“One insidious practice which sugar-coats the dose of federal intrusion is the division of expense for public improvements or services between state and national treasuries. The ardent states-rights advocate sees in this practice a vicious weakening of the state system. The extreme federalist is apt to look upon it in cynical fashion as bribing the states into subordination.
“The average American, believing in our dual-sovereignty system, must feel that the policy of national doles to the states is bad and may become disastrous. We may go on yet for a time with the easy assumption that, ‘if the states will not, the nation must.’ But that way lies trouble...Whenever by that plan we take something from one group of states and give it to another group, there is grave danger that we do an economic injustice on one side and a political injury on the other. We impose unfairly on the strength of the strong, and we encourage the weak to indulge in their weakness.” — Calvin Coolidge, Arlington Amphitheater, May 30, 1925
One thought on “On Federal Intrusion”
President Coolidge was a systems expert, like the founding fathers. I have heard it said that Coolidge is a founding father transplanted in time to the 20th century. Decentralized systems are much more effective and efficient at getting things done than centralized ones. Centralized conglomerations of power are much more prone to tyrannical uses. And the politics of centralized entities are much more vitriolic because of the high financial stakes involved.