Thursday, February 24, 2011
The Rise of the States
By Alan Caruba
I am pretty sure that future historians will look back on our present times and declare that it marked the rise of state power after years of being under the federal thumb.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
Contrary to what a bunch of spoiled brats calling themselves “progressives” may believe, the U.S. Constitution actually means what it says. The genius of the Framers was that they knowingly and deliberately created a system of government that slows down the process of passing laws and permits any one of the three branches to put a stop to bad laws.
This is the kind of civics lesson that used to be taught in our nation’s schools until they were utterly subverted by the largest union in the nation, the National Education Association, which is, of course, not an "association" (even its name is deceptive!) It shares ownership of the Democrat Party, along with the other huge union, Service Employees International Union, composed of government workers at the state and federal level.
For decades everything went along merrily as these unions negotiated salaries above what everyone else in the private sector was receiving, along with health benefits and pensions that drove up the liabilities of states to a point where most are literally bankrupt.
There is nothing like bankruptcy to get people to focus on questions like why the kids keep graduating from school with poor reading, writing, and just plain old thinking skills? Why do we pay more and more into local school systems and get such a shoddy product? Why do I have to pay more for gasoline that has ethanol that decreases its mileage? Why can’t I buy a damned incandescent light bulb if I want?
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
While government grew larger, property taxes increased, and—surprise—the mortgage market collapsed because of—you guessed it—government sponsored entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that utterly corrupted the nation's banking system and other mortgage lenders. While all this was going on, politicians—Democrats—kept telling Americans that everything was fine. They lied. It was not fine. It was a house of cards.
Enter the new governors, Republicans, who got elected by explaining why the education and government unions were bankrupting their states and what they intended to do about it. Americans embraced New Jersey’s Chris Christie who set the tone. He began an effort to crush the strangle-hold the state teachers union had on the legislature.
These days, Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker has stood his ground against the unions and, not surprisingly, the Democrat children in his state’s legislature ran away to Illinois to avoid have to actually debate and vote on the steps needed to put its house in order. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is also looking at Illinois to find the Democrat members of his legislature who ran there as well.
The Democrat Party, including the President, has set itself up to be slaughtered in the 2012 elections because this is the kind of behavior voters remember for a long time.
We applauded when Arizona’s Governor Janice Kay “Jan” Brewer, a Republican, went nose to nose with President Obama over the immigration issue. Arizona is still in court seeking the authority for a state to enforce immigration laws the federal government will not.
In a similar fashion, 26 states took Obamacare to court and stomped all over it. Many governors are instructing their staff to take no action to enforce it, knowing perhaps that by the time it gets to the Supreme Court it will be DOA.
Anyone who does not think the States are asserting the power “reserved” for them is not paying attention. It will transform how the U.S. is governed for decades to come.
© Alan Caruba, 2011