June 15, 2021

Protection in Federalism

10dollarbill If you’ve been around me for any length of time you know that I have a lot of ideas regarding taxes.  Basically, I don’t like them—then again, who really does?

  • I believe that we’d be a lot better off without income tax deductions from our pay checks.  If we actually felt the pain of having to pay, we would make more noise about paying.  That, and the government wouldn’t be holding onto our money.
  • I believe that tax day and election day should coincide.  If we’re going to pay a whole bunch of money, we should still have that anger when we go to the polls—it’d strike fear in politicians.
  • I believe that we should have a Fair Tax (see sidebar), so that instead of taxing us multiple times (income, sales, corporate (makers of goods), etc.) we could be taxed once at purchase.

But this latest one really stretches my brain:

I’m beginning to think that the Federal Government shouldn’t be taxing individual citizens at all.

No, I’m not trying to argue the legality of the income tax.  What I am saying is that if this land is supposed to be a collection of states, why is it that the Federal Government can jump rank and come after us individually?  Where is that conceptually sound.

To me, I see protection in federalism, because I see it as a safe guard.  If the federal government required money from the states, and the states required it of the local governments, then the states and local governments could decide how to raise the money.  Some states would opt for sales taxes, some for fair taxes, some for income taxes, and some (like Alaska) would still be giving out tax rebates.

The fact that our system of federalism is broken means that we’re not flexible to try out ideas because we have a “one-size-fits-all” solution, implemented top-down, and there’s extreme difficulty in being able to change that solution because it effects the whole country.

And taxes aren’t the only place this is true.  There are a lot of federal government programs (and there are more being created every day with this new administration) that would benefit from the ability for the states to try different solutions to figure out what was best, but instead, we have a group of isolated leaders in Washington that listen to lobbyists, and propose one solution—with no good way of benchmarking it.

So, call me a federalist, or a person that believes in the separation of government, because I believe there would be a whole lot to be gained by letting states have more rights, and keeping the federal government from imposing their will on the whole country from above.

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2 thoughts on “Protection in Federalism

  1. I don’t always agree with your views, but on states’ rights, I’ll back you to the hilt. And not just because it’s a question of invidual freedom. But it’s also a recognition that the U.S. is too big and diverse to be bracketed by federal law. It might work for tiny European states, but the divisive problems we face – including taxes and social divides – are mostly because it’s expected that everyone should necessarily be made to follow the same rules.

  2. @Ling: That’s part of what makes a lot of this stuff so infuriating. I mean, on one level you can actually say that President Lincoln actually worked against the Constitution, because he didn’t allow the slave states to leave. I mean, states rights were there so that you could have differences– whether it was establishment of a church or different laws and regulations– and still agree to work together.
    Today, everything’s an issue that has to be argued federally, and the federal government has to have its finger in everything. It has to fund local projects. It has to decide the morality of the whole. And each party grows the government all the more so that it can do more of what it wants to do.
    And every election cycle, each group says it’ll be the end of the world if the other group gets elected, and we spend the first year undoing what the other side did– and amassing more power.
    Widespread corruption, that’s what it is. And in the mean time, we trample over someone else’s beliefs in the name of being tolerant.
    True tolerance would let opposing views coexist without forcing anyone’s views on the other. Instead, we claim to be tolerant and have coexistence while forcing certain people that were in the majority to give up more and more of their views.
    *Gets off soapbox.*

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