Ken Connor
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

—The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

When Republican governors like Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, and Sarah Palin voiced reservations about their states' participation in the federal stimulus package this spring, they were accused of placing political ideology over the best interests of their constituents. A prominent attack ad currently running against Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell cites his opposition to stimulus funding for Virginia as evidence of his lack of concern for hardworking families. For many people, the idea that a governor would turn down "free" money from Uncle Sam in order to protect the economic solvency and political independence of their state is completely foreign, if not downright laughable. As the central government continues to grow and amass power, perhaps now is the time to begin a thoughtful public discussion about the proper constitutional role of state governments in a federalist system.

It is impossible to watch TV, listen to the radio, or surf the internet these days without being reminded that our nation is experiencing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. No one is fonder of reminding us of this alarming state of affairs than our President and his supporters in Congress. The rhetoric of crisis makes it easy for politicians to convince the people that bold actions were, and continue to be, necessary in order to salvage our flagging economy. And of course, the only entity capable of taking on the gargantuan responsibility of saving America from the consequences of its own selfishness and greed is the federal government.

In the name of remediating this crisis, the American government has presided over the most drastic expansion of its size and scope of influence in our nation's history. In the name of "recovery and reinvestment," this Administration has catapulted the irresponsible fiscal policies started under the Bush administration to new levels, spending unimaginable sums of taxpayer money to nationalize or quasi-nationalize vast segments of the American marketplace. There's no telling what segment of our economy will fall next into the crosshairs of Uncle Sam's benevolent bailout apparatus.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.