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  • Morning Bell: Getting States Off the Dole

    What do the Bridge to Nowhere, the highway bill, the “subsidies for millionaires” farm bill and our crippling entitlement crisis have in common? They are all examples of the corrupt governance that is guaranteed to happen when the federal government takes over responsibilities best left to the states. In each of these cases (transportation funding, agriculture policy and health care), massive federal government spending and aid to states in the form of matching grants have all but drowned out the ability of state and local governments to set their own priorities without approval from Washington.

    Federal aid to states has been practiced for more than 100 years, but two distinct periods witnessed an explosion in the practice. In 1960, the federal government sent $48 billion to states. By the time President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society had been implemented, that number nearly tripled to $129 billion. The amount of federal funds a state received expressed as a percentage of the state’s expenditures (also known as a state’s dependency rate) rose steadily throughout both the Nixon and Carter administrations.

    Only during the Reagan presidency did the state dependency rate steadily decline. Reagan’s progress in cutting aid programs was reversed by President George H.W. Bush. And since his son, President George W. Bush took office, federal spending on aid to states has again exploded from $286 billion in 2000 to $449 billion in 2007.

    Advocates of a big federal government argue that federal coordination of aid to states allows experts to design and implement programs in the national interest to efficiently solve local problems. The problem is that the politicians who craft these spending programs are unconcerned with the national interest and much more interested in directing as much federal money home to secure their reelection. Worse, federal aid to states has created entrenched special interests (including public employee unions, trade associations and politicians) at the local, state and federal level who are all heavily invested in seeing their programs continued. Every year about $500 billion flows into Washington from the states, is divvied up by lobbyists and congressional power brokers, and is then returned to states. It is an extremely inefficient funding system that serves no economic or civic purpose.

    When implementing an executive order returning powers to the states in 1987, Ronald Reagan said: “Federalism is rooted in the knowledge that our political liberties are best assured by limiting the size and scope of the national government.” Conservatives in Congress must return to this principle if they ever hope to regain a governing majority.

    Quick Hits:

    • French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said his government talked to the terrorist group Hamas because “We must be able to talk if we want to play a role. These are not relations, they are contacts.”
    • Sixty percent of voters, and 70 percent of those under 30, believe tax hikes are bad for the economy.
    • Congress is beginning to realize the Warner-Lieberman cap-and-trade legislation, designed to cut carbon emissions by raising energy prices, will increase energy prices.
    • Even the Washington Post acknowledges that the California Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision is a blatant example of judicial activism that “intrudes into a social issue that the state’s political process was handling well.”
    • Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani tells the Wall Street Journal: “Our relationship with Iraq’s federal government has never been better. And progress is being made on an oil law, the status of disputed territories, the proper role for Iraq’s neighbors to play, and on relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey.”
    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Morning Bell: Getting States Off the Dole

    1. Larry Jones, Sterlin says:

      I do not have a comment, but I sure am worried about the direction our country is headed. Is there anything we can do? I mean is there anything that we can do now? The politians in Washington realize the more aid they dole out to the states the more dependant they will become on the federal government, the less they will rely on themselves. Unless something happens quickly to reverse the direction we are going I am afraid it will be too late. McCain is surely not the answer, neither is the Republican Party.

    2. Joseph Reese Derby, says:

      It is my belief that in both parties the majority of the population is moderate-conservative, I also believe the American public does not no where to turn. So I ask this fine organization The Heritage Foundation the following: who are the possible write in candidates,The people excellent for the most responsible job in the world and would not have to go through the 3 year gauntlet that we just experienced without a viable candidate.

      Most Americans as well as I are tired of choosing from poor candidates. By a massive write in vote we as Americans do not sell short our values, participate in this great country, and give a wake up call to both parties that time is running short,plus there is history on the State levels where write candidates have succeeded!

      So give us your short list as to who should run as a moderate,conservative. Your readers await your reply. Miracles do happen!

    3. Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA says:

      The process of siphoning off money from the states by the Federal bureaucracy and then deciding on which states and programs should receive money from these funds is nothing more than a State tax by the Federal Government. It eventually because a source of Pork as elected legislatures were forced to fight for their share back for their state.

