Monday, January 25, 2010

States Need to Plan For Sovereignty

Obama's federal government plans to steamroll over any obstacle, including Congress, the state governments, and the people, to implement its global warming policies. He has baldly stated that if Congress does not act, he will simply have the Environmental Protection Agency implement regulatory law.

Here's the rub on federal regulatory law and executive orders for that matter. They flatly violate the Constitution. The very first words of the Constitution, after the preamble, state that "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States . . ." Not the president, not the Environmental Protection Agency, but Congress alone. This means that federal regulations and executive orders not passed by Congress technically and Constitutionally are not laws at all.

Then why do states fall in line with them? Because they are addicted to federal funding for schools, highways, social services, and who knows what else. Cross the government and Congress might take away your federal funding. So far, Congress has only directly threatened to take away funding if states defy that branch. It remains to be seen what might happen if states assert their Tenth Amendment rights solely against executive branch encroachment upon their rights.

States need to ask at this point, what is the worst that could happen if their legislatures voted and decided that the new EPA regulations did not apply to mining or manufacturing operations within their state boundaries. Would federal police or troops enforce the laws? Likely not, because California has quietly voided marijuana laws in their state in certain circumstances for many years. Advocates for federal agencies will argue that the Marshall Court's McCullough v. Maryland protects their actions against state action. However this case applied to a federal agency independently doing its job, not a federal agency compelling action on the part of others.

The cost of meeting federal mandates and obeying regulatory law probably costs states more in the long run than they receive from the federal government. Texas is opting out of federal funding of education because of that very circumstance. States that void regulatory law and executive orders to create a freer environment for business will reap more tax revenues because they suddenly get a competitive advantage over other states for business.

Does this mean we advocate the repeal or ignoring of all environmental law? Certainly not. However, if it is worthwhile, the people will demand it of the states and of the Congress. We do not need a dictatorial executive branch running off to create its own law without reference to the Constitution or the people.

States looking to reclaim their constitutional rights should start now and craft a "Plan For State Sovereignty." This means that they need to look at every dollar they get from the federal government and find ways to do without it. Compare the money they get to the total cost of what the feds expect, and find creative ways to make up the difference if there is any. In this way we can restore balance to the system and check the monstrous power of the federal government over the lives of people and the rights of the states.

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