3/17/2006

Why Do We Liberals Love The Feds?

This is a 'let's just consider' post. Let's consider a few things hypothetically...

First, we decided that we would do posts with a generic author line, so we can look at ideas versus people. We are all different around here, although Lily gets the hate mail. It should not be about personalities, but about the topic.

Consider:
That it is possible to give a shit about your neighbors but think that the federal government does not know enough about regional needs to be efficient. Why do they get all the power and say and MONEY, while states scramble around trying to help their own? Why do we fear state power? Think about coordinating grassroots efforts on matters of social justice on a state level versus federal! And yet many liberal people tell me that state supremacy is an invitation to have uneven opportunities.

But if government should reflect the people, why not have different laws in different states? Better that rights be restricted in EVERY state? Is it possible, playing devil's advocate here, that the extension of rights are actually hindered by the way we try to federalize everything? Different states have different needs, some have wildfires, some have hurricanes. We send these fuckwads to DC to fight like dogs, to bring back a bone. A trophy. Look, a bridge to nowhere!

SERIOUSLY--Look at bogus Homeland Security that gives the same amount of money despite the demands of a community, despite the fact that some places like New York are more vulnerable than others. Why is it ok to give one place the shaft to uphold the precious rights of some place out in Kansas? Thats bullshit. Let people move, vote with their u-hauls. I'm sorry, but our system is screwed up. Why not just build Versailles and worship the Shrub and his court? SCREW THEM. WEAN THEM OFF THE PUBLIC TIT.

For my liberal social worker friends who will spit about this- think about the difference between cookie cutter assistance and client centered assistance. How can the Feds REALLY help the poor? Help seniors? help children? We need to get real on the left!


When someone wants to help a child, do they consult with the family or the authority, the principal? The principal knows the rules but really, not what the child needs- whats best. To really help people, you have to get as close to them with your programs as possible. Thats why I think federal services are misguided and HURT people.


Just SUPPOSE people decided that the federal government was taxing us without proper representation, as they routinely ignore the needs of the people and the will of the people. Just suppose the people in certain states took a long hard look at education, social service, and other mandates and then took a look at their paychecks. Suppose the people started to question the proportion of money being sent to the federal government, and started to take a looooong look at what they do with it.


Suppose a state decided to dispute the disparity of public spending, and decided that it should be the other way around: states should decide based on purpose and use how much money should go into the federal kitty. Not the other way around. Cut federal tax in half, for defense and interstate matters. And increase state taxes so STATES can decide how best to use that money. And when the Feds come knocking for bloated pork barrel money, the states get to decide if they should give it to them. Let them prove "JUSTIFY" the expense, perhaps if the states had to make hard choices, even lose or sacrifice, they would approach spending with some overdue prudence.

Take the incompetent fucks at FEMA. What if states had control of their own NG troops, suppose they had state level emergency management funded by the dollars that instead went to fund a batch of morons that do nothing? Paying for rotting empty trailers? Suppose the states then coordinated their efforts among themselves, and used their money to help their own. See, so much of a person's money goes to the federal government. Then, a huge portion of state and local tax money goes to pay for things the federal government dictates.

What if a state decided they did not want to fund anotehr space mission while people are homeless and hungry? What if they said "Prove the benefits, then we'll decide if we want to SPARE THE MONEY AND CUT YOU A CHECK.

Think how different government would be! When you disagree, you focus on your state government and not obsess about the President. Vote based on how your state handles its wallet.

Is that such a crazy concept?

12 comments:

Omnipotent Poobah said...

This isn't exactly a new premise. We've had the state's rights vs. federalism argument from the beginning. They struggled with it two centuries ago and we've been trying to nail down the nut of the matter ever since.

I'm not so sure that the vehicle of which entity gets the power is all that important. What IS important is that whatever governmental divvying up is done, the place where the buck is designated to stop should take some responsibility.

And I'm afraid THAT is the issue.

There's no reason to believe that state bureaucrats are any better than federal bureaucrats. After all, they're both bureaucrats. They're equally willing to screw the greater cause in the service of their local ambitions. That's called "politics" and I'm not confident that will ever go away short of some sort of benevolent dictator taking over.

Sigh.

Omnipotent Poobah said...

This isn't exactly a new premise. We've had the state's rights vs. federalism argument from the beginning. They struggled with it two centuries ago and we've been trying to nail down the nut of the matter ever since.

I'm not so sure that the vehicle of which entity gets the power is all that important. What IS important is that whatever governmental divvying up is done, the place where the buck is designated to stop should take some responsibility.

And I'm afraid THAT is the issue.

There's no reason to believe that state bureaucrats are any better than federal bureaucrats. After all, they're both bureaucrats. They're equally willing to screw the greater cause in the service of their local ambitions. That's called "politics" and I'm not confident that will ever go away short of some sort of benevolent dictator taking over.

Sigh.

rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

pooby has been hitting the sterno too i see. and yes lady geraldo...every man's ladies man, except not certain ladies. i have been through dammit! whenever blogspot doesn't shut my server down (like yesterday) i get by. shonuff.

CJWilliams said...

I am a lot more concerned about the concept of States Rights in regards to civil liberties. Gay marriage is a prime example. Why should we allow some areas of the country to openly discriminate against gays and lesbians while other areas do the right thing and treat them like human beings?