      The result was waist, abuse and finally more control by the Federal Government. $500 billion flows from the states to the Federal Government while only $449 billion is retuned (2007 figure). The Federal government handling charge (or losses) is almost 10%: $51 billion. This is $51,000,0000,000.

      Should we now discuss the Federal cut from tariffs, federal taxes, estate taxes, gasoline taxes, etc., etc. etc.? Not to mention the missing social security funds.

      Larry Jones commented, "McCain is surely not the answer, neither is the Republican Party." I must reply, "neither is the Democrat Party, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton." However, one of these three will be the next President of the United States. Since the three choices are not equal in their threat to the taxpayers, the States or to Federalism, I would have to opt for John McCain over Obama or Clinton. At least Sen. McCain has a record of NOT seeking earmarks for his own constituents.

    4. lore westphal ... be says:

      MUST READ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      > get ready people



      > the 'left field event' that takes down the world's economy.


      > The Oil Mess


      > 12 days into the oil rig 'accident' events continue to evolve and

      > weather is slowing down efforts to contain things, we have two

      > interesting items to report that are not in the MSM yet…OK, three

      > then.




      > 1. While there are many reports on the 'net that the rig disaster was

      > an attack by a North Korean mini-sub, and other such fanciful things,

      > we have heard that a supply ship arrived just before the explosions

      > and it was reported to be 'manned by all new people, nobody aboard was

      > from the 'usual supply crew'. This purported industry source

      > continues: there were a total of 14 explosions and these could have

      > been cutting charges. Moreover, the shut off valve below the surface

      > (5000 feet down) on the seabed is not longer controllable. Still,

      > lots of disinfo and speculation scampering around the netosphere.

      > While this is bad, it gets worse.




      > 2. A reader who is an engineer of considerable experience says watch

      > this one evolve carefully because it is destined to continue to grow

      > and he shares this long (but worthy explanation why:


      > "Heard your mention of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this

      > morning, and you (and most everyone else except maybe George Noory)

      > are totally missing the boat on how big and bad of a disaster this is.


      > First fact, the original estimate was about 5,000 gallons of oil a day

      > spilling into the ocean. Now they're saying 200,000 gallons a day.

      > That's over a million gallons of crude oil a week!


      > I'm engineer with 25 years of experience. I've worked on some big

      > projects with big machines. Maybe that's why this mess is so clear to

      > me.


      > First, the BP platform was drilling for what they call deep oil. They

      > go out where the ocean is about 5,000 feet deep and drill another

      > 30,000 feet into the crust of the earth. This it right on the edge of

      > what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil

      > at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the

      > way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and

      > sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind

      > this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human

      > science to contain it.


      > When the rig sank it flipped over and landed on top of the drill hole

      > some 5,000 feet under the ocean.


      > Now they've got a hole in the ocean floor, 5,000 feet down with a

      > wrecked oil drilling rig sitting on top of is spewing 200,000 barrels

      > of oil a day into the ocean. Take a moment and consider that, will

      > you!


      > First they have to get the oil rig off the hole to get at it in order

      > to try to cap it. Do you know the level of effort it will take to move

      > that wrecked oil rig, sitting under 5,000 feet of water? That

      > operation alone would take years and hundreds of millions to

      > accomplish. Then, how do you cap that hole in the muddy ocean floor?

      > There just is no way. No way.


      > The only piece of human technology that might address this is a

      > nuclear bomb. I'm not kidding. If they put a nuke down there in the

      > right spot it might seal up the hole. Nothing short of that will work.


      > If we can't cap that hole that oil is going to destroy the oceans of

      > the world. It only takes one quart of motor oil to make 250,000

      > gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife. Are you starting to get the

      > magnitude of this?


      > We're so used to our politicians creating false crises to forward

      > their criminal agendas that we aren't recognizing that we're staring

      > straight into possibly the greatest disaster mankind will ever see.

