The journey from there to here

When writing a previous blog about provisions in the NCLB mandating schools to turn over information to recruiters, I realized something: This issue would be a nonissue if the school districts simply refused federal money.

Then I got to thinking about the state of New Hampshire which has no highway seatbelt law because (guess what?) they refused the federal highway funds that were conditional on such a law.

While I am a staunch Libertarian and hate intrusions by the federal government in areas where they don't belong, I seriously am beginning to wonder how much of those rights we have simply ceded them in return for the promise of money. I would be willing to wager most of those rights have been sacrificed in just such a manner.

If this is the case, it means we have wrongly made a scapegoat of the federal government when the blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of state legislators and county commissioners. After all, the federal government is simply protecting its own financial best interests with oversight; something I would reasonably expect from a fiscally conservative government.

The power, then, assuming my thesis is true, is in refusing federal monies and taking responsibility ourselves. Yes, it will come at a tremendous cost to our communities, but as I asked in a previous blog, what is the price of liberty?

Think about it.


Comments (Page 1)
on May 13, 2005

I have contended this all along.  The fallacy with the argument is that the feds take the money out of the state in the first place, and then return it with the strings attached.  It is stupid and wasteful.  FOr a state to break the stranglehold, they would have to then tax their citizens more, and thus become the second reincarnation of taxachuttes.

The first step is to stop sending the money to Washington in the first place.  That I do not see happening.

on May 13, 2005
"The power, then, assuming my thesis is true, is in refusing federal monies and taking responsibility ourselves. Yes, it will come at a tremendous cost to our communities, but as I asked in a previous blog, what is the price of liberty?"


The price would be about everything we have, given how inept and corrupt the average state and local government is. To me, this suggestion is akin to cutting out a guy's last kidney before you have another one ready to transplant.

You can get really angry, and shoot your car full of holes, but if you haven't got a backup, you're gonna be walking. I think before you start cutting the cord you should make sure you have a self-sufficient system.
on May 13, 2005
So the states stop taking washingtons money, which they then use to pay off the debt/deficit, and once that is gone lower taxes for all because they don't need the money? Nah, sounds too simple, couldn't possibly work that way...
on May 13, 2005
The price would be about everything we have, given how inept and corrupt the average state and local government is.


And the Feds aren't?

Who do you think spends the money when it's returned to the state?
on May 13, 2005
" So the states stop taking washingtons money, which they then use to pay off the debt/deficit, and once that is gone lower taxes for all because they don't need the money?"


You overlook that now, having to do WITHOUT Washington's money, the states will tax the hell out of you to make up for it, and still run just as inefficiently and dishonestly as before.

The flaw here is "federal government... bad, state government... good." In reality they BOTH suck.


"Who do you think spends the money when it's returned to the state?"


The state governments who constantly whine that it isn't enough, and that they can't do without more. I've watched my own state government eat BILLIONS in lottery proceeds with absolutely no benefit to the general public at all.

**My prediction if we did this?** Our Federal income taxes would probably go down 25%, our state taxes would go up 100%, and our necessary services at both the state and federal level would decrease by about half.
on May 13, 2005
As "The Fonz" used to say, "Exacti-Mundo!" Gideon!!

What is worse is, most people will try to convince you that our cities, counties and states would simply dry up and die on the vine if they were to refuse dollars from the federal teet.

Have our cities and states been reduced to welfare recipients? Um, not really, but most would have us think so.

A couple of years ago the Governor of Wisconsin (Then Scott Mccallum) proposed a state tax savings plan that included cutting the "shared revenue" programs. In effect his plan would cut the flow of state revenues to cities.

Of course the liars at the city level and the labor unions went to work. They pulled out all the scare tactic stops. You know, the basic threats all dishonest officials use when they feel a shrinkage of their overbloated budgets coming on....

"We'll have to cut Fire Protection"
"We'll have to cut Police Protection" and

The truth did come out, but wasn't believed by the sheep who live to believe any threat from the city, no matter how stupid it sounds. The truth was that rarely (at least in this state) does "shared revenue" account for more than around 5% of a city's budget, and a lot of that goes to things other than fire and police protection.

How much smaller would the federal budget be if it didn't have to shell out money to the states? How much smaller would the State budget need to be, if it wasn't carrying the burdon of so many regulations from the Fed? How much smaller would a City's budget be, if it wasn't required to offer so many services, just because the state has "shared revenue" to hold over it's head?

Alcohol standards, education standards, health and welfare standards (even many that have little to nothing to do with "health" or "welfare", and emergency management standards (ask me sometime what a golf course has to do with "emergency management"), and many other waste of time regulations are held over the heads of state and local leaders. All in the name of "revenue".

It all has one thing in common Gideon, and you hit the nail right on the head... These politicians are more than willing to trade our freedoms for their over bloated budgets.
on May 13, 2005
"What is worse is, most people will try to convince you that our cities, counties and states would simply dry up and die on the vine if they were to refuse dollars from the federal teet.


Can't speak for yours, but mine is barely limping along with federal dollars and a lottery. Granted, I'm sure they COULD do without, but I don't for a second think they WOULD do without. They want us to sit around and blame the Federal government for taxes that THEY squander.

You guys seem to have the misguided idea that people go into politics out of some honest need to serve.
on May 13, 2005
BakerStreet, where did you get such a defeatist attitude? I mean, I have spent much of my adult life working with people who have just lost everything to some disaster or another. I have also spent a lot of time talking to people who have just attempted suicide. As I have chronicled (and even satired) on my blog, I have dealt with those who have given up on life entirely.

