Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was like raw meat in the Amazon river, and the ensuing frenzy had me thinking one thing: the federal systems in our country have far too much power.
The 10th Amendment to the Constitution gives the states all powers not explicitly given to the federal government. In the Federalist Papers, James Madison explained, “The powers delegated – to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite.” Thomas Jefferson saw the states as domestic government and the federal system as international or foreign government.
We have bowed to the notion that the states are subordinate to the federal government. According to the Constitution, the two are equal with separate responsibilities.
This design prevents a central government from enforcing laws and policies on communities they know nothing about, but the most important benefit is accountability. The “bailouts” in 2008-09 are perfect examples. If the federal government borrows more than $1 trillion in loans, how can we the people possibly know where the money is, where it has gone orwhere it will go? We can only watch television and trust the words coming from faces we will never see with our own eyes – from faces who will never see us with their own eyes.
President Barack Obama’s proposal to add $1.35 billion to his 2011 fiscal budget for the Race to the Top education program is a noble one, but raises a serious concern: Why are we waiting for money from the federal government to improve education? Are we OK with a room full of men distributing that kind of cash to states of their choosing? Education reform from the federal level has never worked. Education is a state issue, and we should be all over our governor and district representatives to reform.
It is infinitely easier to track your tax dollars at the state level, and guess what? Your vote carries more weight at the state level, so you have more power to eject poor leaders and elect new ones. Abuse also is more difficult to get away with at the state level.
The more power we give the federal government, the less power we have as individuals. It is ignorant to think Washington, knows what is best for everyone in this country. Brown’s victory was important, but it is dangerous to put your hopes for change on the backs of 100 senators.