      > Imagine what happens if that oil keeps flowing until it destroys all

      > life in the oceans of this planet. Who knows how big of a reservoir of

      > oil is down there.


      > Not to mention that the oceans are critical to maintaining the proper

      > oxygen level in the atmosphere for human life.


      > We're humped. Unless God steps in and fixes this. No human can. You

      > can be sure of that.


      > 3. The third thing to bring attention to is the predictive

      > linguistics discussion of the 'blue flue" in the latest Shape of

      > Things to Come report of what's ahead for the world's oceans. In

      > particular, what strikes me is that while some of the focus is on the

      > possibility of methane hydrate releases later in the year, the

      > spelling in the report is 'flue' (and in upward conveyance, not 'flu'

      > and is sickness per se).


      > "This [big clue methane related] incident then goes onto cause a [big

      > stink] within TPTB [minion class] {ed note: most notably the CFR -

      > Council on Foreign Relations}. Not only are humans and other life

      > directly impacted by the large [clouds of drifting complex methane

      > housing gas] but the mere [release] of the quantity to be seen causes

      > the TPTB and their [minion class] to go [apeshit] trying to [locate (a

      > believable) scenario] to explain the [blue flue events(s)].


      > I'll grant you that the methane and oil gurgling out of the Gulf of

      > Mexico (GOM) right now is not methane hydrate but rather compressed

      > methane, but around here, that's close enough especially when the

      > 'blue flue' to the surface has been destroyed., Curious how just a

      > little spelling like this can tip us off that we've got something of a

      > serious hit developing.




      > The latest trajectory map out of NOAA which should be updated over the

      > weekend looks like this….in a word: Grim…






      > We hear – again from people who are reliable sources, but who we won't

      > name in order to keep them from getting fired, is that there are a

      > couple of parishes (county equivalents) in Louisiana which are

      > preparing evacuation plans because people are being made sick by the

      > smell of the oil and gas being blown onshore.




      > Looking ahead to Sunday through Tuesday, we'd expect as this grows

      > that there will be emergency operation centers set up and some moving

      > of people to begin, which would then feed in to the Diaspora meta data

      > layer of Cliff's work.




      > Not to be glum, but you can see most likely how this all starts to tie together?




      > We will be topping off our 'investment grade diesel reserves and

      > getting our additional solar panels ordered this week, so as to hit

      > the next level of energy independence before the global impacts come

      > into focus over the next month or two.




      > You may wish to do so, as well…




      > Terrible way to score a bot hit, but that's how this stuff works, so

      > now we need to deal with it.




      > Impacts at the Pump


      > If you look at a chart of oil prices, you'll see that although oil was

      > down around $81.30 on Wednesday early in the session, it was up to $86

      > and change on Friday. This is a pretty heft move: On the order of

      > 5.7% and if it continues, you can bet there will be follow-up at the

      > gas pump.




      > If you click over to the Triple A fuel gauge report (a site you may

      > wish to bookmark for future reference) you'll see that the price of

      > fuel at the wholesale and crude levels have increased faster than

      > retail so it may not be unreasonable to crank an addition several

      > percent into the family budget for auto expenses over summer.



      > In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is

      > distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior

      > interest in receiving the included information for research and

      > educational purposes. There is no affiliation whatsoever with the

      > originator of this article and is not endorsed or sponsored by the

      > originator.)


      > "Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its

      > publication is a duty." : Anne Louise Germaine de Stael – (1766-1817)

      > French author


      > "The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you

      > are right, and you persist, things will change. The government will

      > try to deceive the people, and the newspapers and television may do

      > the same, but the truth has a way of coming out. The truth has a power

      > greater than a hundred lies. My hope is that you will not be content

      > to be successful in the way our society measures success; that you

      > will not obey the rules, when the rules are unjust; that you will act

      > out the courage that I know is in you." Howard Zinn – Address to

      > Spelman College, 2005


      > "to engage in whatever nonviolent actions appeal to us. There is no

      > act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the

      > history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at

      > critical points to create a power that governments cannot suppress. We

      > find ourselves today at one of those critical points." – Howard Zinn






      > -




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