Thursday, September 17, 2009

40 Million Plus Reasons Federalism Matters

by Smitty

CNS News reports:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued benefit checks totaling $40.3 million to an estimated 6,100 beneficiaries for months – and in some cases for decades -- after receiving notification of their deaths, according to a June audit report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General.
A few points come to mind:
  • The Federal government has no business involving itself with individual citizens, other than that gross wart the 16th Amendment.
  • States should be empowered to run things as inefficiently as they care to, without hammering the other 49 States.
  • Managing entitlement programs that citizens want at the State level increases the likelihood that said programs will run balanced books, and thus have a sustainable funding profile.
  • Keeping said programs at a State level reserves an invaluable oversight role to the Federal government.
  • Even if you want to build some economy-of-scale case that FDR wasn't a nitwit for implementing Social Security, due to the technological constraints of threescore and ten years ago, the sun has set on those days.
Delegate. Reform. Rationalize.


  1. I'm all for removing federal socialism, cutting taxation (10% flat tax) and rescinding entitlement programs beyond our military, and reinstating STATES RIGHTS a priori.

    maverick muse

  2. On this anniversary of The Constitution, quoted from and linked to at: O-I-C

  3. Funny, finding how and where things began, looking from where we are today as the world spins. I'm still laughing at our Social Security liturgy of taxation.

    Protagorus (circa 490 BC to 420 BC):

    Athens was an extremely litigious society. Not only were various political and personal rivalries normally carried forward by lawsuits, but one special sort of taxation, know as "liturgies" could result in a procedure known as an "antidosis" (exchange). A liturgy was a public expense (such as providing a ship for the navy or supporting a religious festival) assigned to one of the richest men of the community. If a man thought he had been assigned the liturgy unfairly, because there was a richer man able to undertake it, he could bring a lawsuit either to exchange his property with the other man's or to shift the burden of the liturgy to the richer man. Since Athenians had to represent themselves in court rather than hiring lawyers, it was essential that rich men learn to speak well in order to defend their property; if they could not do so, they would be at the mercy of anyone who wanted to extort money from them. While this made the teachings of Protagoras extremely valuable, it also led a certain conservative faction (e.g. the comic playwright Aristophanes) to distrust him, in the same way that people now might distrust a slick lawyer.

    Protagorus' doctrines can be divided into three groups:
    1. Orthoepeia: the study of the correct use of words
    2. Man-measure statement: the notion that knowledge is relative to the knower
    3. Agnosticism: the claim that we cannot know anything about the gods