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.”
--Tenth Amendment

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


Unknown said...

From one of the Doug Casey folks:

"Labor unions were originally created to protect the worker from the evil capitalist employer. But in the case of public unions, there is no evil capitalist employer. In fact, the employer is the government. And government employees are usually the first to defend the government as a public servant of the common good. Well, if the government is such a caring and nice entity, why is a union necessary?"

Good queston...

Scott A. Rupert (Truly independent) said...

The rise of the states would be much easier if we elected Senators who understood their role in government. Namely, to protect the interest of the States.

Regardless of the process for choosing them, their role remains the same. Represent the State, not the people in it.

Unknown said...

You are so right on target all the time and especially on this particular issue! Keep telling it like it is and maybe eventually even our liberal friends wil come to understand the truth and be set free!

A Miller

Ronbo said...

The States made the Union.

The States can unmake the Union.

"Shady" said...

Alan, is this the trend to come Unions. What repercussions will follow after Wisconsin stripped the collective bargaining rights. I feel that this should have done a long time ago. I am so tired of Unions strangling our Nation. I was in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and United Transportion Union for 15 years. It just seemed like all the Unions wanted was more and more. I made a wage in 1973 that I could live comfortable on today. If the unions are not stopped, I feel we are headed to financial ruins.

As you pointed out, look at the product some of our educators have produced.

Great Blog Alan, well done.

The Old Man said...

Dear God, I pray your analysis of the political problem and its resolution is correct.
I fear my more pessimist take on the next two years or so may be more accurate. But I hope you're right...

Alan Caruba said...

Gentlemen all!

I appreciate your kind words, but I must also point out that turning around the ship of state is going to take time.

In an odd way Obozo has turned out to be a blessing for the conservative movement in America (there was no Tea Party movement until he arrived).

As more conservatives are voted into public office and public opinion moves in our direction, the nation can and I hope will be saved.

Ronbo said...


Well said!

INDEED: We ain't going to take it any longer!