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Firefighters, Teachers and Police - Not a Federal Responsibility
Townhall.com ^ | June 18, 2012 | Brian Darling

Posted on 06/18/2012 4:05:43 AM PDT by Kaslin

The left wants us to believe that paying for teachers, firefighters and police is a federal responsibility. Not so. Such services have traditionally been the responsibility of state and local governments.

In Federalist 45, James Madison wrote that the powers of the federal government are “few and defined.” Madison argued that state power extends to issues that “concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the explicit power to supplant the traditional police powers of the states.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution enumerates powers granted to the federal government. Nowhere does it list the power to “bail out the states who come up short in paying for firefighters, police and teachers.” Furthermore, when the feds “give” lesser governments money to pay for local responsibilities, they often attach conditions to funding that may be unconstitutional.

The 10th Amendment states “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The educating of children, the protection of the populace from crime and the suppression of fires are clearly powers reserved to the states.

Last week, the Left hit Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney with the supposedly shaming accusation that he wants to cut funding for these state and local functions. They went into a tizzy when Romney remarked that “teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen.”

Michael McAuliff of the Huffington Post pointed out that “the federal government spends huge amounts of money to support all those professions.” This is true, yet the federal government does things frequently that many consider to be outside of the proper scope of the federal powers. You need look no further than the individual mandate contained in ObamaCare to see a law that many argue is an unconstitutional exercise of federal authority.

McAuliff observed that “in the Lyndon Johnson administration, [the feds] started paying out Title 1 education funds, and this year, it is slated to spend $14.5 billion under Title 1. The money is meant to help disadvantaged schools.” Many conservatives argue that the federal government, even when well intentioned, should stay out of state and local education decisions. The Constitution agrees.

Since the Clinton Administration, the federal government has also funded the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring grant program. It funnels billions of federal tax dollars to state and local police departments—as well as park police, college police and other law enforcement agencies.

Unfortunately, exhaustive research by The Heritage Foundation’s David Muhlhausen has demonstrated that COPS is completely " ineffective at reducing crime. ." President Obama’s “stimulus” program encouraging state and local governments to take on additional temporary police officers is even less intelligently designed. It’s a classic example of squandering federal dollars on functions that are none of DC’s business to begin with.

The federal government, already too large, with spending far above the post World War II norm. On May 31, 2012, Alison Fraser of Heritage testified to the House Budget Committee that “today, federal spending is at about 23 percent of [Gross Domestic Product], and debt held by the public is approximately 70 percent. When compared to the historical, post–World War II average of approximately 20 percent of GDP for federal spending and 44 percent for debt held by the public, this growth alone would be cause for concern.”

James Pethokoukis of AEI estimates that, under President Obama, federal spending totalled 25.2% of GDP in 2009, 24.1% of GDP in 2010, 24.1% of GDP in 2011, and 24.3% (estimates by the White House ) this year. And much of that spending is with borrowed dollars. Our national debt now stands at $15.8 trillion , up from $10.6 when Obama took office. The federal government simply does not have the money to bail out profligate states or municipalities.

The Constitution is clear. The states are the repository of police powers. State and local employees should not be supported by federal funds for constitutional as well as fiscal reasons. Yes, federal funds have flowed to state and local governments to hire firefighters, teachers, and police. But that doesn’t make the practice prudent or proper.

Bail out shortfalls in state and local treasuries is not a core function of the federal government. It is but an example of the central government is infringing on the traditional domain of the states.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 06/18/2012 4:05:46 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Why isn’t the Republican party shouting this from the rooftops? It is true and always has been. Feds trying to replace state and local governments and finacing such activities and services.


2 posted on 06/18/2012 4:09:09 AM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: Kaslin
Re the title...

What are the three categories of employment the Government claims will be crippled whenever anyone proposes a tax/budget cut?

I'll take BS for $500, Alex!

3 posted on 06/18/2012 4:09:16 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Kaslin; All

It has never been about the rank and file fire fighter, police officer or teacher...

It has Always been about their UNIONS!!!

Whenever you hear ANY politicianstat talking about needing MORE of these types of jobs filled, it is ALWAYS about getting more union dues into the liberal coffers...

Period...


4 posted on 06/18/2012 4:15:06 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: shalom aleichem

It is the tried and proven method for collapsing a nation’s economy into the hands of the banking globalists, as worked in Argentina and elsewhere.


5 posted on 06/18/2012 4:19:08 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Kaslin

As long as the Federal Treasury keeps “saving” police, fire and teachers, the need for such bailouts will be “needed”. As long as we do it, it’s gonna be forever. Stop now while we still can.


6 posted on 06/18/2012 4:20:45 AM PDT by Rapscallion (Obama's favorite tactic is scapegoating successful Americans.)
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To: stevie_d_64

bingo


7 posted on 06/18/2012 4:22:02 AM PDT by Doogle (((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated)))
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To: Kaslin

James Madison wrote that the powers of the federal government are “few and defined.”


WoW! Who knew???????????????????


8 posted on 06/18/2012 4:33:25 AM PDT by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: shalom aleichem

> Why isn’t the Republican party shouting this from the rooftops?

Because the RINO party is no different that the socialist party.


9 posted on 06/18/2012 4:40:54 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (End the racist, anti-capitalist Obama War On Freedom.)
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To: DH

That was probably the original intent. He also said: Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_madison_4.html#yURvU8zjClFdxCi0.99


10 posted on 06/18/2012 4:47:39 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin
The liberals try to justify everything the Fed gov wants to do under...’promote the general welfare’.

IMO the word ‘general’ is the key to the meaning of the original words.

They used ‘general’ to mean covering every citizen, thus anything covered by that clause has to benefit everyone, not a select group or state.

A bailout of Detroit does nothing to promote the general welfare of the citizens of Podunk Iowa that are taxed to fund that. It isn't covered by the intent of the clause, very few things would be.

11 posted on 06/18/2012 4:52:51 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: Beagle8U

Democrats and liberal/progressives do NOT know the difference between “Promote” and “Provide”...

Welfare back in the day did was not specifically monitary/feduciary in nature...It was to create an environment to which the individual could pursue happiness in their tradecraft, business, or other freedoms...

Political faction(s) in that time also saw freedoms and the governments role in protecting those ideals the same way...Today that is not evident in any organized political faction/affiliation or groups...Other than what I see in the Tea Party organizations...

That is why we saw a total rejection by the democrats obviously, and the republican elites/leadership failed to find a way to effectively wrap themselves around this grassroots movement, thoroughly enabling the moderate to disrespectful politically inactive public recption of this truely conservative effort...November 2010 being the exception...But I do not think we’ll see something like that again...


12 posted on 06/18/2012 5:22:32 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: Kaslin

Here in Tucson there is a firehouse on every corner, they even tore one down they just remodeled so as to build a larger one. They look as if they are resorts, the trucks just sit there, and they haul them out for every fender bender, I can’t imagine the expense. EMT’s are essential, but fire departments should be volunteer for smaller cities. Two weeks on, two weeks off, it’s like they have a sleep over at tax payers expense! I would love to use their facilities, the one downtown has everything you’d expect to find in a nice resort.


13 posted on 06/18/2012 5:27:58 AM PDT by IslamE (epiphany)
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To: IslamE

LOL.It’s the same story in every big city in America. Since 70% of all firefighters are volunteers who do great work, why aren’t they all volunteers.


14 posted on 06/18/2012 7:13:18 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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