Sequestration Could Have Been Fixed by Embracing Federalism

Heather Ginsberg

4/3/2013 12:55:00 PM - Heather Ginsberg

In a new report out by The Liberty Foundation of America, it is made clear that sequestration didn’t really need to be as big of a deal as the Obama administration made it out to be. Remember how President was using all of those scare tactics a few weeks ago to try and avoid sequestration? Well the authors of this new report found that perhaps if the President looked at what is outlined in the Constitution, he would have been able to avoid the problem completely.

The 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution any powers not given to the federal government then are given to the states. According to the Liberty Foundation of America, federalism is the way to solve sequestration woes. The authors of the report find, specifically, competitive federalism to be the way out of serious budget issues from Washington D.C.

Competitive federalism basically supports states’ rights to create their own types of societies and economies that will then compete with one another on the national scale. With a lot of money being wasted in the bureaucracy of handing down money from the federal government to the states, the study finds there is a lot of waste.

The authors looked specifically at Medicaid, transportation and education administrative and compliance cost. They found that we could have saved ourselves $85 billion in administrative costs if we were living in a society where the states didn’t have to get those funds from the federal government and instead had control over their own programs. These administrative burdens on programs like this usually run at about 15% of the overall cost of the program.

In an interview with Michael Carnuccio, one of the authors of this report, he outlined how competitive federalism can solve many of our budget problems in the United States right now. The federal government has simply become too large, and the increasing debt is simply getting out of hand. Carnuccio claims reducing the deficit would be an immediate effect of handing much of the governing responsibilities back to the states. We would no longer have to hear about the White House being closed to tours and wondering if our federal workers will have jobs to go back to.

Giving the states more control of their governing is not only helpful when it comes to the budget, but it also helps with issues that are important to the residents of each individual state. In the fight over the 2nd amendment, it is clear that many of the states would have already figured out what they want to do with respects to being armed. This would greatly increase the likelihood that we would be allowed to carry and continue to protect ourselves.

By moving towards federalism, we are not only handing a lot of the power back to the state governments, but also the people of those states. People will be able to have a louder voice when they elect state representatives. Examples of this working have been in Florida, Ohio and Michigan. State legislatures are speaking their minds and representing their constituents on a much more detailed level than any Congressman can now do. They have been able to overturn governors’ vetoes on bills that would not be helping the people of the state.

Looking at the study, it is clear that the option of moving to a competitive federalist government will be helpful in solving the budget problems we now face, but whether it will actually be implemented all over the country is another question.