Why America should return to Federalism and Limited Government

James Slate
Jun 7, 2017 · 46 min read

Most folks don’t appreciate the lost tradition of a limited federal government. While some responsibilities are well suited for central authorities, such as the constitutionally enumerated duties of overseeing national security and ensuring civil liberties, a substantial portion of what Washington keeps itself busy with is both morally and practically unacceptable.

When the United States gained its independence more than 200 years ago, the founding fathers envisioned a national government with explicit and restricted responsibilities. These responsibilities pertained mainly to protecting the security of the nation and ensuring “domestic tranquility,” which meant preserving public safety. Especially in the realm of domestic affairs the founders foresaw very limited government interference in the daily lives of its citizens. The founders did not create a Department of Commerce, a Department of Education, or a Department of Housing and Urban Development. This was not an oversight: They simply never imagined that the national government would take an active role in such activities.

The minimal government involvement in the domestic economy would be funded and delivered at the state and local levels. Even that involvement was to be restricted by Congress’ authority over interstate cornmerce, an authority granted to Congress by the founders for the purpose of preventing the state governments from interfering with commerce.

The United States has been gradually transformed from a nation with almost no government presence in the marketplace to one in which the government is now the predominant actor in the domestic economy.

The century of 1815–1914 is widely recognized as the liberal epoch, a period of industrial progress, unprecedented growth in both population and living standards, expansion of individual liberties and social tolerance, the abolition of slavery and serfdom, a reprieve from major wars, and the waning of political authoritarianism. “Until August 1914,” observed British historian A. J. P. Taylor, “a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state.” The government did not control how he lived, where he lived, where he traveled, what he purchased, whom he traded with, or whether he should enlist in the military. “It left the adult citizen alone.” Such is the laissez faire that comes to mind when we speak of classical liberalism.

Before 1930, the government spent three-quarters of its money on just two things: defense and interest on debt, most of which was used to finance defense spending. So, really just one thing defense. All of the government’s non-defense-related spending amounted to less than 1% of GDP per year.

America had one of the if not the smallest public sector for much of both centuries, as well as some of the early 20th despite an minor uptick in Education Health and Welfare Spending.

However none of that holds true today as America has the 57th Largest Government in the world.

Nobody, in 1900, speculating on the future of government, could have imagined the astonishing growth and scope of government in the 20th century. Nor would they have imagined that, for many people, this gigantic government would seem the very essence of efficiency, compassion, and modernity. But the reason that government has got so big is not, as many claim, the weight of armaments and wars. Instead the money goes for health care, education, pensions, and welfare programs.

America is the most polarized its been in 150 years. This isn’t just rhetoric either, this series of electoral maps put together by FiveThirtyEight demonstrates just how polarized America has become.

As a country, our partisan disagreements have reached a fever pitch since the last presidential election. Presidential elections receive breathless, two year long, around the clock media coverage because Americans care about the outcome. The President is the leader of a massive executive branch, which now makes the majority of our law through regulation. He has the power to change a tremendous amount of policy with a simple stroke of the pen.

Americans on both sides, the left and the right can feel the polarization effect our everyday lives. Some Americans refuse to remain friends because of political views. Some Americans even refuse to date other Americans because of their political views.The Media doesn’t help either. Both the Alternative and Mainstream Media wield Americans to hate each other based on their views and values.We’re a country of 330 million people with a diversity of viewpoints and principles. People in New York shouldn’t be legislating for those in Alaska.

This Federalist arrangement is enshrined in the text of the Constitution and our common national heritage. It recognizes that policies that work for one state Texas, for example may not be best for another, like California. It allows states to tailor their laws to serve their particular citizens, rather than allowing the national government to subject everyone to a one-size-fits-all policy.

Most helpfully, it makes government more accountable to every American citizen. In state and local elections, fewer people vote than in a national election. Thus, every vote counts more, and the representatives in those elections will be more accountable to and sensitive to the needs of their voters.A return to the original federalism envisioned by the Founders could is the path to a more harmonious nation.

The United States cannot continue on this path without a civil insurrection or worst case scenario, the breakup of the United States into many different nations.

The laws and policies that affect all of us are decided by whatever ideological group controls the Supreme Court, Congress, and especially the Presidency. But because our political system is controlled by two major parties with almost entirely opposite ideologies, at least one half (and often both halves) of the country are dissatisfied with this arrangement.

The party that does not control the federal government attempts to gain control, so they can wield it to mold American society to accord with what their ideology says is right. The party in power frequently asks for one thing and receives another from their representatives, so they replace them with ones who say they will be more “ideologically pure.”

The Root problem of Modern Political Polarization relies in Centralization of American Politics which began in the Progressive Era and the New Deal.

America was designed as a federal republic because the founders understood that we were not all alike. This country was planned and can only be maintained if, in general, people stay in their lanes.

The federal government should be small and unobtrusive. State governments should have the power to regulate activities of citizens, not because we derive our rights from the government, but because our rights are innate and must be protected.The United States is a Federation, and for good reason. The US is a beautiful laboratory of political units which can be used to test out different policies and determine what works best.

To Ensure this the Founding Fathers vigorously debated the role of the federal government and defined it in Article I, Section 8 spelling out the specific duties and obligations of the federal government.

  • The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
  • To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
  • To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
  • To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
  • To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
  • To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
  • To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
  • To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
  • To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
  • To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
  • To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
  • To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
  • To provide and maintain a Navy;
  • To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
  • To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
  • To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
  • To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
  • To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof

Most notably, this included providing a military for national security, coining money, establishing rules for immigration and citizenship, establishing rules for bankruptcy, setting up a postal system, establishing trademark and copyright rules, and setting up a legal system to resolves disputes, in addition to a handful of other matters.

Our Founding Fathers thought it was okay for Congress to have the power to create courts, to coin money, to fund an army, and to have the authority to do a few other things.

The 10th Amendment backs up this stating:

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.

In other words, the 10th Amendment is basically a back-up plan to re-emphasize that the federal government was prohibited from exercising power in any area other than what is specified in the enumerated powers section of Article I, Section VIII.

