A modest proposal to the federal government

This is a bold idea from Utah Republicans.

We propose a modest experiment. As Utah state leaders, we are greatly concerned about the unprecedented expansion of the federal government over many years, and the enormous debt levels being left to our children and grandchildren. We believe the federal government is attempting to do far more than it has the capacity to execute well. [...]

We'd like to relieve some of their burden. We don't believe that 535 members of Congress and the president can educate our children, provide health care, pave our roads and protect our environment as well as the nation's 8,000 state legislators and tens of thousands of local officials.

So please, let us help. Let's select a few programs -- say, education, transportation and Medicaid -- that are managed mostly by Utah's government, but with significant federal dollars and a plethora of onerous federal interventions and regulations.

Let Utah take over these programs entirely. But let us keep in our state the portion of federal taxes Utah residents pay for these programs. The amount would not be difficult to determine. Rather than send this money through the federal bureaucracy, we would retain it and would take full responsibility for education, transportation and Medicaid -- minus all federal oversight and regulation. [...] [T]oday the federal government operates like an old-fashioned mainframe computer, pushing one-size-fits-all mandates out to the states. We believe there is value in intelligent decentralization.

This would be a great agenda for the Tea Party activists.  It combines limited federal government with increased State, local and personal responsibility.  For that matter, it should be a great experiment for the empiricists and policy wonks - both left and right - who want better data on which systems work and which do not.

Let's hope some Republicans will have the courage of their convictions to put political capital behind this idea.  This would be a good agenda item for Tea Party activists to demand of Republicans.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (5 votes)


 So basically it's the idea

 So basically it's the idea of state sovereignty, regurgitated in a way that the feds might actually agree to.


I like it.

Common Sense

Which, unfortunately, means it won't see the light of day in Congress unless Nancy Pelosi loses her job and whoever replaces Harry Reid is sane.

Definitely support this

This is a great way to accomplish positive goals on the Right: proposals that are difficult for the Democrats to counter in their trial forms, that create empirical evidence for pushing even further.

Same idea behind trial runs of school choice with the poor and disadvantaged, and the same reason I suggest that Republicans everywhere propose vouchers up to the variable cost of sending those kids to public school.

Sometimes you need all the interlocking elements in place before your system will work better than the current system.  But often you don't.


I'll give the idea points for

I'll give the idea points for specificity and actually giving shape to what 'limited government' might mean in a real-world application.  As a left-leaning Indy, I don't have any strong objections to this in terms of education, transportation and health care.  (Mostly because I don't live in Utah and don't plan to -- I think I have a pretty good idea of the shape all of these would take it left strictly to the state).  I do wonder how feasible it would be to set up a different federal tax rate for one state in order to accomplish this experiment.  I assume it also means Utah would be ineligible for any federal earmarks for education, transportation and health care, if they aren't paying federal taxes for those services?

I noticed it also mentions "protect our environment" and I would be opposed to exempting one state from federal environmental regulations.  It seems to me that corporate interests would find it easier to have outsize influence on local legislators and officials, and the environmental consequences of various activities could easily have impacts beyond Utah's borders, e.g., industrial toxins dumped in a stream or river there flowing into neighboring states, or a poorly regulated and monitored nuclear facility.  Removing federal environmental regulations would be a game-changer for me in terms of supporting this.

Yes, by all means...

...let's return to the Articles of Confederation, shall we?  It worked so well the first time we tried it...



Only moron would equate that proposal with a "return to the Articles of Confederation".

Go back to DailyKos where that kind on nonsense is the norm. Ass.

Name calling...

... I'm sure your mom is very proud.  I'm equating most current "conservative" proposals with a desire to return to the AoC, not just this one.  It's weird to watch you "conservatives" - some of you want monarchy, some of you want anarchy (and the Tea Partiers are just angry about, well, they're not really sure what - or at least they're unable to articulate it).  I think GWB represents this better than we've seen it before, given his monarchical behavior behind his anarchic rhetoric.

Here's another name for you...


You tried, and failed, to make a point that only a moron would make.

Wow, again with name calling...