Your attitude towards life (at least from the standpoint of what we read of you here at JU), in the topic of defeatist, "all it lost", "no hope" pessimism, you can compete with the lowliest of them.
(((((((((Just an observation. Hijacking the thread was not my intent)))))
on May 13, 2005
I don't consider it defeatist, I consider it realist. Time and time again our taxes are raised, and our services stay the same or are cut. They can't afford services, so they impose a state income tax. Nothing changes in terms of services. We get a lottery that pumps, literally, BILLIONS of dollers into the system, and this year they are STILL whining about not being able to buy books or computers for schools.

It's like my dad used to say about me in high school. I give you $20 a week for lunch money, you eat fine. I give you $10 a week for lunch, you complain, but you eat fine. The states will soak up every pextra penny you give them, and once they reach a level they are comfortable with, they won't accept less without major uheaval.

All I am saying is that before we cut off there supply, you should go ahead and have the upheaval. If not, those same corrupt folks who are squandering the federal money will just tax you more, and continue to squander.
on May 14, 2005
perfect proof is california, one of the states with high taxes, {not the level of massachewshit} but close, we have a 9 billion deficit, due to the tax and spend, spend spend, democrats here.
on May 14, 2005
To me, you would have to patch the system from the ground up. Once you got state and local serves running like a dream on what they are given, then you would have the ability to tell the Federal government that they are being unreasonable.

Before that, the states would just raise hell that you are trying to derail their gravy train, and give the federal government an excuse to refuse.
on May 14, 2005
The state governments who constantly whine that it isn't enough, and that they can't do without more. I've watched my own state government eat BILLIONS in lottery proceeds with absolutely no benefit to the general public at all.


Working in and around State Government, dont I know that!
on May 14, 2005
Wow I feel right at home,
With a few changes here and there you guys coulda been me! : )
I feel pretty much the same way about State AND Fed Govt and the WASTE that goes on so thoroughly day by day while the people are absolutely HELD HOSTAGE by the very MORONS that we elect BUT, what I dont get is this, WHY O WHY DO WE LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT??
When is someone going to have the insight to make these criminals accountable to the people?? We need some kind of a vote of confidence almost like Israel has where we can throw these creeps out WHENEVER we feel they are not representing the people who they SUPPOSEDLY work for. I am really going to go out on a limb here, now before ya shot me I am not a financial wiz and I admit I dont have a clue as to what a lot of the implications to what I am about to broach would be abd so with that "qualification said" I submit to you guy's this........ :
What would happen if we just declared ourselves deficit free with the world? Yep, you understand me we grab England and together since we do everything together these days anyway, we declare that we are both absolved of any debts and we are killing the hostage like situation of the Fed Deficit which has us so buried that the "juice" (interest) on the deficit is in the hundreds of millions per day and while we had actually made an attempt here and there it is pretty obvious that we are NEVER getting out from under this enormous debt.
This is the real crime that these morons have handed us and our children and grandchildren, a mortgaged america so in debt to foriegn interest's that we are hardly more than the name on paper who owns this country. There are people who are SCREAMING from the rooftops that we are going under with no way back and that these same politicians have sold us out long ago to make themselves rich and while I am in no way, shape or form a communist and I totally believe in democracy and free trade I think we have been sold out right under our very noses while we slept!
When is the last time you heard one of these people on TV explaining in detail to america the actualy results of what the deficit means to us as a nation and how we have no shot other than damn near global war which I honestly doubt we could win anymore anyway. We have a bad reputation because of these bums who have ruined so many other countries while raping the foreign lands and stepping all over them on their own turf that 4/5 of the world cant wait to see us die a nasty death and our days are numbered I fear.
Anyway, I know I got excited just a tad here and kinda ran all over the place but I am sure you understand (almost) where I am coming from.
Oh and BTW........... Just gota love the New Hampshire people, they dont believe in taxes..... "Live Free or Die". Its really the way of life in that state, I have a GF in Mass in the western part of the state which BTW may be one of the most gorgeous spots in our whole country and we love to go over the border into NH, its such a special place and the prices are MUCH BETTER than in Mass as our friend here mentioned earlier, the tax rate in Mass is nuts but then I am from NY, you wanna discuss taxes?? Lol, anyway so thats my idea, what if we just said "screw everyone" we aint paying, then what?
Of course we would need a new way of being governed with the new people responsible for their actions. You know whats nuts...if we were to go to a store and rob a pack of lets just say Ciggarettes we WOLD go to court and prob jail for a measly 5$, THESE CLOWNS sell us out for millions and nothing happens, they just say oh well we were wrong about that and we will spend some more to fix it, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G isnt it?
on May 15, 2005
Dr. Guy

I have contended this all along. The fallacy with the argument is that the feds take the money out of the state in the first place, and then return it with the strings attached. It is stupid and wasteful. FOr a state to break the stranglehold, they would have to then tax their citizens more, and thus become the second reincarnation of taxachuttes.

The first step is to stop sending the money to Washington in the first place. That I do not see happening.


Egad! We are in agreement - what has the world come to? Actually this reminds me of that Harry Browne guy I saw in the 2000 elections. He was into independant states and smaller goverment bodies. I saw something a few months ago comparing different states and their reliance on "equalization". I think Vermont was the libertarian winner.
on May 15, 2005

You guys seem to have the misguided idea that people go into politics out of some honest need to serve.

not at all.  But the closer to people the government is, the more real control we exert.  So State is better as we do have more control than federal and the local is even better.

The problem comes from trying to make Pascagoula Miss the same as Boston Mass.  Mississippi does not have the same goals, and hence they allocate money differently than Boston.  But the Feds cannot stand that, so they take all the money and then make all dance to the same tune (NCLB anyone?).

The key is to get involved locally, tell the state and feds to up yours, and do it your way.  Alas, in the end, the Feds will just take you over and say you are not serving the people, even tho it is the PEOPLE on a local level that dictated the policies.

Nice catch 22, eh?

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