And if you look at those enumerated powers, that pretty much invalidates much of what happens in Washington.Compared to the Articles of Confederation (in effect from 1781–1789), the Constitution did give more power to the central government.But that simply meant that the central government had a very small amount of power compared to a tiny amount of power.

If something is not permitted under our Constitution, the federal government simply cannot do it.This is not hypothetical. During the Great Depression, the Supreme Court struck down much of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal on constitutional grounds. No, said the Court, the federal government cannot use the Constitution’s commerce clause to regulate virtually all economic activity. No, said the Court, the federal government cannot use the welfare clause to redistribute wealth, whether or not it accomplishes a socially or economically desirable objective.

The Court asserted that the Constitution meant what it said and said what it meant. This infuriated FDR. He threatened to expand the number of Court justices, adding jurists who saw the Constitution the way he did until he got the kind of decisions he wanted. Intimidated, the Court blinked. Actions by the federal government that the Court once had deemed illegal suddenly became permissible.

Prior to 1937, the Supreme Court correctly understood the Constitution to deny the federal government any power to create and operate social-welfare programs. The Constitution held no such enumerated power, and the 10th Amendment left powers not enumerated to the states and the people.

When Social Security went to the Court in 1937, FDR used a different strategy. He argued that Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution, which gave Congress the power to levy taxes to “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States,” meant the federal government could do virtually anything it deemed in the “general welfare” of Americans even if it was otherwise outside the scope of the Constitution’s other enumerated powers.

FDR’s interpretation of the General Welfare Clause effectively rendered the rest of the Constitution meaningless.

To persuade the same court that ruled against him in the railroad case to rule for him in the Social Security case, FDR proposed the Judicial Reorganization Act. This would allow him to pack the court by appointing an additional justice for each sitting justice who had reached age 70 and six months and not retired.

Faced with a potential Democratic takeover of the court, and thus a federal government controlled entirely by FDR’s allies, Republican Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes and Associate Justice Owen J. Roberts flip-flopped from their position in the railroad case. They quietly voted in favor of Social Security and took the steam off FDR’s court-packing plan.

However despite the Judicial Supremacy argument, the reality is far from it.

Unlike old wise tails, it is the responsibility of each branch of government to consider the constitutionality of laws all the way through the process. This is why there are separation of powers.

If one congress passes a law, signed by the president and upheld by SCOTUS, there is NOTHING keeping a future legislature and administration from reversing that law and over riding everything that was approved by prior legislatures, presidents & SCOTUS justices.

The Supreme Court is notorious for upholding unconstitutional laws; SCOTUS is not exempt from making disastrously bad decisions, as history has proven to us.

1819 — McCulloch v. Maryland — SCOTUS decision that would later require a constitutional amendment for this national bank, originally upheld by SCOTUS, to actually take effect because the federal government was not enumerated with these powers.

1857 — Dred Scott v. Sandford — REALLY BAD SCOTUS decision and later found unconstitutional

1896 — Plessy v. Ferguson — REALLY BAD SCOTUS decision and later found unconstitutional

1973 — Roe v. Wade — this SCOTUS decision essentially confirmed that the role of the government is to protect LIFE, but since the earliest, based on technology of that day, one can prove life exists within a woman’s womb was after the first trimester, it is OK for a woman to have an abortion. However, 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions were made illegal (up to states to decide). This ruling has resulted in the murder of more than 55M babies; 5 times more people than the Germans killed in WWII in their concentration camps and 5 time more than Lennin killed in 1 year starving people in Hungary (Hungarian Holodomor).

2012 — National Federation of Independent Business v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services — this ruling change the dynamics of the government entirely; now allowing the government to compel citizens to buy products they do not CHOOSE to purchase through penalizing taxes. This will ultimately be overturned in future congresses (of our constitutional republic is to be saved) or by an Article V convention of the states.

Regardless what you think about any of the above select rulings, my point is that SCOTUS does NOT have final say on constitutionality, nor are they an equal branch of government; in fact, looking at the founders themselves, the judicial branch was the most neutered branch of government with the least amount of power they feared judicial abuses more than they did those of the executive branch. It is the courts, that have grabbed more power for themselves without being reigned in by congress, which has full power to expand or contract the size of the courts. If the House, by itself, wanted to, it could remove all but the chief justice of the supreme court and start over entirely constitutional.

The reason the states don’t step in anymore is because the balance of power between the people, the states, and the central federal government was interrupted by the passage of the 17th amendment which was a progressive ploy to get senators voted in through popular vote rather than the vote of state legislatures so the senators would have the best interest of the state, itself in mind when voting.

If Americans who want Single Payer Healthcare Free College, a Large Nordic Welfare State and Less Economic Freedom want it, they should have it.Under one condition, they vote on it on state levels and locally and enact such policy on State Levels instead of the Federal Level.

Now, for the sake of argument, let’s just assume that every country needs a welfare state, and that it’s a good thing.

But even if that’s the case, why does Texas need the federal government to have a welfare program? Texas is the size of Australia in both population size and in the overall size of its economy. Australia has a large welfare state of its own (albeit slightly smaller than the US welfare state), so why can’t Texas manage its own welfare state with its own resources?

This holds true even for small US states such as Colorado, which has a population similar to that of Norway, and a per capita GDP similar to that of Austria. So, again, this would suggest that Colorado has no need of the US federal government to create and administer its own welfare state.

The same can be said of all other US states.

If we look at a comparison of US states to European countries in terms of per capita GDP, we find that even the poor US states are comparable to member states of the European Union. Mississippi is similar to Portugal, and New Mexico is similar to Spain.

Nevertheless, Americans are regularly told that the welfare states in these foreign countries are well-funded, well-run, generous, and superior to the American welfare state. If the Spaniards, with a per capita GDP similar to New Mexico can allegedly run their own welfare state so well, why can’t the New Mexicans be allowed to do the same?

They aren’t allowed to do this, of course, because the gatekeepers of leftwing and DC-based opinion would have us believe that New Mexicans, Texans, and Mississippians are too stupid and ideologically incorrect to run a welfare state properly. “Best to keep the power and control in Washington, DC,” they might say “so we can make sure the rubes out in flyover country don’t screw things up.”

