Coming Soon: The Death of Federalism

Faced with rising budget deficits - and without the political will to make the hard choices to cut programs politically popular - state governors are now on the bailout bandwagon and will ask for up to $1 trillion from the national government to tide them over:

A group of Democratic governors warned Friday that without as much as $1 trillion in federal assistance, many states will not be able to pay their bills in the next year.

“There are states that are talking as California has of not being able to meet their financial obligations in the coming months,” New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson said on a conference call with reporters. California announced in December that all state employees would be forced to take two days of unpaid leave.

Paterson was joined by fellow Democrats, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle in warning that states across the country will be forced to make drastic budget cuts in the face of unprecedented deficits.

“We are not crying wolf. This is one of the worst situations our states have faced,” Strickland said. “This is a real crisis. These are real problems. And if we don’t get some significant assistance many of those in our states will suffer greatly.”

Translation: We are too concerned with our own political hides to cut programs with powerful constituencies.

What this really means is the death of federalism as states will become even more dependent on the federal government. It raises the interesting question; why have states at all? Why not just have regional administrators who would simply be there to dole out monies from Washington? No need for state legislatures and other messy manifestations of a republic.

Hard times call for hard choices. California is a little different because much of its state budget has been mandated through referendum and can't be cut while taxes can't be raised. But New Jersey? Are you telling me in that state government they can't make the cuts necessary to balance the budget? More like political cowardice than any national emergency that would necessitate a trillion dollars be handed to these spendthritfts.

Hope and change can be a real nightmare sometimes.


Faced with rising budget deficits - and without the political will to make the hard choices to cut programs politically popular - state governors are now on the bailout bandwagon and will ask for up to $1 trillion from the national government to tide them over:

A group of Democratic governors warned Friday that without as much as $1 trillion in federal assistance, many states will not be able to pay their bills in the next year.

“There are states that are talking as California has of not being able to meet their financial obligations in the coming months,” New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson said on a conference call with reporters. California announced in December that all state employees would be forced to take two days of unpaid leave.

Paterson was joined by fellow Democrats, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle in warning that states across the country will be forced to make drastic budget cuts in the face of unprecedented deficits.

“We are not crying wolf. This is one of the worst situations our states have faced,” Strickland said. “This is a real crisis. These are real problems. And if we don’t get some significant assistance many of those in our states will suffer greatly.”

Translation: We are too concerned with our own political hides to cut programs with powerful constituencies.

What this really means is the death of federalism as states will become even more dependent on the federal government. It raises the interesting question; why have states at all? Why not just have regional administrators who would simply be there to dole out monies from Washington? No need for state legislatures and other messy manifestations of a republic.

Hard times call for hard choices. California is a little different because much of its state budget has been mandated through referendum and can't be cut while taxes can't be raised. But New Jersey? Are you telling me in that state government they can't make the cuts necessary to balance the budget? More like political cowardice than any national emergency that would necessitate a trillion dollars be handed to these spendthritfts.

Hope and change can be a real nightmare sometimes.