States Drawing the Line on Washington Power Grabs

minute-man-2-lithoOne of the major challenges facing the Founders in 1787 was how to form a national government while still maintaining the sovereignty of the various individual states.  They solved this problem with the “enumerated powers” section [Art.1, Sec. 8] in the Constitution followed by the Tenth Amendment.  We have a unique form of government, partly national, and partly federal.  James Madison details this quirk in our system in Federalist No. 39.

Almost from its inception, politicians in the central government have attempted to consolidate government in Washington, gradually weakening its republican and federal components.  During the twentieth century, those wishing to consolidate the United States into one central government with branches or chapters in the various state capitols took advantage of the Sixteenth Amendment of 1913 and the power it gave Washington to expand its control over state governments.

The Tax Code is used as a device to reward behavior by states and citizens its deems desirable and punishing behavior it deems undesirable.  Through giving or withholding tax incentives and grants it effectively controls state social programs, education, health care and a major part of its laws dealing with commerce and manufacturing.  As the federal government gains more and more power over state government, it increases the demands made on state governments and taxpayers through “unfunded mandates”.

Of course, the argument over “funded” or “unfunded” mandates by the federal government is not really the issue.  That is merely a question of whether the taxes taken from citizens of the various states makes the round trip to Washington before being spent, or are spent by the state government before Washington gets its “rake off”.  The real issue is whether the federal government has the legal authority to issue the mandates in the first place.

At least twenty states have begun to push back, introducing resolutions in their respective Legislatures that says to the Federal government “enough is enough”.  A number of internet sites have begun to publicize states’ effort to rein in the federal government and regain some of the legitimate powers reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment.  The article most often quoted is the one by Jerome Corsi in World Net Daily.

A more detailed treatment of states’ efforts can be found here.

This is an important movement that should be supported by every citizen who values the Constitution and the limited government it demands.


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