In a Monday evening interview on Hardball With Chris Matthews on MSNBC, Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah admitted that he wants to bring America to its knees if an amendment is not passed in Congress that would force Americans to live under conservative governance despite which party the people elects. Here is the transcript.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: How many days do you think we have, on the outside, to get this debt ceiling through before we have a problem? How many days?
LEE: I don’t know, maybe ten days.￼￼￼
MATTHEWS: Okay, in ten days you want to change the United States Constitution by two-thirds vote in both houses? That’s what you’re demanding.
LEE: Yes. If possible we can’t change the Constitution just in Congress but we can submit it to the states. Let the states fight it out.
MATTHEWS: And you think you’re being reasonable by saying you want a two-thirds vote in the House, which is Republican, and in the Senate which is Democrat. You want the Democratic Senate, by a two-thirds vote, to pass a constitutional amendment or you want the house to come down?
LEE: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve been saying this for six months.
Lee’s amendment would require all tax increases by passed by a super majority of Congress, two-thirds of each house, which makes it virtually impossible to raise taxes. This is especially of interest to the wealthy and corporations. That particular provision is similar to the anti-tax amendment passed in California which killed that state’s finances. Lee’s amendment would also require spending levels to drop to the 1966 level, which would be catastrophic to all Americans. The 1966 level was $134.4 billion, compared to $3.5 trillion in 2010. To get back to 1966 levels, Social Security and Medicare would be cut by 25% and many other programs and departments would be wiped out or watered down to the brink of uselessness, even national security. The nightmare gets worse actually. Because Lee would be writing these cuts and requirements into the Constitution, the American people would lose the power to overrule them by electing different people. In other words, even if America voted to give 100% of government control to Democrats, we would be forced to always live under conservative rule.
This invisible power that Republicans wish to write into law is a complete perversion of our Constitution and values. Add to that the fact that Republicans also want to create a supercongress, which basically is a third house in which a handful of politicians can pass legislation by an up or down vote, and what you get is a conservative tyranny legitimized by the Constitution. And Lee’s leverage is the American economy. Lee, and I assume other Republicans, are willing to bring down the American economy through catastrophic default and millions of American jobs with it, so that they can re-write the Constitution to force us to live under conservative rule. If Americans think Republicans love the Constitution and the people, they are sorely mistaken.