who declaimed the loudest about the importance of balanc­ing the budget did nothing but make things worse.

In the 12 years of the Republican Presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush from 1981, neither one ever submitted a balanced budget or anything close to it to the Congress, although both were strong, vocal support­ers of the Balanced Budget Amendment. During the Reagan-Bush years the national debt quadrupled, from $1 trillion to $4 trillion (Brinkley). The actions of Reagan and Bush lead directly to this situation. They just talked the talk; they did not walk the walk.

In fact, over those 12 years the Congress, primarily under the con­trol of the then so-called “tax and spend” Democrats, adopted bud­gets totaling only about $100 billion (in 1992 dollars) more than the pro­posed budgets submitted by the supposedly “fiscally responsible” reac­tionary Republicans in the White House-an $8 billion per year drop in the $1 trillion average annual Federal budget buckets of the time.

Rightwing Reaction and the Balanced Budget Amendment

Why then did Rightwing Reaction so vigorous­ly support a Bal­anced Bud­get Amendment during the Transition Era-Common at the time was the view that it was just typical Right-Wing simplistic, “sound bite” politics that sounded good while meaning little. One mod­ern view holds that it was part of the pattern of not trusting and want­ing to stifle the democratic process that became ever-more part of the Rightwing Reactionary strate­gy of the time (Hopkins) (see also Ap­pen­dix III).

Certainly Rightwing Reaction’s other prime Amendment of the 90s, Congressional Terms Lim­its, was the epitome of anti-democratic thinking (see also Appendix III). The private thinking of the Right-wing Reaction­aries on this issue may well have gone: “If legisla­tive matters are put into the Constitu­tion while we control the amend­ment process, it will be that much tougher for them to change things back if and when we ever lose that control.”

It is known that that kind of thinking lay be­hind the creation of the huge Federal debt by the Reaganites in the 1980s (Brinkley; Stockman): to tie the hands of any future “social spenders” by increasing the Feder­al annual deficits and total debt. Ironically, it was a Democratic Con­gressio­nal leadership in the early 1980s that bought into the “supply-side” fiction that the government could simultaneously cut tax­es, sustain services, and re­duce the deficit, if not the national debt that al­lowed the debacle to occur (Blumenthal, 1993; Brinkley).

It didn’t work that way, and the Federal bud­get would over the years become ever more burdened with ever-increasing interest pay­ments to wealthy bond-holders. As one wag of the time put it, the Republi­cans cut the taxes of the rich and then paid them to loan the government the money it needed to run its operations, operations the rich should have been paying taxes to support all along (The Nation).

The Balanced Budget Amendment

The theory behind the Balanced Budget Amendment had been that without it an “undisci­plined Congress” would never pass a balanced bud­get, and that “Republican Discipline,” through the Constitution, was re­quired if that laudable goal were to be achieved. (The Reagan-Bush un­bal­ancing act referred to above was seldom men­tioned.) In actuality, the original Balanced Budget Amendment had had other goals: political gim­mickry; protecting the rich and the large corporations from income tax increases (a threat now of course elimi­nated by the repeal of the 16th Amendment that was part of the 31st Amend­ment); and continuing the attack on the Congress as an institutional cause of national prob­lems, even though it was firmly in the hands of the R-CA.

The 28th Amendment, itself intended to force the balancing of the Fed­eral budget, had been passed by the 105th Congress, one in which the old Democratic Party minority still had significant represen­tation in each House of Congress. Whether for that reason or not, the 28th Amendment had had in it what the Right-wing Reactionaries con­sidered to be “signifi­cant loopholes.” And in practice, it had proved to have significant loop­holes.

Some Outcomes of the 32nd

With the ratification of the 32nd, the Right-wing Reactionaries had what they consid­ered to be an “iron-clad” version, with no loop­holes-except for “national defense” and interest payments on the na­tional debt. Once again the exceptions, even if they were Right-wing Reac­tion­ary exceptions, formed the kicker. They were put in for both ideological and practical reasons. Since the early 1990s, as Bill Clinton had discov­ered to his chagrin early on in his Presi­dency, mil­itary spend­ing had been specially protected when it came time for the annual Fed­eral budget slashing exercises that both the Congress and Presi­dents from Clinton onwards undertook. And the national debt service was untouch­able anyway.

Nevertheless, with the 32nd, Right-wing Reac­tion insisted on en­sconcing in the Constitution the special status of military spending, “to show the Ameri­can people and the world that the United States would never back down from any military threat.” In the context of ensconc­ing military spending, Right-wing Reaction had to ensconce debt ser­vice spending as well, to make sure that both domestic and foreign debt holders would sleep easily at night.

Subsequent events, however, demonstrated that no matter what Con­sti­tutional/legislative twists and turns Right-wing Reaction fol­lowed, since the “balanced” requirement applied only to the “general opera­tions” part of Federal government activity (see Sect. 3), the actual bud­getary outcome changed little. There still was a real annual budget deficit, only it was only for military and debt service spending.

