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The Equalizer Amendment improves representation in a couple of ways. First, it constrains politicians from making false promises (see “Politicians Promising One Thing and Doing Another”) and from committing fraud while in office (see “Politicians Lying While in Office”). Second, it effectively stops the federal government from carrying on unconstitutional activities (see “What Is Unconstitutional?”) and leaves the decisions in most matters to the states and the people (see “Disobedience of the Constitution”). This second provision is perhaps the more important one. With the federal government calling all of the shots and forcing nationwide regulations on us at will, we have nothing but one-size-fits-all solutions for the entire nation. For most people that one size is a straightjacket. One size does not fit all people, as you well know. When the powers that the Constitution does not grant to the federal government are left to the states, we suddenly have fifty sizes to choose from, a great improvement over today’s (2010) situation. You can choose to live in a state that represents you better than other states do. Moreover, the representation from a smaller state government is more responsive than that from a huge federal government.


Better yet, when the decision-making powers are left to the people, we have 300 million sizes, and no one needs to be needlessly constrained or hindered. Once people see the tremendous success that results from the adoption of the Equalizer Amendment, some states will try similar amendments to their state constitutions, and then the decision-making power on many matters will go directly to the citizens, making these states exceedingly successful. On matters in which you make your own decisions you don’t need government representation.


The same provisions in the Equalizer Amendment that apply to truth-in-advertising (see “Politicians Promising One Thing and Doing Another”) also apply to fraud. Any federal officeholder or employee who misleads others regarding the benefits or expected outcome of certain legislation or who promises to do something in exchange for another thing and then fails to do it can be sued for fraud by the citizens, by legislators, or by whoever may be the injured party. Just as in fraud suits against individuals or corporations in the private sector suits for fraud against federal officeholders or employees can result in fines, penalties, requirements to pay litigation expenses, and/or jail time on the part of the federal officeholder or employee responsible for the damage. If the Equalizer Amendment had been in effect in 2009 and 2010, actions could have been brought against those who claimed that the stimulus plan would reduce unemployment to under 8% before the end of 2009 and those who claimed that Obamacare would not increase the deficit.


Interestingly, the same provisions of the Equalizer Amendment could force the IRS to be responsible for any incorrect or misleading answers or instructions that they give to taxpayers. Currently, if the IRS gives a taxpayer incorrect information and the taxpayer acting on that information ends up incurring penalties, the taxpayer has no recourse. Once the Equalizer Amendment is ratified, the IRS will have to eat the losses or compensate the taxpayer for damages or both. This will provide the government with a strong incentive for simplifying the tax code.


The first clause of the Equalizer Amendment reads, “No federal law or regulation shall apply to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to all officers and employees of the United States government other than members of the military.” The last clause of the same paragraph reads, “Court actions initiated by citizens or states against the United States government concerning the issues of this paragraph may be brought and originally adjudicated in local, state, or federal courts.” Together, these clauses subject politicians to the Federal Trade Commission Act, which requires that 1) advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive, 2) advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims, and 3) advertisements cannot be unfair. This provision of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which arguably facilitates trade among the states, is probably Constitutional so far as it applies to advertising across state lines (see “What Is Unconstitutional?”). Consequently, once the Equalizer Amendment is ratified, we citizens will be able to sue for damages, penalties, and litigation costs in any local, state, or federal court any politician who makes promises and then fails to keep them while in federal office. This may make life so uncomfortable for the con artists who normally steal the show that they will have to look for greener pastures outside of federal politics. We may even get a few statesmen into office from time to time.


"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

-- P.J. O'Rourke

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