Are State Governments Becoming Obsolete?

Now what kind of a question is that? Of course, we need state governments. Really? Well, that was the original intent, as was so eloquently stated in the United States Constitution. After all, we are not just “America.” We are the “UNITED STATES of America.” Thirteen, originally, and now grown to 50 or so — even 57, according to one well-known authority!

It was never intended that we should have one big government for all, located remotely in some swamp along the Potomac River, safely isolated from the general public. The Constitution, which was intended to be a handbook for the establishment of a constitutional republic, went to great lengths to make certain that the power of such a government resided within the States, and the residents thereof.

The Washington based government was to consist of two legislative bodies, the Senate and the House of Representatives. “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years.” (Article I, Section 3). And the entire membership of the House of Representatives “shall be chosen every second Year by the People of the several States.” (Article I, Section 2.), just to make it easier for the general public to throw the bums out. Now it’s almost impossible.

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The intent of the Founding Fathers was very clear. The authority of government was to be held by the “several states.” The much quoted “Bill of Rights,” consisting of the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution, is no such thing. It would be more properly termed a “Bill of Thou Shall Nots,” because that is exactly what it is. The very First Amendment begins with, “Congress shall make no law. . .”, and ends with the Tenth, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States. . . are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

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But all that has changed. Some changes came abruptly, others gradually, but the result is still the same. The power of the “several states” was abruptly curtailed during the Woodrow Wilson administration with the enactment of the 17th Amendment, removing the selection of US Senators from the authority of the States, and making their election subject to the usual Federal government political campaigning, manipulations, etc., which the Founding Fathers had sought to prevent.

The rest is, as they say, “history.” The Sixteenth Amendment, also enacted under the liberal Wilson administration, determined “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived. . .” Unconstitutional? Of course. (See Amendment Ten.)

Elections, still supposedly a State responsibility, have come under increasing Federal control through the enactment of the “Voting Rights Act of 1965,” and more recently the “Help America Vote Act of 2002,” which gave us the fraud of “motor voting.” Voter ID, currently practiced in only 7 states, is coming under strong opposition and will certainly be federally outlawed under the guise of “fairness.”

Childhood education — clearly a state responsibility — is being challenged with the mandate of “Common Core.” Oh yes, various State Legislatures are trying, faintly, to delay or water it down, but eventually will have to comply with the Federal mandate since most states are the hook to the Feds for “Race to The Top” funding to assure implementation, SAT and other college entrance tests, are being configured around the Common Core “standards.”

With the Sixteenth Amendment giving the Federal Government first shot at individual incomes, plus the introduction of Federal taxes on everything from gasoline to tobacco to telephones, the States were left to support themselves with whatever crumbs may have been left over.

As of June 30 of last year, ten of our most populous states had reached the end of their financial ropes. Illinois, for example, had a $11.8 billion unfunded debt; Connecticut, $8.8 billion. The Golden State of California is facing a stunning $24.3 billion shortfall, with those companies and individuals capable of paying such taxes, fleeing to Texas and other temporary havens of tax relief. Eventually, if our Federal Senators and Representatives expect to maintain their cushy lifestyles, they will vote to have the Federal government take over the control and function of the states as their liberal policies cause them to fail.

A recent poll indicated that many of our citizens still relate to local governments, such as cities and counties, but few relate to State Governments.

OK. Here is a test: Who is the governor of your State? If you know the name, can you spell it? How long is his/her term of office? Who is Lieutenant Governor? Who is Speaker of the House? Who is the Secretary of State? Commissioner of Revenue? And here is one that Common Core has caused to be in the headlines these days: Who is the director or chancellor of your State Department of Education? And are these “public servants” qualified to administer the offices they hold? I have never heard of most of them in my home state of Tennessee. And I am one who is expected to be following these things!

See what I mean? Who cares?

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