In 1979, when President Carter decided that the federal government should take over our school system, which had previously been under state control, he ran into one problem: the constitution. The United States Constitution, under the 10th Amendment, says that anything not mentioned specifically in the constitution was to be left under the control of the state or local governments, or to the people themselves. Carter found a loophole. Instead of an official takeover, he decided to tax the American people and then spend that money on a federal Department of Education that would then send that money back to the states. It seemed like an unnecessary bureaucratic move, but it accomplished Carter’s goal. After the formation of the Department of Education, the federal government started telling the states that they had to do what the federal government told them to do regarding education, otherwise they would not receive funding from the federal government. Of course, their citizens would still be taxed for that money regardless of whether the state decided to accept the money and the stipulations that came with it. It was an unconstitutional goal that was accomplished by working around the constitutional limits on the federal government.
Now we have a similar situation with the current “bail-out” plans. The government is telling General Motors that they will give them our tax money, but only if they run their business the way the federal government wants them to. Yet President Obama wants us to believe that he has no interest in “running” General Motors. He’s running General Motors the same way the Federal Government is running our school system. They are doing the same thing with the money they are “giving” to the states. Rather than sending that money to the governors to use in a way that the governors feel will best help the people of their state, President Obama is handcuffing them by adding all sorts of stipulations to that money. If they accept their taxpayers’ money, they have to use it the way the Obama administration tells them to use it. No wonder Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina is reluctant to accept the money. The federal government is trying to run our companies, our states, and our schools. I guess we’ve come a long way from the days of President Reagan, who famously quipped that the nine most dangerous words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Ronald Reagan knew a thing or two about rescuing our country from an economic collapse that was escalated by massive government spending. The answer is to get government out of the way so the people could bring the economy back.
If you think our federal government is doing a fantastic job of running our school system, continue your support for these bail-out and stimulus plans. If you don’t like the way they are running the school system, why would you want them running our companies and our states?