Saturday, July 14, 2012

State or Federal Government?

An issue many people don't understand is why Dr. Ron Paul says that many programs and issues should be handled by the States. Dr. Paul takes the authority of the Constitution very seriously and he respects the proper role of the local, State and federal governments. On topics like education, marriage and healthcare nowhere does the Constitution give authority to the federal government to interfere in these issues (or many others).

The 10th Amendment isn't some arcane relic that has no relevance to today's society. It is the last defense of personal freedom and where we as individuals and citizens of our respective States gain the most power over our own lives.

No matter how you feel about certain topics the Constitution is the final authority and the 10th Amendment provides that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

All rights and liberties are inherent, equal among all people and given to us by the Creator of the universe and by virtue of our humanity and cannot be dissolved. Rights do not come from the federal government and the moment we start allowing the government to "give" rights (the right to vote, marry, drink etc) we also give it the right to take them away.

Dr. Paul's position is that the States have more authority than the federal government when it comes to most issues that deal with the individual and personal liberty. It is far better that a State or several States pass laws some may think wrong than the federal government. If a State does something bad it only affects the citizens of that State but if the federal government does something bad it affects us all. You have far greater power to change your own State than you do to change a ruling of the federal government.

The issue of marriage and healthcare for example are not the domain of the federal government, they are issues for the States. Regardless of what you think about the topic allowing the national government to define something as basic as marriage gives the federal government the right to limit the rights of millions, gay or straight. It is better that a few States do what they want according to the desires of their people than to allow the government to force a moralistic view on everyone.

With respect to healthcare the Social Security Act was only meant to provide assistance to a few hundred thousand people at the time but because we gave the federal government a foothold into that arena and delegated the responsibility of our life & future to it we now live in a nation where nearly 1/4th of all Americans are dependent on the government and soon every one of us will be. Obamacare was supposed to fix an issue that affected a minority of people but instead of only targeting 10% of the population it targets everyone. The federal government is prone to "shotgun" blasts instead of carefully selected surgical operations.

The individual is first responsible for themselves, not the government. For those who cannot afford their own healthcare then it is up to the community and States to help them. A State will be far more sensitive to the needs and abilities of its people and can do a better job. The federal government on the other hand, gives billions a year to the dead & ineligible, misplaces billions more and "invests" in bankrupt and corrupt companies.

The notion that opposing massive government programs means you oppose reform or helping the sick is a major logical fallacy and only goes to further divide our country. Reform for the sake of reform can do much more harm than good. We must enable States to take up their part of the weight and elect officials who will make proper reforms that are true reforms with positive outcomes. No bill, no government is perfect but we should strive to make it and be as close as possible. America was built on the principles of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. It is impossible to achieve those things if 1) the individual does not take responsibility for their own actions and life and 2) if we allow the government even more control and power in our lives. History is littered with the bodies and broken dreams of billions because they sacrificed liberty for false security (be it military, social, medical etc) and we must learn from their mistakes.

States like California have the most government intervention in the personal lives of citizens and yet it has some of the biggest problems. How is it then that more government will provide better results? It is best that California goes bankrupt at the hands of massive government involvement than the entire nation going bankrupt.

I hope that helps you understand the issue of States' rights better and his position.

-- Jacob Bogle