... you're an impressive gentleman, RBIII.  You really learned the fine points of debate, evidenced for all to see here in your replies.  Well done! 

Fine points of debate...

You mean like pretending you weren't talking about the subject of this thread (The Utah Proposal) when you said it was basically going back to the Articles of Confederation? Those fine points of debate?

I have another name for you: Weasel.

As is typical with left leaning pseudointellectuals, you thought that the people reading your comment would just take you at your word and wouldn't know enough about the Articles of Confederation to think this proposal would bear any resemblence to that framework or that Conservatives wished to go back to it.

You, weasel, are now pretending you were trying to make a broader statement, which you weren't, and you're still inaccurate.  Conservatives do not want to go back to the Articles of Confederation.  We want to go back to the system of Federalism which is the foundation of the document which REPLACED the Articles of Confederation.  Maybe you've heard of it? The US Constitution?

So to recap, weasel, you made an IGNORANT comment to begin with. I called you and idiot (i.e. ignorant)  Then you followed it up with a lie. I called you a liar. Now you're trying to evade the point entirely. And I'm calling you a weasel.

There was never any debate.  You were full of shit from your first post, weasel.

Re the Finer Points of Debate

Dean Wins.

And you are??

And you are who, exactly?

Not AoC

It's the constitution - significant difference between the 2 documents. I suggest reading the constitution - not that long & chock full of good stuff!

Purpose of the States?

With the Federal Government making laws that all States must be the same/do the same/etc., why have States at all...just one Big Government and no States is the progressive goal of total control of America's citizens.

The Federal Government has been taking little bitty (to paraphrase Pelosi) steps to this end for a century + with all programs/legislation.

Anything that takes power away from the Federal Government is a very good idea on its own rights no matter what the program or policy.

Take back America, long live the Tea Party Movement!


Why not restore our Constitutional Republic?

Instead of limiting the experiment in Utah to education, transportation, and medicaid [none of which are among the enumerated powers of Congress], why not elect people to Congress who promise to dismantle and transfer in an orderly fashion all of the federal programs for which Congress has no constitutional authority?  Why not elect to our State houses people who promise to exercise the State's sovereign rights of nullification of unconstitutional federal laws; and who will interpose themselves between the lawless federal government and the citizens of the State? 


aposematic and Publius Huldah...

...thank you for proving my point with your subsequent comments. 

What point ?

You can't even figure out what the Tea Party is all about. That's good news, you can't see it coming, sorta Ted Kennedy like.
The suggestion you read the Constitution (focus on the very short 10th Amendment) was a good suggestion for you to follow.
Perhaps you should check some polling data also, plenty of Tea Party "points" to be recognized in those polls.

Not quite.

I've got a pretty good bead on you guys, actually.  Regarding the Constitution, I've read it, repeatedly, including all amendments.  Focusing on the 10th amendment won't net you what you think it nets - you're simply misinterpreting it, and pretty badly at that.

Overall, ya'll keep trying to tie our beloved Constitution to God and to the Declaration, but you keep forgetting it wasn't written until nearly a decade later.  And you've forgotten why it was actually written, because we'd just then experienced the failure of the Articles of Confederation and we needed to move to a more powerful federal system.  Leaving everything to the states failed, and failed brilliantly.  I'm not sure why you want to repeat the experience.

No, No, No, Dean2!

Our Founding Documents are the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.  Of course, they are construed together!  The statement in the Declaration that our Rights are inalienable and are bestowed upon us by God, properly instructs & informs (together with the Federalist Papers) the proper construction of Our Constitution.  And Art. VII, last clause, of Our Constitution specifically recognizes the Lordship of Jesus Christ:  ...in the Year of our Lord....

The federal government was to be strong in only those few areas (about 20) in which We the People authorized the federal government to act: military matters, international relations, and domestically, the establishment of an uniform commercial system (weights & measures, patents & copyrights, a sound monetary system, mail delivery, bankruptcy courts, and "interstate commerce" [strictly defined for limited purposes]).  Over & over & over, Hamilton & Madison explained in The Federalist Papers that ours is a federal government of enumerated powers only.  See, e.g.,     http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/does-the-general-welfare-clause-of-the-u-s-constitution-authorize-congress-to-force-us-to-buy-health-insurance/

If you read nothing else read this:  In The Federalist No. 45, 9th para, James Madison, Father of the U.S. Constitution, said:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people….

