State Powers

The states are powerful enough to stand up to the federal government when it violates citizens’ rights. Learn how we can better leverage the power of states.

<p>The states are powerful enough to stand up to the federal government when it violates citizens’ rights. Learn how we can better leverage the power of states.</p>

Promises of reduced spending swept dozens of self-proclaimed conservatives into power during the 2010 congressional elections. What did they do? They gave President Obama the power to lift the federal debt limit, twice failed to move a Balanced Budget Amendment proposal out of the House and promised spending cuts that look increasingly illusory.

PHOENIX — Clint Bolick looks like any other high-powered lawyer, for the most part. But glance down at his index finger, which sports a scorpion tattoo, for first-hand evidence of his unconventional streak. 

PHOENIX — Politicians on both sides of the aisle are raising alarms about the unelected board that President Barack Obama has chosen to drastically reduce Medicare spending. Established by the federal health care law and highlighted in President Obama's April 13 speech on the deficit, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is a 15-member, presidentially appointed panel that will be free to set Medicare policy and health care payment rates with no meaningful congressional oversight and without the possibility of judicial review.

Since 2001, the federal tax code allowed business owners to write off more of the investment they make in their company each year and, today, businesses can write off 100 percent of the capital investments they made this year. But if Congress and the President don’t act, that tax cut will end in January 2012. State policymakers, on the other hand, could offer a little certainty in their state income tax code by allowing businesses to immediately write-off on their taxes the full value of their new capital investments.

On November 10, 2011, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker keynoted the Goldwater Institute Annual Dinner.

The federal health care law gives states an option: Either establish insurance exchanges by January 1, 2014, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services will establish one for them. An “exchange” is essentially a bureaucracy where federally-mandated and regulated health insurance may be bought and sold. Amazingly, some states that otherwise oppose the federal health care law, including some who have joined the Florida lawsuit that is on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, are choosing to implement these exchanges.

Plaintiff Seven-Sky and others mounted a facial challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which requires that every American buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the government’s motion to dismiss.  After determining that the plaintiffs had standing and that their claims were ripe, the court concluded that the individual mandate was a valid exercise of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause.

What if the solution to Washington… wasn’t in Washington? The 50 states could be America’s secret weapon against an ever-expanding federal government. States can amend the constitution to demand fiscal responsibility in Washington, can request that federal regulation comply with local ordinances, and can form interstate compacts to better protect constitutional rights. The Goldwater Institute is providing a roadmap for states to reassert their power under the Tenth Amendment.

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