Return to Federalism!

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 13, 2004

Dear Editor,
   It is interesting how some "progressives" have raised the issue of states’ rights on issues such as medical marijuana and gay marriage. I would welcome the retraction of the federal government back into its constitutional box but I doubt that federalism is what "progressives" really want. Ending federal control would require an end to federal funding because one always comes with the other. If the court rules that the states can make their own medical marijuana laws the feds can merely refuse to allow federal funds to be used for medical marijuana. Think about how much power the national health care plan progressives want would give the government.
   A return to federalism, done right, would extend from education, food stamps, and school lunches to social security and the environment. Since the Barton Springs Salamander does not migrate across state lines or international boundaries the federal government would not have any say on its welfare. What happens to the salamander would be up to only the people of Texas. Federal taxes that fund these matters would be cut and the money would remain with the taxpayers as potential revenue for the states to access to run their own programs such as health care or school lunches.
   "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State." James Madison, Federalist 45.
Carl Anderson
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