Madison said it again in The Federalist No. 39 (14th Para):

…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects.”

So, Dean2, Do you have something you want to say  - like, "I stand corrected"

You assume much...

You're assuming our resident Progressive doesn't already know this and chooses to ignore it.

I'll give him more credit than that and say he knows full well what you've articulated and thinks it no longer applies.

And that's even worse, in my opinion.


Our founding documents also include the Articles of Confederation, which you'd rather pretend didn't exist.  But it did.  And when it clearly failed our founders admitted (gasp!) that they're fallible.  I realize I'm ranging widely here, but I'm looking at this much differently than you are, clearly.  There's more than a decade gap between the Declaration and the Constitution.  Don't pretend it doesn't exist, nor that the Constitution springs directly from the Declaration.  It's ludicrous.  There was an intellectual evolution from our violent beginnings, as noted in the Declaration, to the decidedly more mature document, the Constitution.

Regarding your religious claims, there's as much evidence on either side of the argument, none of which actually matters.  What's clear is that the Constitution itself explicitly avoids any mention of Christianity, and it's mention of religion is brief and generic.  The Federalist Papers and their various authors are no doubt important documents in our understanding of our beginnings, and while some make note of religion, others don't.  But the fact remains that the single controlling document of our goverment specifically and intentionally avoids endorsing not just any particular religion, but even religion generally.  This is a nation where Christians are free to worship and are legally protected from persecution - just like all other religions.  That specifically makes us NOT a Christian nation (whether or not we're a country with a majority Christian population).

This is officially a Christian Nation!

What? Our "founding documents" include the Articles of Confederation?  That's not true!  The Articles were replaced by The Constitution for the reasons set forth in detail throughout The Federalist Papers.  Our Constitution is unique in the history of mankind - yet you jeer at our Founders because they didn't get it right the first time with the Articles of Confederation? 

And about the Christian connection between the Declaration of Independence and Our Constitution.  Perhaps you can clarify it for me:  Look at Art. VII., clause 2 of Our Constitution:  It reads, "...in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven... "

Gee! Who might "our Lord" be?  Are you saying its Budda? Thor, perhaps?  Or is it Jupiter?  Someone else?  Who?

No, you can't get around it: It is an express recognition of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

I have a paper on the "establishment of religion" clause.  Here it is: http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/category/separation-of-church-and-state/

 The more I read or hear of

 The more I read or hear of right wing crap and especially religion, the more I think they are nuts. 

It reads, "...in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven... "

This is what it says and no more. I can say in the Year of our Lord Two thousand and ten and it means no more than the year involved. 


I have a paper on the "establishment of religion" clause.  Here it is:http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/category/separation-of-church-and-state/



And if you want more religion in schools or on public property, then you will have to address the Koran, prayer rugs, and Burkas.

You are deciphering every detail to suit your needs. Now, can we get on the business of fixing our country? Or is it more games. 

Secede now and avoid the rush later!

(1) Secede now and avoid the rush later, o ye Daughters of Virtue and Sons of Wisdom LLC!


(2)  But you might further consider removin’ to the Wingnut Republic of Wyomin’.  (Tell ’em I sent you.)

Though the holy Homeland™ will indeed be better off on balance minus Utah, it will be FAR, FAR better off without Wyomin’.   The former gets a measly $1.15 back from the Fiendish Fedguv, the latter, $4.38.[*]  

A statue to Neocomrade Viceroy R. B. Cheney might be in order -- at least, I can’t think of any other reason for this remarkable discrepancy.

Healthy days.

[*]   http://www.datamasher.org/mash-ups/federal-spending-capita


It's an Excellent Idea

Not only does the Federal government spend too much money interfering with these things, it also does them poorly. It's like going to a fine steakhouse, paying for a filet mignon & being served corn dogs!

Let's Party Like It's 1954..

