Most Americans undoubtedly agree that the federal government cannot continue on its current spending and borrowing binge without wreaking economic havoc. But how must the binge be brought under control? One idea that has just gotten traction in the state of North Dakota is for the states to call for a constitutional convention for the purpose of proposing a National Debt Relief Amendment (NDRA) to the U.S. Constitution. On April 7, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 4007 by a vote of 68 to 24, completing legislative action on the resolution and making their state the first in the nation to call for a constitutional convention to propose the NDRA.
Senator Rand Paul may have temporarily set back efforts by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass the Patriot Act renewal long enough to allow the law to expire for a day or two before the Senate can take a final vote on the bill.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie still sounded combative Tuesday when talking about an order from the state's highest court for the expenditure of another $500 million for the state's poorest school districts, but he backed away from his suggestion last month that defying the court would be "an option."
The conditions in California's prisons violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment," the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in a 5-4 decision, upholding a federal court order to reduce the state's prison population by at least 30,000 within the next two years.
The federal government has nearly maxed out its credit card — for now. The national debt is fast approaching the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and only managed to avoid hitting it on May 16 because of “extraordinary measures” taken by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. According to Geithner, the debt will now reach the limit on August 2. He is urging Congress to increase the limit and allow Treasury to issue more bonds. The alternative, he says, is a doomsday scenario.