Our nation, as constitutionally formed, is The Republic of the United State of America. In theory, a republic is where the supreme power is vested in the citizens who elect people to represent them. Do you feel that we are living in a republic? Do our elected officials really represent their electorate? And, what about the words: United States? Are we, a constitutional union of states, where all power rest with the states except for the enumerated powers constitutionally assigned to the federal government? Our nation may have started out as The Republic of The United States of America but it has evolved into something quite different. Some of the changes came about through constitutional amendments and, thereby, the citizens of each state did have a voice in those changes. Most changes, in my opinion, have come about by either judicial fiat or by congress passing laws that no one asked for or by Executive Orders of a sitting president. The laws passed by congress have often created federal programs, which states must implement with partial or full funding from the federal government. When states accept those funds, the find they must comply with the strings, which are firmly attached. Those federal funds and the attached strings have given the federal government much power over the states that was never envisaged in our constitution.
The Washington Examiner had an eye popping article the other day. The article contains a great graphic of the United States color code in one case to show the federal funds received on a per capita basis and then it changes to show the rate of change in dependency of the states on federal spending. I must admit I had no idea of just how dependent the states have become on federal funding. The first sentence in the article blew me away:
Only 11 states depended on the federal government for more than one-third of their total revenues in 2001. By 2012, 24 states found themselves in this situation.
Seriously, I would not have guessed that any state depended on the federal government for one-third or more of their funding. Please take time to read this short article. You will learn for example, that Louisiana receives 44% of their budget from Washington and New Mexico 37% and Idaho 35%. The article also points out that state which have historical not taken so much funding from the federal government, like Massachusetts, are now jumping on to the gravy train with both feet. There is no reason to believe this trend won’t continue. So, your humble observer of the asylum we all have to live in is wondering if some day congress will propose an amendment to our constitution to do away with state governments and set up regional federal administrative centers and change the name of our nation to simply America. After all, shouldn’t a nation’s constitution reflect what really is?
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?