One argument the feds will use in this regard is that poor states need to be subsidized by the richer states. Nevertheless, the relative income levels and wealth levels of the states in the US have been converging over time. While it is certainly true that some states are wealthier than others, trends in capital investment are bringing the states closer together.

These facts won’t be enough to convince Washington to lessen its death grip on the welfare state, though. But, those of us who don’t consider people outside of New York and Washington, DC to be members of a lesser species, it strikes one as prudent to leave government social programs to the people who actually live in the communities that are affected by them and to keep the money closer to the taxpayers who actually pay the bills. Moreover, by breaking up the welfare state into 50 smaller units, the programs will be more responsive to the taxpayers who don’t have time to go to Washington and attempt to compete with the huge national special interests that keep the national welfare state fat and happy. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to meet with your state representative than your US senator.

After all, rather than send billions of tax dollars to Washington, then wait for some DC bureaucrats to spend that money in one’s home state — after taking a generous cut for themselves, of course — why not just keep that money where it came from?

Europeans would complain too if they had to send a large fraction of their paychecks to Brussels for EU bureaucrats to spend. Most income taxes go to Washington, and in a country of 320 million, you effectively have zero say in how that money is spent

Besides, the amount of money that flows from taxpayers to the federal government is far, far larger than the amount of money that goes from taxpayers to the states themselves. This graph shows just how much more money goes straight to the feds rather than to state governments.

Note that in the case of Texas, Texans pay five times as much in taxes to the federal government than to the state government. In Illinois, residents pay four times as much to the feds as to the state. Even in tax-heavy California, Californians pay more than two-and-a-half times more in taxes to the federal government than to the California government.

The Scandinavian countries have populations ranging from 4–10 million dwarfed by plenty of US states. A public scheme which works for 5 million people doesn’t tell us much about how it will work for 330 million Americans, especially when one considers the historic inefficiency of federal programs in the US. The fact that these countries have efficient public systems essentially bolsters the case for more local and state-level control in the US.

The United States has about 320 million people. Sweden, which is often held up as a model of single payer health care, has 10 million people.

In the United States, you have the national government, state governments, (in some cases regional governments), county governments, city governments, and if you really want to get nitpicky, you have homeowner’s associations and special taxing districts before you get to the people. That means there can be four or five layers of government between the people and the top level of government.

In Sweden, you have the national government, regional (akin to counties), and local (akin to cities) governments before you get two the people. That means that there are only two layers of government between the people and the national government.

The closer government is to the people, the more influence the people have on their government. This means that the people of Sweden have greater say in how their national government operates, so if there is some aspect of health care that isn’t working, it’s a lot easier for the people to influence change.

The United States also has much greater cultural diversity than Sweden. It’s a lot easier to get 10 million culturally homogenous people who are physically close to agree on something like funding and management of health care than 320 million culturally diverse people spread across most of a continent with many diverse economic and geographic regions.

Having the United States national government administer the health care of Americans would be like having the European Union administer the health care of all Europeans. When you consider the cultural, economic, and geographic diversity of the entirety of Europe, you can see how such a system could turn into an expensive quagmire influenced by politics more than the needs of the people.

This is what we expect would happen in the United States; we have had a taste of it with the “Affordable” Healthcare Act which has actually increased costs and decreased service for the millions of Americans who do not rec

eive subsidized care.

“Universal” or single-payer health care might be more tolerable if it were administered by the individual states and the national government kept completely out of it.

Perhaps it’d be useful to adjust your beliefs in consideration of the fact that the US is comparable in population the EU, and that a lot of the programs that you may want implemented on a national-level are effecticet done on a state-level in Europe, Australia and Canada.

Instead of delegating the task of design and implementation of national universal healthcare to a bunch of suits in Washington. We should delegate this power to the States.This would essentially lead to a series of systems much like those in Europe, in which individual states (much like individual European countries) each get to have their own unique healthcare system. We often forget that the US is a federation, and that US states have populations that roughly mirror individual European nations.

This “state-by-state” model is superior for two reasons:

  1. An Alaskan should have as much say in the design of Florida’s healthcare system as a French person should in Sweden’s healthcare system. We are a large nation, and people shouldn’t have an influence in micromanaging the lives of other people across the country.
  2. If we hand over the keys to bureaucrats in DC (who have historically failed at designing and implementing efficient and effective federal megaprograms), there is a good chance that they’ll screw things up. There’s also a good chance that Wisconsin will do poorly in instituting their own state healthcare system, but at least the risk is localized. Putting all of our eggs in one basket is never a good idea.

.When the constitution was being debated and ultimately ratified, one must remember there were 13 independent states; all with their own governments. They realized they would only survive if they have a common structure for defense (articles of confederation), but that wasn’t strong enough to actually hold them together. So, during a time of peace (the only time in human history this has happened), our founders go together to form our constitutional republic.

Goals:

  1. people are sovereign
  2. states are sovereign
  3. a federal government would be established with powers enumerated (spelled out) in the constitution.

Under the 9th and 10th Amendments of the bill of rights, every power not vested (specifically spelled out) within the constitution to the federal government, remain with the people or the states themselves.

The whole purpose of our republic is to create a government only large enough to secure our life, liberty and property — that’s it.

The size of government was to be (most influence to least influence):

  • township (local municipalities)
  • county
  • state
  • federal

Every American would do well to realize that the Federal Government is ONLY enumerated roughly 30–40 powers; every other power they have, they have assumed unconstitutionally because progressives, starting with Teddy Roosevelt & Woodrow Wilson) decided that the constitution was too limiting and that social democracy (communism) taking root in Easter Europe was so much better than the handcuffs the constitution put on the federal government that they would work to en route the constitution through legislative fiat whenever possible.

While the state, individually, can create a single payer system, like MA did under Mitt Romney, the Federal Government is not enumerated with the constitutional power to mandate everyone buy a specific product — health care in this case. If they can, like SCOTUS has said they can, then it could also be required that a tax be levied on every american and everyone American can MUST own a firearm. While the cops and 60% or more of American would appreciate that, it is unconstitutional.

Every unconstitutional element of the federal government should be shut down — THEN and only THEN, should we have constitutional amendments that are debated and ratified (Article V) to add in those powers we, the American People and the States separately, believe they should have.

