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. —10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
A conservative Republican leader in Congress was outlining the reform efforts of a Republican governor yesterday, exploring issues the governor had been handling with great courage, creativity, and success.
The main subject area they were covering was education, and the governor was getting remarkable results.
As he went along, the Republican congressional leader tweeted great messages, all of which I agree with.
Then he tweeted a message saying Congress should model its approach to education reform on this state’s efforts.
To which I replied:
Just in the area of public education, there has never to my knowledge been a study demonstrating that federal efforts, money, or regulation has improved any situation on the local level.
It’s only made it much, much more complicated, with layer upon layer of expensive bureaucracy and paperwork. All the tax money coming from the states returns to the states (often other states) with very expensive and failure-inducing strings attached.
The federal government is trying to micromanage America, an impossible job.
Think about that the next time you see an unmet need and the thought automatically pops in your head, “There ought to be a law.”
Maybe. But likely not.
The upside of passing even an unnecessary law can’t be denied. You can feel good because you’ve “done something.” After all, isn’t that what we elect our leaders to do?
But the downside of “doing something” can be huge. The damage done by passing an unnecessary or intrusive law is often times much worse than not writing a law when one is needed.
If the federal government learns to limit itself to responsibilities only it can do and which are assigned to it by the Constitution, it is far more likely not to miss those laws it should be writing but isn’t because it’s too busy wrangling over problem-solving that should be left to the States or to The People.