As they had throughout the Transition Era, Right-wing Reaction of course continued to be unwilling to levy the taxes on those who could afford to pay, to meet even the minimal requirements of a government that had very few national domestic programs left. This was the case despite the fact that overall the taxation level in the old U.S. was at the very low end of the range for industrialized nations (Reno). This un­willingness applied especially to those individuals and corporations that could afford pay.

“Slashing the Federal payroll/getting rid of those excess bureau­crats” (at a time when the number of Federal non-military/non-criminal justice employees had reached its lowest level since the days of Calvin Coolidge) became ever more difficult. Favorite Transition Era Federal targets of Right-wing Reaction, like the Departments of Education, Commerce, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy, and most of their programs had long since been eliminated.

In fact, as noted above, since discretionary non-military spending had already reached such a low level, following the passage of this Amend­ment, to get the “other operations” section of the Federal budget into actu­al balance, financial support for the Federal criminal justice system was by legislation moved to the “national defense” budget. The “correctional-Industrial complex” as it had been described in 1995 by Barry Krisberg, President of the National Council on Crime and Delin­quency (Butterfield), had become the equal of its big brother, the old “military-industrial com­plex.”

This development would have major socio?political ramifications in subsequent years. In the present time, given the level of expenditure on it, it meant that the real, overall Federal budget would remain in deficit. In practice, then, this Balanced Budget Amendment had as much or little impact as had its predecessor (or had any Federal at­tempts to force the adoption of a balanced budget, dating from the “Gramm-Rudman-Hollings” Act of the 1980s [Reno].)

The Line Item Veto

The line item veto was an example of the closing-the-barn-door-after-the-horse-had-fled ex­ercise Right-wing Reac­tion often engaged in dur­ing the Transition Era and early Fascist Period. Such a measure had been enacted into law by the 104th Congress. Once the R-CA had tak­en con­trol of both the White House and the Congress, it had little mean­ing and had been little used. But by putting the measure into the Con­stitution, its sponsors were able to show their ideological puri­ty.

For many years, the theory behind the line item veto had been that the “checks and balances” of the Constitution gave the Congress “too much power” and “tied the hands of the President.” In actuality, the measure was simply another step down the road towards the concentra­tion of all governmental power in the hands of the Executive Branch. In fact, if it hadn’t been for Sections 6 and 7 of the 32nd Amendment, the measure could have been seen simply as part of a step-wise pro­gres­sion towards that end. Benjamin Franklin had foreseen the whole thing, many years before. He once said (Lind): “The Executive will always be increasing here, as elsewhere, till it ends in a monarchy.”

The Concentration of Power

Sections 6 and 7 of the 32nd made single steps into huge leaps. The basis for the creation of a dictatorship was now established. And of course, the national government under the R-CA would need it to deal with the increasing level of national unrest alluded to in the Poughton letter, and dealt with in great detail by other modern histori­ans of the Fascist Period (see esp. Gillespie).

With the Balanced Budget Amendment and the line item veto re­ceiv­ing all the play in a media now firmly under the thumb of the R-CA, as Conroy readi­ly admitted into the privacy of her illegal computer’s mem­o­ry, Section 6 was essen­tially “snuck in,” as an addi­tional method for “cor­recting the imbalance between the Branches.”

Except in certain limited circumstances, the decree power was in­deed not used by President Hague for another five years. But as noted, this provision of the Constitution itself, legally adopted by Federal and state governments that happened to be put into place by the medium of the “The 15% Solution,” would be used to destroy Constitu­tional de­mocracy in the old United States. By the time that happened, repeal of the Fourth Amend­ment and its aftermath had already effectively de­stroyed the most important off-spring of Constitu­tional Democracy, civil liberties.

The Outcomes of Repeal of the 4th Amendment

As predicted by Conroy, the power to search and seize without judi­cial limitation was used right away. But for the most part it was not used against garden variety criminals. As with all oth­er data from the Fascist Period, crim­inal justice data are very skimpy. But apparent­ly rates for arrests (in about 20% of crimes) and convictions (in about 50% of arrests) had changed little since the mid-90s (Lacayo).

The small proportion of cases getting to court in which a claimed illegal search was even a factor in trial outcomes, in the Transition Era 0.5 – 5% (Seelye), probably hadn’t changed either. But now Right-Wing Re­action could go after its politi­cal enemies with a vengeance. And with increas­ing vigor, they did. The populations of the camps apparently ex­ploded, with the influx of the poor on the one hand, and political prisoners on the other.

In that regard, it is interesting to note Conroy’s early use of the term “Connie.” It was an epithet the Hagueites used to describe their enemies. Sounding like the old 20th century epithet “Commie,” one which by Conroy’s time meant nothing to most people, “Connie” was employed to refer to some­one who supported the old Constitution be­fore the R-CA had amended it liter­ally to death. And through the likes of Oakwood, Connie was quickly made into a dirty word, much as Rush Limbaugh and his co­horts had managed to do with the previously quite innocuous term “lib­eral” back in the 90s.

Eventually, under the New American Republics the forces of Con­stitu­tional democracy adopted the term “Connie” for themselves, so that in the Second Civil War in their own vernacular the two sides were the “Connies” (for “Constitutionalists”) and the “Fundys” (for “Fundamen­tal­ists”).