Individual states (sovereign nations in their own right, tied together by a common bond, where those states and the people have given the federal government they all subscribe to 30 to 40 ish enumerated powers while everything else be left to the states and people respectively). Individual states are laboratories of experiment. Each state gets to make their own rules, so long as everyone abides by the common rules administered by the federal government. MA wants a healthcare system; great NY and CA want their own healthcare insurance program that they mandate to the citizens of their state great I, personally (live in MA) have the option to move to another state where I don’t want to pay for the INSURANCE of another person who chooses not to insure themselves when they are healthy BUT rather complain they can’t get insurance after they’ve gotten sick, without insurance.

I guarantee, the federal government would be no more than 10% of what it is today.

We will probably switch to a universal system in the coming years, and I hope that we utilize our federalist structure.

Personally, I as a Conservative American am not opposed to state level single payer, I simply can move to another state.

Conservative and Libertarian Americans who want Free Market Healthcare, Privatized Colleges and Infrastructure, Private Charity instead of Welfare and High Levels of Economic Freedom like that found in Hong Kong or Singapore should vote on legislation state and enact such policies on the state and not Federal Level.

Not only would this allow Americans the freedom to live in the state that best represents their values, but it would also make the states more competitive and better managed. Local people solve local problems. No one ever said they all had to solve them the same way. The only duties the federal government should bear are those enumerated by the Constitution.

The effects of bad political decisions in California or New York have a limited effect on the rest of the country. The same holds true for Salt Lake County. When something does go wrong on local and state levels, citizens can engage with a political system that is both more accessible and democratically wieldy than the federal government. But when something goes wrong in DC, everyone pays the price, and nothing short of a miniature revolution will change things back for the better.

Some will argue that, as a corollary, success in Washington is success for all Americans, and that the potential rewards balance out the potential risks. But that’s pretty much the rationale for dictatorship. Your political faction (or your grand leader, fuhrer, shiny one) may think that their ideas for healthcare, education, crime, social security, drug control etc are the best thing for the country, but your lot may be wrong and harm yourselves and the other half of the country in the process. Everyone is so certain that their party and their ideas won’t negatively affect the nation that everything I’m saying is only a problem when we adopt the other party’s backward policies. See the problem here?

When Bernie Sanders croaks on about Washington’s susceptibility to corruption and bribery and whatnot, he has a point. However, his solution is to grow government even more and personally make sure the corruption is put to a stop. Allow the federal government to control more aspects of your life, and trust Bernie Sanders and his friends to put an end to Washington cronyism and corporatism. Well, what if he fails? What if business continues as usual which is, by definition, what usually happens? Does anyone actually believe that we are going to achieve the perfect political system in the next hundred years? Was there zero corruption and corporatism before Citizens United and super PACs? Is Congress going to pass a perfectly crafted anti-lobbying bill which will effectively put an end to all special-interest activity in DC?

These are of course all rhetorical questions. This goes back to the inherent riskiness of big and centralized government. I’m essentially advising America not to put all of its eggs in one basket. If we are to deem anything as too big to fail in this country, it should be federal governance. If you support the notion of breaking up the big banks, then you should naturally support breaking up the largest and most powerful institution in U.S History. The United States Federal Government.

Only two governments in the world oversee a population that is remotely similar to our national population (China and India) and no one can say with a straight face that those countries are in good shape.A single government can’t be expected to properly manage 300 million people spread over 4 million square miles.

There are Successful Federalist Developed Nations as well. Take Switzerland for example, it’s a country of 8 million divided into 27 cantons (equivalent to our states). Even then, the cantons have significantly more autonomy than our states do. They are extremely wary of federal overreach and centralization in a country of 8 million! Also, Switzerland is arguably the second greatest country in the world after the United States.

Furthermore, Canadian provinces effectively exercise more autonomy than our states do, and they’re a country of 35 million. Whereas US politics mostly centers on Washington, D.C., and federal legislation battles, Canadian politics follows jurisdictional questions about provincial authority and the limits of the federal government. The Canadian Provinces are pretty autonomous. The national healthcare system is actually a bunch of provincial programs. The eastern provinces are way different than the western, in laws and culture. Amd then there’s Quebec. The similarities between the provinces is more a matter of adoption of policy rather than top down legislation.

The only reason Quebec didn’t break off from Canada is because it was given much more autonomy than the Canadian system originally designed for. Switzerland is a country of 8 million people consisting of three major distinct ethnic groups, and their government heavily decentralized. Scotland stayed in the U.K. on the promise of devolved powers.

If you let people govern themselves, they’ll have less boogie men from other groups to point to as the source of their problems, and thus more constructive self-scrutiny rather than senseless finger-pointing

For Conservatives, there’s good reasons to follow Swiss Policies of Federalism in the modern Era as well. Switzerland Ranks 4th on the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom compared to the United States who ranks 17th. Government spending has amounted to 32.9 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years in Switzerland but Government Spending in the United States amounted to 38.3 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years. So for Nationalist Conservatives who croak on about spending, Federalism is the way to go.

Here is how Economic Freedom Compares in the Switzerland vs America

Switzerland:

America:

Switzerland has genuine federalism, with the national government responsible for only about one-third of government spending. The United States used to be like that, but now more than two-thirds of government spending comes from Washington.

In other words, Switzerland generally still has the type of system America’s Founding Fathers envisioned, with a small central government. This is sad since The groundwork for today’s Swiss Constitution was laid with the promulgation of the Constitution of 12 September 1848, which was influenced by the ideas of the United States Constitution. We abandoned ours, they didn’t.

The level of redistribution in Switzerland is relatively low because of its decentralized model.

Check out the balance of spending between federal and local/state entities for the two countries:

Switzerland

America

It’s funny, considering that Switzerland is a county of 8 million.The United States is in dire need of a reduced Federal Government to its Enumerated Powers and a return and an expansion of states’ autonomy. And the 2016 Election Proves it.

Switzerland is far from a utopia, but its decentralized structure suggests a compelling possible direction for systemic transformation of the modern United States.

