Wednesday, February 24, 2016

State Power - Returning Federal Government Power to the States

Grover Norquest, anti-tax activist, famously said that he wanted to shrink the federal government until he could "get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

People often ask me why I lean in the same direction.

Fundamentally, that government which is closest to citizens is most responsive to citizens.

In this I mean both responsive to doing things and to refraining from doing things which should not be done. Among those things which should not be done I count many impositions on personal rights and liberties.

I really believe that we should restrict the federal government to its enumerated powers and move all activities back to the states. The states should then act to increase their taxes to support the activities that they engage in and federal taxation should be reduced to only cover those activities in which it is engaged.

The enumerated powers of the federal government according to the constitution are:
1. Collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises;
2. Provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States;
3. Borrow Money on the credit of the United States and Pay the Debts;;
4. Regulate Commerce;
5. Establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization;
6. Uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies;
7. Coin Money;
8. Fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
9. Provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting;
10. Establish Post Offices and post Roads;
11. Securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
12. Constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
13. Define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas;
14. Define and punish Offences against the Law of Nations;
15. Declare War;
16. Raise and support Armies and Navies;
17. Calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; Provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia;
18. Exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases over the District of Columbia and over all Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; --And
19. To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

All the rest is the responsibility of the states.

This is the government we agreed as a society and we should push to revert to. It will work better.

Accurate Reality: The federal government is too big, too unwieldy, too intrusive and too wasteful. The state governments are a better solution where feasible. Power should be returned to the states. A good place to start is to prohibit federal grants to the States. If a State is to do something, it must pass the tax. The next focus would be to eliminate specific agencies where the federal government has no need to be involved such as education.

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