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  • The End of Federalism: COPS in Columbus

    During his visit to Columbus, Ohio on March 6, 2009, President Obama touted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as the type of “bold action” that is necessary to stimulate the economy. $1.25 million in stimulus funding awarded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), according to President Obama, would be used to save the jobs of 75 Columbus police recruits who recently received pink slips.

    Speaking to the recruits and the media, President Obama said, “There is no longer any doubt you will be employed as officers of the law when you leave here today.”

    Less than three months later, the job security of the recruits is now in question. Unless Columbus voters approve a tax increase, the recruits, who thought their jobs were saved by President Obama, may now be laid-off at the end of the year.

    Never fear, if Congress passes the COPS Improvements Act of 2009, then cities like Columbus that cut public safety services, while funding less important tasks, can expect permanent federal police salary subsidies.

    Thanks to programs like COPS and President Obama’s $787 billion deficit spending stimulus package, for the first time in our nation’s history cash from the federal government has become the number one source of revenue for state and local governments. As President Ronald Reagan said in his first State of the Union:

    Our citizens feel they’ve lost control of even the most basic decisions made about the essential services of government, such as schools, welfare, roads, and even garbage collection. And they’re right. A maze of interlocking jurisdictions and levels of government confronts average citizens in trying to solve even the simplest of problems. They don’t know where to turn for answers, who to hold accountable, who to praise, who to blame, who to vote for or against. The main reason for this is the overpowering growth of Federal grants-in-aid programs during the past few decades.

    And more importantly in his first inaugural address:

    All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to The End of Federalism: COPS in Columbus

    1. William, Illinois says:

      A revival of the understanding of Federalism and how it empowers the individual and protects sovereignty of states and individual freedom is sorely needed today. The People need to discover their voice once again. We cannot wait for a massive "re-education" that will take "60 to 100 years" to accomplish. No, just as a child first learns the words of their native tongue and then grows in apprehension of it's meaning through social activity and contact; so must the individual American begin acquaintance again with the Right of the People in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, in exercise of their Rights, even if not fully understood, until we all come to understand that the individual is Sovereign, not government.

    2. Harry Snyder Tempera says:

      Perhaps I am too cynical, but I suspect that Bill Clinton foresaw this scenario when he put in place the "COPS" program. He seemed to have an obsession with adding to the power of Washington bureaucracy, almost certainly foresaw that there would be pleas for more "COPS" money when the original funds ran out.

      Whenever there is Federal money to be had, there will be a crowd of people trying to get it.

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