..It's Kansas, Racial Segregation in Education is sacred state law, and there was never any Supreme Court Decision called Brown v Topeka Board of Education.

Sound like an Excellent Idea?   Yes?

Why then, you must be a Republican, "interpreting" the US Constitution, especially that pesky part where the Federal Government MUST act to guarantee all Americans equal treatment and equal rights under any local, state, or federal statute.

Stick THAT in your 10th Amendment.


Health Care (or Health Insurance) isn't a right.


..is the sound of the methane comin out of RBill.

See, RBill, if you could read, that woud give your opinions and comments a whole new importance here.

Look at the "proposal"  above:

".. Let's select a few programs -- say, education, transportation and Medicaid..and Let Utah take over these programs entirely."


And then reread my post.

NOW do you get it, RBill?

You're welcome.

Still waiting...

...for you to explain how any of these things are rights and where there is a need to have an entire Federal Department for these areas instead of just law regulating the activities of the individual States.

Now do YOU get it? No? I didn't think so. That's why you're a progressive.


Any particular item is a right...

... if our legislature deems it so, and our President signs it into law.  We the people get to decide such things.  Regarding health care, we're moving in that direction for all citizens, not just those disabled, over 65 or in the U.S. military (not to mention many otherwise employed by the Federal Government, which, while not a codified right, is a right in all practicality).

So, go ahead, now, RBIII and call me another name or something.  I'm starting to enjoy it.

Edit to add:  Read it and weep "conservatives"  http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Graphics/2010/022310-Bill-comparison.aspx

RBill red herring

Why do Conservatives love to pretend the US Constitution stopped at the 10th Amendment?

In particular, the 14th Amendent supersedes and limits the 10th Amendment's guarantee to the States, and specifically grants the Federal Government jurisdiction and supremacy over any and all State and Local laws in all cases that bear on the Equal Protection of all US citizens under the Law, whether that law is local, state, or Federal.

That's what any reading of the Constitution says, and saying "healthcare is not a right" is a stupid and irrelevant comment which does not address the topic of this thread.  Typical RBill.

But just to play along, I would argue Healthcare SHOULD be under the direct oversight and regulation of the Federal Government simply because, just like Education and employment,  it most assuredly does involve the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. the guarantee of equal treatment of citizens of all states under all laws at local, state, and federal level.

Besides, the regulation of health policies is a nationwide issue, that affects the citizens of all the states.  All states receive Federal monies for Medicaid, all states have citizens that receive medical care paid for by a National Health program called Medicare, all states have citizens who are veterans and have healthcare policies through the Federal agency VA, all states have citizens that receive medical disability money from the Federal Government.  It CANNOT BE a pure state issue.

My red herring?

You, in typical Progressive fashion, have taken the equal protection concept and expanded it beyond recognition.

The supremacy clause is meant to give the Fed gov the power to override a State law that inhibits on a person's rights within that State. Voting rights, for example. Utah couldn't just implement a law that requires a test be taken before someone is allowed to register to vote. That is equal protection.

Health Care, not being a right nor an enumerated power of Congress, has nothing to do with the supremacy clause or equal protection.

Spare me the Progressive narrative about Medicare too. It is a perversion of the general welfare clause and commerce clauses.  None of these programs should have been allowed to come into existence without a Constitutional Amendment.

Every problem we face today can be traced directly back to someone like you conferring rights and powers to the Federal government that were never intended nor enumerated in the Constitution.

In Denial

So, you agree that the 14th Amendment was meant to overrule and assert supremacy over the Tenth?  That the Federal Government has supremacy over the States in every case that involves a person's rights to both due process and equal treatment under the law?

Then how can the orignial poster's "modest proposal" be anything but a States' Rights pipedream?  Obviously the Federal Government has an ongoing obligation to protect the rights of all citizens equally when it comes to education, when it comes to employment, when it comes to safety and when it comes to any and all issues that have nationwide implications.

In 1973, the Supreme Court also gave the Federal Government the right to regulate the right of a woman to choose what she wants to do with her body in the first trimester of pregnancy, regardless of local or state laws or statutes that prevented health facilities and professionals from offering these services.