Imagine how happy the Swedes would be if the French had a say in how they ran their primary schools, hospitals, etc. No Swede would be happy with a German dictating how their education or healthcare system will be run. Similarly, Utahns and New Yorkers have different ideas on what works best. Stop trying to ram your favorite policies down everyone’s throats, especially when failed legislation can have severe ramifications for 330 million Americans (many Republicans are guilty of this as well). Just let people do their own thing within the bounds of The Constitution. If people don’t like life in a certain state, they can always vote with their feet.

The interests of central Californians are much different than those of people in socal and so on. That’s why there was a proposal to divide the state into 5 different ones a few years back. Diversity is good, competition is good. More states means more of these things.

We shouldn’t try to put all of our eggs in one basket meaning, Americans should try their policies out on the state-level and demonstrate their merits so that other states can learn by example.

Let people do their own thing so that we can experiment and learn from each other’s failures. California wants single-payer healthcare? Cool, let them try it out. You want free university in Vermont? Give it a go. Just do you own thing and own the consequences don’t try to pool our fates by forcing it on the rest of the country.

In a country of 330 million diverse views, the only utopia possible may be a local one built by like-minded neighbors. That is why I believe that our own next system should allow every community to pursue its own dreams.

Perhaps the strongest argument for a Federalist United States is that it is happening already. Calls for a “Texit” and “Calexit” have grown louder recently in response to the size of national government. Some advocate for an Article V Convention of States to limit federal power. Even certain progressive politicians, in the face of President Trump, have begun to long for a return to federalism. All of these indicators suggest that the time for a new federalist movement is now.

With the federal government hopelessly gridlocked, state and local government have had to step into the void and increasingly meet the needs of their citizens. Looming cuts of the federal government led by the Trump Administration will only hasten this trend. Wouldn’t it be better if we moved power and resources to those levels of government mindfully rather than haphazardly?

Readers who still imagine their own ideology prevailing no doubt bristle at this vision. Progressives who were excited about the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont dream of a national political realignment that will enable the United States to look more like northern Europe. Conservatives who imagine returning the United States into a highly deregulated, with high Levels of Economic Freedom Free Market Republic. To all of you, let me offer one final bucket of ice water: The chance of any of you succeeding politically in a country of more than 330 million people rooted in some state and local autonomy is slim to none.

The best any of us will achieve in such a large, diverse country is the opportunity to remake our own community into exactly the place where we would like to live. Whatever your community looks like, rest assured that most of your fellow Americans won’t want to live there. But if each of us can move just a little closer to our own utopias, we will all be more satisfied and embrace that famous French expression “Viva la difference!”

What would a Federalist modern America look like?

Entitlements

It has long since become a doctrine of the modern American welfare state that the federal government must be the primary administrator of the nation’s so-called safety net. Any attempt to devolve the welfare state to the states is routinely treated as backward and reactionary.

This doctrine remains in place though many US states are far larger and wealthier than many European countries that have welfare states of their own. Naturally, each of these states have economies large enough to manage state-based welfare programs. But, the federal government extracts so many billions of dollars from each state primarily for the federal welfare state that states are left without the resources they would need to do their own.

All social programs, including welfare programs, should be administered and paid for at the state level.There shouldn’t be a country-wide Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid programs.

We have medicare because the federal government over reached it’s constitutional authority. Each state is legally allowed to have their own healthcare system for elderly (or anyone else for that matter), but the progressives within the Federal Government abhor the limits the constitution places on it, the other branches of government follow suit and have since the 17th Amendment that made the election of Senators no longer subject to state legislatures but rather the population as a whole.

The rules for each program should be left up to the states. If, say, New York has an amazing welfare program, and people start to move there just for that program, New York should be able to regulate how long you have to live in that state before you can take advantage of their welfare program.

If the citizens of one state don’t want to have any programs at all, they should have that right.If the citizens of another state want to double the size of existing programs, and double taxes on their citizens as a result, they should be able to do that.

Given the population, size, and very varying ideologies of the United States, this would actually be a good idea governments like California or New York can invest 30% of their revenue (this is a random estimate) into welfare and social services if they choose to do so, and governments in places that are more fiscally conservative might choose to invest a smaller amount into welfare / social services and instead keep taxes low(or none at all).

We already have a great deal of social programs and tax methods unique to each state. And it has produced some excellent programs (and some duds). Colorado invests a lot of money in social services such as homeless shelters and clinics. They have an excellent public education system that uses unique districting to best allocate money. Georgia has the HOPE scholarship program that pays for kids college if they get a 3.0 GPA in college. California has had a number of experiments in healthcare. New Hampshire has nearly zero public services.

One size does not fit all. The US is over 300 million people, from almost every cultural persuasion in the world, plus a few of our own. We have every possible region imaginable. We have arctic tundra, deserts, alpine, tropical rain forests and steppes. This diversity is one our greatest strengths. It us a resource to be exploited. When the federal government steps in, it can’t best serve all the people. Our republicanism style government allows us to influence what our state wants. But it never can get it at the federal level. State autonomy allows this.

The closer the government is to the people, the more control the people have over it.You can’t compare social programs in the United States to social programs in other countries, because there are many more layers of government and bureaucracy in the United States. Those layers serve to insulate the government from the people, and take away the flexibility of changing the programs as problems are discovered.

Having the United States’ Federal government in control of social programs would be like having the European Commission in control of social programs in Sweden, Portugal, Germany, and Greece.

Decentralizing the United States could mean eliminating core entitlement programs, but it’s better to imagine gradually handing them over to state and local governments for their own administration. For example, the Social Security trust fund might be divided up on a per capita basis and given to fifty-plus state administrators.

Unlike the Federal administrators, who have presided over funds being lent to cover irresponsible congressional spending, more enlightened state administrators might decide to invest the funds in local businesses or state economic development projects. Over time, states would assume complete responsibility for the programs. Progressive states might decide to expand the retirement benefits for their residents and assess greater annual contributions such as in Europe and Scandinavia, while Conservative and Libertarian states might give more discretion to residents about how much they save and where they invest their savings.

