By Nicholas Sinard:
The principles of fiscal conservatism is on the rise, but many still want Washington to shove policies down everybody’s throat .The system in which the state governments and the federal government have overlapping spheres of authority is called federalism, which we have been moving away from. If we follow federalism, the system the Founding Fathers set up for this union, the federal government wouldn’t be spending mind-numbing amounts as it currently is.
Furthermore, the federalist system I am discussing is much different than the one we learned in government school. The one they teach in US government class is completely wrong and turns authentic federalism on its head. In a true federal system states decide on constitutionality and where the federal government has “few and defined” powers constitutionally granted to it.
Often times many fo not realize the unconstitutionality of a policy. Take into consideration foreign aid; where in the Constitution did the states explicitly give the general government the power to provide foreign aid? It didn’t. In fact, James Madison spoke against “charity” from the federal government in a debate on federal funding helping St. Domingo refugees, with the Congressional record of January 10, 1794 saying,
“Mr. MADISON remarked, that the government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. It will puzzle any gentleman to lay his finger on any part of the Constitution which would authorize the government to interpose in the relief of St. Domingo sufferers.”
Moreover, there are many more usurpations of power that costs and will cost this union trillions of more dollars in debt, including Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, etc. However, if federalism would be followed then we wouldn’t have this ridiculous spending that is a result of deficit-causing programs. Many of these were initially disliked, as is the case still with Obamacare. Unlike the federal government the state governments and the local governments are more responsive to the will of their constituents, so if a law is not favored in an area then it is more likely to be either quickly repealed or not passed.
Therefore, if federalism’s integrity is respected then we could tackle these deficit issues easier. The destruction of the federalist system has allowed for huge deficits from the costs of unconstitutional wars to the Federal Reserve. These deficits would be smaller than the federal government’s debt, the governments would be smaller, and the governments would also be more accountable. To restore fiscal sanity we must resore the federalist system.
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