It's still stare decisis US Law, despite almost 40 years of attempts by people like you to return that right to the States.

Your point of view is in the fringe minority in this country, and rightly so. I would LOVE for any GOP candidate to come out and campaign on how Medicare is a "perversion of the general welfare and commerce clauses".  You would be laughed out of any election you entered.

I think you should do the honorable thing, and renounce these perversions.  I think you should sign waivers renouncing any access to Medicare or Social Secuity for yourself, your assigns and heirs, and all you family forever. 

You should feel thus cleansed of Socialism, and then you should call your parents and break the news to them.

You are ridiculous.

The Constitution was written to Govern the Government

The Tea Pary "Gets it", and as M.E. Bradford says in his Origninal Intentions....... "

Americans do not wish to be governed by an omnicompetent, divinized state, so full of good intentions that it will stop at nothing to realize them." p135. Original Intentions

The common Thread of the Tea Party Spontaneously across 50 States, is that the Government needs to be Controlled.

That is the Revolutionary connection to enforcing the Constitution, and Obama nominating Czars outside of the Constitution, is ground for getting Obama's Butt under control, via VOTES, as the Founding Fathers intended.


Congress, America is coming for YOU.


...take a deep breath, clean the spittle off your chin, and think, man.

The COnstitution laid down the structure and framework of how the American System of Government works, but the framers got to work right away on Amendments.

The Bill of Rights was not written to "govern the Government", but to guarante the rights of the States.and their citizens before the Federal Governmet.

I can see no common thread of the Tea Party across all 50 states. I see corporations and special interests and Dick Armey up to their elbows in controlling the funding, organization, and especially leadership of the Tea Parties.  That is, when there's not total dysfunctional anarchy.

There IS no "revolutionary connection to enforcing the Constitution",  whatever that means, 

" Obama' s Czars outside the Constitution"  exist only in your fevered, FOX-ridden brain.

And last time the votes were counted, Obama won an overwhelming, historic decision over your ideas, by a huge 7-million-vote margin, across all demographic groups.

Obama's approval ratings have been generally positive, and have remained within a 3% margin of error of the 53% of American voters who elected him in 2008 for a year.

Wake up and smell the coffeee, 1speed.  We cannot go into reverse, your native mode.  We are Americans, and Americans progress FORWARD.  Here's a tissue, now blow your nose.

you do not see a common thread, as you are not a Member

That's an Assumption on my part, that you have not attended a Tea Party, you didn't go to DC on 9/12.   Those of us who Showed up, joined, logged an Email, and keep in touch nationwide, see the commonality.  

You do not see the common connection, Tea party members do.   Not a Big deal.  We like being accused of being un-organized and stupid, especially by stupid democrats trying to paint us as radicals.......its very motivational, and helps us go "Stealth".......Dems and the Media are looking for radicals, and we're looking for TP Candidates to push towards the Elections. 

The Tea Party in Boston, helped start the American Revolution, If you can't connect the Dots TEA-Revolution-Constitution, then I'm certainly not going to convince you otherwise, PLUS, those Darn "Don't Tread on me" yellow flags keep showing up at Tea Parties.

Obama's Czars are not vetted by our representatives like Secretary appointments, the AG, the Judicial appointees, E.G., Congress votes on Presidential nominees.  Even Byrd, early on when the Czars were nominated by Obama, Byrd wrote a note to Obama, tellling him it was not constitutional.   Read the NY TIMES article on it, here is a common News report at the time.....  

"top-ranking Democrat in the Senate wrote President Obama a letter saying that these czars are unconstitutional. President Obama’s “czar strategy” is an unprecedented power grab centralizing authority in the White House, outside congressional oversight and in violation of the Constitution"

As for your numerically challenged comment that "Obama won an overwhelming, historic decision", last time I checked it was 52.7 % of the Vote.....Look up Reagan's Landslide %s, that IS the "Historic" bench mark, Obama fell way short of historic.   He did get more than 50%, which Clinton only beat once.

Then there is your partially true statement "Obama's approval ratings have been generally positive" that needs to be Updated to 2010, because since December '09, his Approval ratings are below 50% in all Categores except one, and Obama's Approval ratings have dropped more the "first year", than ANY other President.