Similar shifts could be made in other entitlement programs, such as SNAP food benefits or healthcare subsidies again through a two-step process: First, return to states programmatic funds proportional to their populations and allow them greater discretion on how to spend their share to achieve the same goals. Second, over some number of years, roll back the federal contribution and allow states to expand, contract, or revamp their programs as they see fit. Through all of this, states would need to be mindful not to redesign programs to exclude constitutionally protected minorities (by, for example, reducing entitlement coverage of women or African Americans).

Drugs

For Drug Reforms in a Federalist United States Congress would

  • repeal the Controlled Substances Act of 1970
  • repeal the federal mandatory minimum sentences and the federal sentencing guidelines,
  • direct the administration not to interfere with the implementation of state initiatives that allow for the medical use of marijuana, and
  • shut down the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Whatever your opinion, we should all be able to agree that drug laws belong on the state and local level. Proponents of Prohibition in the early 20th century clearly understood that in order for a nationwide ban to be Constitutional, an amendment would have to be ratified. And one was in the form of the 18th Amendment. No such amendment has been passed for drug prohibition.

The enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution do not grant Congress the authority to regulate or prohibit drugs. That should be the end of the argument. Inevitably though, some Republicans will end up justifying federal involvement using one of the three common clause fallacies in Article 1, Section 8: the General Welfare clause, the Commerce Clause, or the Necessary and Proper clause. Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute does a great job of breaking down the purpose of those three clauses:

  • Contrary to modern readings, the General Welfare Clause does not grant Congress an independent power to tax and spend for the “general welfare.” If it did, there would be no need to enumerate any other powers. Rather, it authorizes Congress to enact the specified taxes for the specified purposes — headings more precisely defined by the 17 enumerated powers or ends that follow. And Congress’s power to tax for the “general welfare” precludes it from taxing to provide for special parties or interests.
  • The Commerce Clause too does not authorize Congress to regulate anything and everything, which again would put an end to the idea of a government of enumerated and thus limited powers. Under the Articles of Confederation, states had erected tariffs and other protectionist measures that were impeding interstate commerce. To end that and ensure free interstate commerce, Congress was given the power to regulate, or “make regular,” such commerce the main sense of “regulate” at the time. Were Congress thought to have the all but unbounded regulatory power it exercises today, the Constitution would never have been ratified.
  • The Necessary and Proper grants Congress the means to execute its enumerated powers or ends and those of the other branches. It adds no new ends. And the means must be “necessary and proper.” That means they must respect the Constitution’s structure and spirit of limited government; they must respect federalism principles; and they must respect the rights retained by the people

So there you have it. Drug laws are undeniably a state issue and a function of federalism.

The idea behind federalism is simple and I shouldn’t have to explain it. The basic premise is that states, being sovereign, granted specific powers to the federal government to carry out. The rest were to be retained by the states, period. The federal government derives its authority from the states, not from itself. If a person does not like the policies in one state, that person could move to a state which more suits them. This prevents the bad decisions of a central authority from causing all of us trouble.

It would be intellectually dishonest for any Republican who claims to support the Constitution to also support the federal Drug War. The Federal Drug War is a good litmus test to find out if a candidate or politician really understands the Constitution or not.

Education

To Restore Education in a Federalist United States Congress would

  • Abolish the Department of Education and
  • Return education to the state, local, or family level, as provided by the Constitution.

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. — Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Department of Education, formed in 1979 during the Carter administration, represents an intrusion by the federal government into an aspect of American society for which there is no constitutional authority. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress no authority whatsoever to collect taxes for, fund, or operate schools. Therefore, under the Tenth Amendment, education should be entirely a state and local matter.

For more than 200 years, the federal government had left education to those who were in the best position to oversee it state and local governments and families. Richard L. Lyman, president of Stanford University, who testified at the congressional hearings on forming the new department, pointed out that ‘‘the two-hundred-year-old absence of a Department of Education is not the result of simple failure during all that time. On the contrary, it derives from the conviction that we do not want the kind of educational system that such arrangements produce.’

Without question, the Framers intended that most aspects of American life would be outside the purview of the federal government. They never envisioned that Congress or the president would become involved in funding schools or mandating policy for classrooms. As constitutional scholar Roger Pilon has said: ‘‘From beginning to end the [Constitution] never mentioned the word ‘education.’ The people, in 1787 or since, have never given the federal government any power over the subject despite a concern for education that surely predates the Constitution.’’

The way for Congress to improve American education is to step aside and let the states experiment with choice in a variety of ways. Some will expand charter schools or experiment with private management. Others will institute scholarship tax credits, parental tax credits, or vouchers either on a limited basis or open to all students. The most successful policies and programs will be emulated by other states.

James Madison, who proclaimed that the powers of the federal government should be few and enumerated, would be shocked at what the president and Congress are doing today in relation to an aspect of family life that was never intended to come under the control of Congress, the White House, or any federal agency. Congress should take the enlightened view, consistent with that of the nation’s Founders, and draw a line in the sand that won’t be crossed. Education is a matter reserved to the states, period.

Healthcare

The Healthcare Debate in the United States today is between Conservatives whom believe in Free Market Reforms and Progressives who advocate for Universal Single Payer Healthcare, found in other developed nations such as Canada.

For both sides of the debate, in particular American Progressives, have to come to realize Healthcare not the federal government’s job. There are a lot of things that the federal government could do to save lives, but it is outside their prerogative. You can agree or disagree as to whether the federal government should step outside of its constitutionally designated role, but the point is that there are arguments to be made both ways. In my opinion, people in Florida should have no more say in the healthcare of those in Wyoming than the French should for the healthcare of Swedes.

Also, I think it’s a bit silly to be discussing universal healthcare on the national scale when not even a single state has implemented a public healthcare scheme for their own citizens.

That federalist balance is one reason the United States became the most prosperous, powerful and innovative nation in human history. Individual states became “laboratories of democracy” in which different ideas in governance and lifestyle could be tested against human nature and everyday reality.

Over two centuries on, despite nationwide and worldwide homogenization through technology and culture, citizens in different states maintain very different moral, intellectual, religious and cultural outlooks. Unfortunately, too often we’ve seen federal officials attempt to impose their one-size-fits-all policies upon the nation when allowing states to test and innovate would have been preferable.