Strangely enough, even the Hagueites felt that there were some limits on how far they could go in strangling Constitutional democracy by Con­sti­tutional means. Back in 1995, one of the icons of Right-wing Reaction, the political columnist George Will, had actually proposed to abolish the secret ballot for voting (Will). He said:

“What should be the practice for people morally sturdy enough to deserve democracy-oral voting. . . . Abolish secret voting, have every voter call out his or her choice in an unquavering voice and have the choice record­ed for public inspection. You probably will have a smaller electorate, but also a hardier, bet­ter one.”

When the 32nd came up for consideration, there was some sentiment for stick­ing this one in too. But the Hagueite inner circle decided that even for them it was a bit too much. It was dropped. In another five years, the whole matter had become moot anyway.

The German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler established his dictatorship by con­stitutional means through the Enabling Act (Davidowicz). Jefferson Davis Hague established his, eventually, by means of the Balancing Amendment. Interestingly, Hitler had had to decree the end of civil liber­ties in his country. Hague’s forces achieved that end too through the Con­stitutional amendment process. “The 15% Solution” had once again struck at the heart of everything that had once made the old U.S. a very unique place in the world.


Blumenthal, S., “The Sorcerer’s Apprentices,” The New Yorker, July 19, 1993.

Blumenthal, S., “The Pete Principle,” The New Yorker, October 30, 1995.

Butterfield, F., “Political Gains by Prison Guards,” New York Times, Nov. 7, 1995.

Brinkley, A., “Reagan’s Revenge,” New York Times Magazine, June 19, 1994, p. 36.

Cassidy, J., “Who Killed the Middle Class?” The New Yorker, Oct. 16, 1995, p. 113.

Clinton, W.J., “Announcement Speech,” Little Rock, AK: October 3, 1995.

Davidowicz, L.S., The War Against the Jews: 1933?45, New York: Holt, Rinehart,

and Winston, 1975, Part I, p. 51.

Gillespie, D., National Decline, Labor Unrest and the Rise Fascist Power in the Old

United States, 2001?2011, New York: The Freedom Press, 2042.

Hopkins, L., The Decline of Democracy in the Transition Era, New York:

The Freedom Press, 2034.

Lacayo, R., “Lock ‘Em Up!,” Time, Feb. 7, 1994, p. 50.

Lewis, A., “‘A Culture of Rights,'” New York Times, June 9, 1995.

Lind, M., “The Out?of?Control Presidency,” The New Republic, August 14, 1995,

p. 18.

HRC, House Republican Conference, Contract With America, Washing­ton, DC:

September 27, 1994.

Reno, R., “One ‘Historic’ Budget Accord After Another,” Newsday,

No­vem­ber 1, 1995.

RNC, Republican National Committee, The Republican Platform, 1992,

Wash­ington, DC: August 17, 1992, pp. 39, 40.

Rosenbaum, D.E., “What Politicians Aren’t Saying: A Tax Cut measured in

Pennies,” New York Times, November 8, 1995.

Seelye, K.Q., “House Approves Easing of Rules on U.S. Searches,” New York Times, Feb. 9, 1995, p. A1.

Sklar, H., “Back to the Raw Deal,” Z Magazine, Nov., 1995, p. 19.

Stockman, D., cited in “Balancing the Budget,” National Rainbow Coali­tion JaxFax,

Vol. III, Issue 10, March 9, 1995.

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September 3, 1995.

The Nation, “Unbalancing the Economy,” March 13, 1995, p. 329.

Will, G., “Let every voter stand up and be counted,” New York Post, Oc­tober 26, 1995.


The original edition of “The 15% Solution” is available on Amazon.com and on BarnesandNoble.com. The 2004 print-on-demand re-issue from Xlibris is also available on Amazon.com and on BarnesandNoble.com. You will find a “Sub-Home Page” for the serialization at the lower right-hand corner of the Home Page for www.TPJmagazine.us. It contains such items as the Disclaimer, cast of characters, author’s bio., cover copy, and several (favorable) reviews, and will have a full archive of all the chapters as they are published over time. The serialization is also appearing on www.BuzzFlash.com, Dandelion Salad; The Greanville POST; and TheHarderStuff newsletter.

Jonathan Westminster and biography are based on a pseudonym.

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor of 30 books. In addition to being a Columnist for BuzzFlash, Dr. Jonas is also a Contributing Author for TPJmagazine; a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad; a Senior Columnist for The Greanville POST; a Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter; a Contributor to The Planetary Movement; and a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC.


The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022 Preface

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 2nd Installment: Chapter One

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 3rd Installment: Chapter Two

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 4th Installment: Chapter Three: 2001: The Real Drug War

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 5th Installment: Chapter Four 2002: The Preserve America Amend ment (30th)

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 6th Installment: Chapter Five 2003: Anderson v. Board of Education

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 7th Installment: Chapter Six 2004: The First Hague

“The 15% Solution,” Serialization, 8th Installment: Chapter Seven 2005: The Morality Amendment (31st)

The 15% Solution