Since Obama "Saved" GM, he should make a Commercial for CHEVY Trucks, you know that "LIKE A ROCK" song  in the Chevy Ad, because his Presidential ratings have dropped "LIKE A ROCK".    

 Watch for this "Common Thread" coming to a state near you





Jim Dandy and his 3 % generally speaking

Lets see per your Quote below....well, other than a wonderful start, I think I see a Trend...yep, definitely a trend.  But that 3 % is a little shakey, generally speaking, it seems to be fading off into the sunset.

"Obama's approval ratings have been generally positive, and have remained within a 3% margin of error of the 53% of American voters who elected him in 2008 for a year ".

This Chart is a huge lie

From Rasmussen, the RIght's favorite pollster,m who is a laughingstock at Pollster and Nate Silver's site, because everyone knows he puts a heavy thumb on the scale for the GOP.

Would this be the regular chart, or the one he developed *especially* for wingnuts, that only measures " Strong Approval"  vs " Strong Disapproval"  to put Obama in the worst possible light?

 Here's reality, not Rasmussen's feel-good polls:

A poll average showing that, following a decline after his inauguration, Obama's approval has generally stayed around 53%, WITHOUT Rasmussen or internet polling distortions



and here's another poll average, with Rasmussen and other automated and internet polls:




Take a deep drink of that Rasmussen kool-aid, it'll make ya feel better 1speed.  Oh, and spare me the blather about how Rasmussen nailed athis and nailed that.  It was common knowledge around Election-time that Ras suddenly changes at the last minute to make his averages look better.

Jim Danderlion can't handle a Rasmussen poll Reality check

That Rasmussen poll had nothing to do with Strongly agree/disagree. Those numbers for Obama would cause you a heart attack.

I just gave you the " Do you approve" poll numbers.
And you will be longer than you were getting grown before YOU discredit Rasmussen.
Obama is Tanking, the Democrats are sinking like the Titanic, that's the real world facts of Polls from Gallup, CNN, PPP, or Rasmussen.
Sorry, your word on polls is not as good as Rasmussen, and you should hope your word is better than Obama's.

so let me get this straight

So, let me understand.  Rasmussen is a partisan right-wing outfit because its polls show Obama's support going from 65% to just a shade over 45% over the course of last year, and to 'prove' this assertion, Jim Dandy brings out RCP's polls, which show Obama's support going from... about 65% to about 45%.

Heckuva job there, Jim Dandy!

So why again is big state govt. better than big federal govt.?

So we should replace entrenched DC types in the pockets of lobbies with entrenched SLC types in the pocket of the LDS church.  Does this really improve things?  I'm sure everyone will be happy when DC is out of the way so that the history books in Utah can be made more consistant with the Book of Mormon.  Careful what you wish for...

If the people of Utah don't like it...

They can either move or enact the changes at a local level.

What we're wishing for is to have the Federalist system work the way it was designed to.

This approach that you are

This approach that you are suggesting seems like nothing but good old common sense. This seems to be lost on many people today. The county's people know what to and how to do it and the government should just let us do it. casino

I love playing these casino games at this awesome online casino and the best games are the slot machines with the progressive casino payouts.

I'm just curious...

... why so many of you here resort to name calling?  Really, I just don't get it.  It's like a freaking junior high school in this comments forum.  Seriously, "Jim Danderlion"?  I'm mystified.

It isn't name calling, Relax, it is done in fun

When you resort to Name calling, its a formal insult.   When you play with anonymous sign ons, you're being more friendly.   When you get Jim Dandy's dander up, he starts lion (Opinion). 

Its an old Southern custom, handing out nicknames. Signon's are nicknames, some fit better than others, and it can be considered an indicator of disrespect (view of the beholder) or it can be considered poking fun at someone who takes themselves too seriously.

Obambi.......sometimes fits, BHOle at other times.   Why did they call Bush, Hitler ?   They misunderestimated him.


Sure, it's fun if...

... you're not engaged in an intellectual debate.  If you want people to take you seriously, you need to behave seriously when the moment requires it.