This may be stretching it a bit, but it seems to me that States Rights have been used by some of the most revolting individuals in your nation's history, to excuse some of the worst abuses of power. I am speaking, of course, about the run up to your Civil War, the Civil War itself, and the post Reconstruction Period when the former Confederacy devolved back into virtual slavery. Am I or am I not correct when I say that racist slaveholders hid behind the cover of States Rights as an excuse to justify the enslavement of Black Americans? Am I not correct when I say that States Rights were revived as the former Confederacy fought tooth and nail to deny Black Americans their rights under the Post Civil War Amendments to your Consitution?

In my opinion, States Rights have been behind some of the most brutal and violent practices in your nation's history.

And now the great irony. The Party of Lincoln seems to be hiding behind a hackneyed war chant of "States Rights!" as it imposes marriage protection amendments which are designed to legalize discrinimation, while the Democratic Party has embraced the idea of a strong federal government to protect its citizens.

Am I confused or have the parties not switched positions? Haven't the Republicans abandoned the ideals of Abraham Linoln while the Republicans have adopted the visceral, destructive policies of Jeffersion Davis?

It's only food for thought, but it seems to me that States Right--at least in the area of human rights--are proven disasters. Unless of course you look at the old films from the 1960s and consider lynchings, tear gas, and police brutality to be agents of the progressive good.

Anonymous said...

You responded as though he said "Let's throw the Constitution in the garbage". RIGHTS are universal and covered by the Consitution and suggesting that states manage social programs/services with tax money is not the same as saying states should each have their own Constitutions!

Your response was not about fiscal accountability but about 'rights' which are a different matter. Why would lynching suddenly become legal? Under the law you have the right to protection. Your comments are based on your perception that a different budget system means lawlessness? Where do you get that?

Lynchings, tear gas, murder, all these are things that pertain to rights. What he is talking about are SERVICES. With all due respect, being gay is not the government's business and it is not a service or a problem. It is a person's right without dispute. Gays and lesbians should have the same rights and those that oppose that do not do so because of state vs. federal questions. They do so because of the religious right and their lobby, or their desire to impose religion onto others and morals. But it is not because of who spends money on what. And there might come a time when they do let an amendment go through such as banning gay marriage and then NO states can permit it. Is it terrible to say that some states are better than none? Is it easier to fight on a federal level or state to advocate? I really think you missed the point. FEMA let thousands die- THIS is the kind of situation addressed by this. Switching issues then making your point based on your new topic is not really fair.

Government has no place in the moral discussion. The job of government is to provide for societal welfare- law and order, defense, protection of rights, emergency response, currency and trade regulation, foreign affairs.

The government is paid by taxes to provide a service to you. You are confusing the service role with the idea that having states meet the needs of their own in ways they might know better, means we should permit lynchings? How so? Thats just ridiculous.

Lew Scannon said...

Actually, Liberals only love the Federal government only when liberals are in charge of it. Mostly they choose the federal government as that is the one with the closest ties to the Constitution, thereby protecting their rights when local or state governments enact laws that severely threaten those preordained rights. the federal government used to have a set of checks and balances that used to keep one branch of the government from getting too much power, sadly, they are now exisiting only to transfer more power to the executory branch, which mismanages them through abuse and incompetence.
We've also grown up watching the Hollywood stereotype of the good federal agent vs. the corrupt local officials, and that has brainwashed us into trusting the clean cut well mannered feds over the greedy evil local law enforcement.

CJWilliams said...

That's my point exactly, although I made it in a rather round about way.

How many services were your Southern States providing to Blacks in the Post Reconstruction Period? During the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s? Correct me if I'm wrong, mate, but did blacks not have constitutional protections under your federal constitution during the period of time I was discussing? And did not the former Confederacy choose to ignore those rights and violate civil liberties for decades on end? Rights on paper are one thing. Putting then into practice is another. It makes me wonder--what do you people learn from your own history? I'm sure you must be familiar with attempts by certain states to deliberately keep blacks uneducated, and segregated in poverty. That resulted from a deficit of civil liberties which translated into a denial of resurces to those who the ruling whites considered subhuman.

Remember, it took action by your federal government to pull those states out of the Triassic Period. Why in the bloody hell should some states provide little in the way of services to their citizens while others get the gold.

In order to obtain services from your state government you actually have to be a full and equal citizen, and if I know anything from studying your history, I know that some of your states have a long and tarnished history of directing services towards the white majority and away from nonwhite minorities.

Righs are universal on paper but not in practice, and it is the idea of putting civil rights and services into actual practice which scares the hell out of certain individuals.

Some days I think American History would have been a lot less complicated if you had only remained a part of the British Empire and left well enough alone.

Only kidding on the last bit.

CJ

Left of Center said...

great question. I ghuess i like the feds because they prevent wacko red states from enacting crazy Christocratic/fascists laws. (well not anymore I guess)

LILY BRANFORD said...

My concern is about the concept of 'race to the bottom" where states don't want to provide better benefits or decent services because of the idea that poor people will relocate to these states...thats something to sort out, states almost want to be the worst providers because what is their reward to provide better? More people on their rolls. I wonder about that problem in the context of this question.

Rory Shock said...

why not take this scheme lower yet ... to the more local level ...

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