If citizens of Massachusetts, as just one example, prefer ObamaCare or single-payer healthcare, then they should be free to try it without forcing citizens of Utah or Texas to endure a dysfunctional system that they oppose.

Healthcare in a Federalist United States would start off with moving Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare as well as any other Federal Government Interventions in the American Healthcare System to State by State Levels.

While Progressive States like were seeing now would enact Single Payer Universal Healthcare, Conservative States would enact Free Market Reforms with little to no Government Intervention. This approach would have given every state a positive, creative incentive to construct a medical system that comported with its own values.

This would solve the Single Payer vs Market Healthcare Debate by each American State providing their own form of healthcare based on the wishes of the Citizens of those States.

Government did not intervene significantly in the provision of health care until the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid 1960s. Since then government health care has increased to around 7 percent of GDP.

At the beginning of the 20th century, government spent little on health care. The platform of the Progressive Party in 1912 called merely for a reorganization of public health services into a single national health service. Government health care did not exceed one percent of GDP until the 1960s. It was about 0.25 percent of GDP in the early decades, 0.5 percent in the 1920s, and peaked at about one percent of GDP in the depression year of 1932.

Then, in 1965, Congress passed the Great Society legislation at the behest of President Johnson, featuring Medicare, a health subsidy program for older Americans, and Medicaid, a health care provision for the poor. Ever since, government health care expenditures have trended steadily higher. Government health spending breached two percent of GDP in 1970, three percent of GDP in 1980, and four percent of GDP in 1991. Spending breached five percent of GDP in 1995, six percent in 2007, and seven percent of GDP in 2009. (Note: the blue sector in the chart is intergovernmental transfer from the federal government to state and local governments, i.e., grants to pay for Medicaid).

After a peak of 7.6 percent GDP in 2011, health care spending receded for a year, but resumed its growth, and is expected to hit nearly 7.9 percent GDP in 2020.

Taxes in a Federalist United States

The problem is that the US has a severe imbalance between federal and state tax burdens. We pay the overwhelming amount of our taxes to the federal government. In return, we get clumsy, inefficient, one-size-fits-all schemes from a bunch of suits in Washington.

Imagine if the EU imposed a massive income tax on all its citizens — then there’d obviously be little room for individual countries (most of which are tiny in terms of population) to generate large revenues

It would be great if someone came in and slashed federal taxes and entitlements, thus allowing states to move in and fill the void. Until then, if you want something substantial from the government, you likely have no choice but to wait for the rest of the country to jump onboard. Kind of ridiculous when you think about it

Many people aren’t aware that America conceived in liberty in 1776 didn’t have a permanent income tax until 1913. In fact, the Constitution of the United States prohibited an income tax.For over a century, the U.S. government survived quite well without an income tax. It operated a small, constitutional government on the revenue from tariffs and excise taxes.

Today, income / social security taxes make up 80% of government revenue, and taxes on corporate income account for an additional 11%.

The government got by for most of its history without them. The corporate tax was not implemented until 1909, and the income tax, not until 1913.

Tariffs are taxes imposed upon imported products, and excise taxes are imposed at the manufacturing level on domestic products. Because those taxes affect the prices of products, they were self-limiting. That is, the taxes couldn’t produce unlimited revenue to the government.

If a tax was raised too far, the product would be priced out of the reach of the consumer, sales would fall, and the tax revenues would fall.Thus, relying on tariffs and excise taxes, the U.S. government was able to raise only so much money and no more. The same was true of state and local governments: there were built-in limits to how much they could tax.

In 1910, the government’s revenue looked much like it did in the time of George Washington: 3% of GDP, earned primarily through tariffs.

By 1930, the government was claiming away twice as much money, and through entirely different means. But anyone who was hoping that those 1930 taxes would return to “normal” was in for a rude awakening about a decade later.

For most of U.S. history, the federal government earned its revenue through passive means, which seem unimaginable by today’s standards.

The government raised money through a combination of tariffs (on imports), excise taxes (on tobacco and alcohol), and sales of frontier land. At different points, each of the three had a turn as the #1 revenue source.

As a result, in 1913 federal, state, and local governments combined took in taxes only 8% of the national income.But that changed quickly with the passage of the 16th Amendment, authorizing an income tax. In contrast to tariffs and excise taxes, income-tax rates can be raised upward and upward and upward, since most people can’t choose to stop working in order to avoid the tax.

That meant the federal government now had virtually unlimited resources to do whatever the politicians wanted. Respect for the Constitution disappeared almost overnight. Today governments at all levels take 47% of the national income. That means you work nearly half your life to support the welfare state. And now there’s no topic on which the politicians refuse to consider legislation. Your entire life is fair game for them to enact rules.

If the Federal Income Tax were Repealed no longer would the Federal government have the resources to do anything outside of its Enumerated Powers. Thus States could Enact their own Income Taxes if Necessary to fund their social Programs and States that choose not to wouldn’t have to. 7 States Currently Don’t have an Income Tax.

No Federal Income Tax would allow states to fill the gap. Look at Canadian province taxes vs national taxes and notice how to equilibrium compares to the US state/federal tax-balance. When you’re taxing the rich at 40% on their income, it’s fairly difficult to raise state income taxes without chasing people elsewhere. If the federal government slashed the big entitlement programs and taxes accordingly, states would have a lot of headroom to raise taxes and experiment.

No Federal Income Tax would open the door for significant tax increases on the state level. This would allow individual states to adopt policies and programs that better suit the demands and desires of their citizens, instead of people from one side of the country telling people on the other side of the country how they ought to run their healthcare, schools, drug enforcement etc.

Consider the fact that Switzerland, which has a population of 8 million people and is arguably the most second greatest country in the world, has a top federal tax rate of ~13%. The 27 cantons (equivalent to our states) have populations ranging for 10,000 to 1.5 million, and the vast majority of income taxes are paid and spent on the local level. In fact, Europe overall has a population that is approximately equivalent to that of the US, and the individual countries are more similar in population-size to our states. Yet we’re always so eager to delegate more and more power to Washington DC which is especially crazy considering that the US has 320 million people.

