At the time of our nation’s founding over 200 years ago, there were two main groups of political thought. One group believed that the new nation needed a strong and powerful federal government and the other group believed that the federal government should remain small and only provide the unifying necessities to keep the states functioning as one nation.
In simpler language, it was states’ rights versus federal rights, and that battle continues today, only the states have been losing many of their rights to the federal government who takes them without asking.
The two groups were identified as Federalists and Anti-federalists. A basic summary of their differences could be listed as such:
Federalists believed the nation would fail without a strong central government. They distrusted allowing the people to rule and favored the concept of the elite and wealthy landowners should rule. The Anti-federalists believed in a strong state governments ruled by ordinary people. They distrusted the elites and favored small farmers, shopkeepers, merchants and laborers.
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James Madison was a Federalist, but knew something had to be done to appease the Anti-federalists, so he drafter 12 Amendments to the US Constitution, of which 10 were eventually ratified and became known as the Bill of Rights.
Over the years, the federal government has grown like a cancer, consuming the nation and states. In the process, a number of federal departments and agencies have been created to handle many of the things once handled by the states or should be handled by the states. Some of these federal government departments and agencies are nothing more than middlemen processing money and imposing federal rules over the states.
Are these middleman federal departments and agencies really necessary?
For instance, take the Department of Education. Many still believe that states should have jurisdiction and control over what their school teach, but they also rely heavily on federal money that comes from the Department of Education.
Fiscal year 2017 budget for the Department of Education is:
“To support this mission, the Budget provides $69.4 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education in 2017, an increase of $1.3 billion, or 2 percent, over the 2016 enacted level, adjusted for comparability. The Budget also proposes $139.7 billion in new mandatory spending and reforms over the next decade. While investing in all areas of education, the Budget emphasizes three in particular: (1) increasing equity and excellence; (2) providing support for teachers and school leaders; and (3) promoting access, affordability, and completion in higher education.”
“The President’s FY 2017 Budget provides $69.4 billion in discretionary funding and $139.7 billion in new mandatory funding for the U.S. Department of Education.”
Another source listed that the Department of Education awarded $33,395,236,708 in fiscal year 2017. That means a large part of the $69.4 billion discretionary budget most likely goes to the cost of running the federal Department of Education which employs around 4,400 people,
Imagine what schools could do with the same amount of federal money without the middleman Department of Education? What if the entire $69.4 billion was distributed proportionately to the states for their own education department, instead of just the $33.4 billion they are getting now?
Just think of all the school levy tax increases we are constantly voting on. Many of those would not be necessary if the federal Department of Education were abolished and the same money allocated directly to the states. Just by eliminating the middle man.
There are at least half dozen federal government agencies and/or departments that operate similarly to the Department of Education in acting primarily as middlemen to the states. Just think of how much better financially every state would be if many of these middlemen agencies and departments were abolished and the money distributed directly to the states. It would help reduce the size of our morbidly obese federal government and drastically improve many state run agencies and programs, thus greatly benefitting the people. It’s time we pare down the size of the federal government and return more power and authority back to the states who know their people better than the Washington bureaucrats do.