Time to End Uncle Sam’s Bullying Influence Over State and Local Governments
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
Long before the coronavirus prompted some state and local politicians to seek a massive infusion of federal aid to help close their budget gaps, Uncle Sam was funneling huge amounts of money to those same state and local governments for a dizzying array of programs.
All that money came with strings, of course. But increasingly, those strings became something more sinister, giving successive presidents the idea they could use the threat of funding losses to bully states and localities into doing what they wanted. As Cato’s Chis Edwards writes:
…having power over an armada of 1,386 aid-to-state programs makes federal politicians think they are national central planners. Trump, Obama, and other presidents exude self-confidence, but they do not know how to run the affairs of 50 states and 19,000 cities and towns across our huge nation.
One possible way out of this central planning mess? Eliminate the federal programs, and restore both accountability and local control:
This study argues that Congress should repeal all federal aid-to-state programs for many reasons, including that aid comes with costly strings attached that destroy local democracy. Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola noted about aid programs: “When Americans vote in state and local elections, they think they are voting on state and local policies. But often they are just deciding which local officials get to implement the dictates of distant and insulated federal bureaucrats, whom even Congress can’t control.”
Making a change of this magnitude would be extremely difficult. The political class loves playing Santa Claus, and too many Americans enjoy the endless stream of goodies (until the bill comes due).
But we could start small – cuts here and there that add up over time and achieve the necessary change without much notice. Edwards notes the federal government gave the city of Camden, New Jersey “$10,000 for circus training.” Let the cuts – and the accountability – begin there.
Sounds good, I’m SURE that Trump would LOVE to cut all of the “federal aid programs, as thery really ARE stupid, worthy of the idiotic Democrat politicians. END ALL OF THAT CRAP.
Yes and all of the Title # programs for the children will go away too.States have become so dependent on the
federal programs that they couldn’t exist without them. The burden would be put on the families and their taxes
would be horrendous. The Democrat States those governors and mayors refused to stop the rioting and destruction and refused help are already looking for federal money to repair the damage.Money the states
should not get unless the governors and mayors resign.
I have thought the very same thing for years. I have seen presidents and agencies use the power the purse to force states and sug-government agencies to do what they wanted. Centralized education for instance. The funding and defunding or threats of defunding like school lunch programs to force kids to eat like the 1st lady thinks instead of allowing a local dietician do the work of diet construction. Also the water ponds on farms was just a recent issue until President Trump got invloved. Oh the list is far too long to list all of the intrusion into local government. Get rid of agencies wholesale and save tax dollars. We have far too many subagencies to agencies. They govern by mandate and not by congressional oversite as agencies ought to oporate.