For Example in Switzerland Taxation is more burdensome at the cantonal levels than at the federal level. The top federal income tax rate is 11.5 percent, and the federal corporate tax rate is 8.5 percent. America could top this by having no Federal Income Tax and Less Burdensome Taxes in States as seen below

Whatever the Taxes in the States, the Taxes would be significantly lower then the current Federal Income Tax. Even in Ultra Progressive California which has a top rate of 13.3%. Meaning Americans would keep much of what they earn.

Environmentalism

For a Federalist United States such Reforms would help fight climate Change on Local and State Levels and not Federal Levels.

  1. Eliminate the national EPA: It’s redundant and wasteful. The circular reasoning that drives the agency starts with “solutions” and then attempts to warp the data to create the need for their solutions.
  2. Call for real scientific exploration into the subject: What we have today in America is an industry driven by political science rather than real science. It’s commonly known in the field that the only way to receive funding, get papers published, and receive invitations on the speaking circuit is to start with the premise that climate change is man-made and never deviate from that premise even if the data points elsewhere. Instead, scientists must be encouraged to be real scientists. Take the politics out of the mix.
  3. Focus efforts on local solutions to real problems: The Paris climate deal is a joke. I’m not going to dive into details there; listen to Dr. Sterling Burnett from Heartland to find out why over a trillion US dollars isn’t a great investment to allegedly save the world. Instead, let’s let people work within their communities, cities, and states. When we localize environmentalism, there’s a tangible impact that can be made. Picking up litter or driving a Prius might not save the world, but it will help your world, as in your local community. When we localize, solutions tend to make much more sense.

Conclusion:

Government is made up of flawed people. Given too much power, government becomes the main threat to life, liberty, and property. Given too little power, government is rendered incapable of protecting citizens, their property, or their civil liberties. Corruption and lawlessness will ultimately reign at either extreme of the spectrum.

The US experiment was intended to give individuals greater control and influence through more local government, but the current realities show it has lost its way.

Federalism divides authority among competing groups within different levels of government. The same proclivities of mankind whereby “power corrupts” are the same inclinations to set groups to jealously guard their authority and check the excesses of rival entities. By balancing the powers between the various branches of government and the several levels of government, authority is distributed, not concentrated.

Their powers are limited and enumerated by the US Constitution and by state constitutions. Abuse is minimized and the temptation of corruption is checked by the high likelihood of being caught and stopped by peers.Balanced federalism by itself is not a cure-all. Federalism is a critical structural component to guarantee liberty under the law. To function properly, equilibrium must be meticulously maintained.

Until the federal government is reined in, we will not be able to properly function as a thriving nation, and the Greatest nation on Earth. There were reasons in the past that the government felt a need to give primacy to the national government over the states such as slavery and civil rights, but those reasons are no longer valid. It’s time to return to a 10th Amendment understanding of proper American governance. If we don’t, all of our rights and freedoms will be brought up for debate at some point in the near future.

If we want to change the direction of the nation in a meaningful way, we have to uproot the powers that DC has accumulated. Until we do, every stride we make is temporary and every solution brought to the table is a bandaid.

We are witnessing this today with Obamacare. Assuming it can be repealed and replaced before 2022, it will have officially died before it was able to be completely rolled out. Considering the tremendous amount of time, effort, and money put into building, implementing, and supporting the Affordable Care Act, one would think that it could at least last for a decade. That looks nearly impossible today.

Why didn’t it work? One could easily write a book about Obamacare’s failings, but the foundation of it was the real failure. It should never have been attempted in the first place. It’s overreach. The only reason it was allowed to get this far is because it was deemed a tax by the Supreme Court. This is humorous to those who were watching throughout the sales-pitch-process because we were constantly told that it absolutely wasn’t a tax. That’s overreach in its purest form: taking something that should never have been attempted by the federal government, passing it through blatant lies, sustaining it by reversing those lies with more lies, and then watching it fail and eventually fall with the next administration.

The ethereal nature of DC is the way it is by design. The founders didn’t want to see a national government capable of imposing itself so easily into the lives of citizens or the business of states. They made it easy for both the executive and legislative branches to reverse themselves. As long as they couldn’t do permanent damage without supermajorities for amendments, the founders were okay with it.

One might think that this means they wouldn’t have wanted a single philosophy or ideology to prevail, but that’s not the case. They wanted the right philosophy or ideology to prevail based upon success. By their reckoning, if something or someone was righteous and effective, the people would continue down the path. They envisioned long-term success through easy course corrections within a government that was held accountable by the states.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a philosophy or ideology that was effective enough to make the people want to continue down the same path. That’s why we’ve only had one set of same-party back-to-back presidencies since Kennedy was assassinated. It’s why the House and Senate are constantly changing the party in power. Does that mean that conservative philosophies don’t work? No. However, conservatism will never be able to be real conservatism until the government is dramatically reduced in budget, bureaucracy, and power.

Promoting conservatism in an atmosphere that’s so tilted towards DC overreach is like trying to build a sand castle in a tsunami. We need to rein in Washington and return power to the states and local governments before we can make real strides towards a conservative national philosophy.

The same applies to Progressive ideologies. Federalism isn’t technically a conservative philosophy, though modern conservatives are more likely to recognize the benefits of checks and balances between the state and national governments. They’re also more likely to want fewer bureaucrats, regulations, and interference. With that understood, more on the left are realizing that they cannot achieve their goals long-term until Federalism takes hold and empowers the people to act accordingly.

Today, Conservative and Progressive principles cannot be implemented meaningfully. There is simply too much federal government in place for righteous actions to be sustained. It behooves those on both ideological sides of the political coin to embrace Federalism. If we can dramatically reduce the overreach in DC, conservative (or liberal) policies can shine. Otherwise, they’re like quiet bells ringing through the cacophony of big government. They won’t be allowed to work properly.

The American government has far outgrown the limits set by our founders in the Constitution. If the twenty-first century is to be the American century, government must be redirected to its proper and legitimate role. The growth of government is the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century.

Returning America to 18th and 19th century Governance should be the main priority for Americans and the Federal Government of the United States

James Slate

Written by

I Defend American Institutions and Foreign Policy from a Neoconservative Perspective

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