What Really Happens To Unfunded Federal Mandates

Nor' east Thinkin'

States are forced to pick up the tab under threat of more dollars withheld

Published on: September 27, 2010

Watching Uncle Sam’s fiscal irresponsibility is driving many sane-minded citizens to be tea-partiers – even me, if you haven’t already deduced that. So if your state is sliding deeper and deeper into red-ink budgets, it may well be due to Executive branch intimidation in response to different congressional budget priorities.

My point? Both branches of our federal government simply aren’t facing the fact that Uncle Sam has overextended himself. Ignoring the bottom line warrants replacing most of them, beginning with the upcoming mid-term election and cleaning up with the 2012 election.

Let me give you just two Pennsylvania examples as proof:

Just after the state’s 2010/11 fiscal budget was passed, federal Medicaid reimbursement funds were cut from $850 million to less than $600 million. To make up that $250 million shortfall, Governor Rendell and the General Assembly pulled $50 million out of basic education funding, layed off 100 more state employees, withheld other executive agency dollars and planned for $70 million to come from a Marcellus Shale gas severance tax – which hasn’t yet been legislated.

Every state in the Chesapeake Bay watershed has been faithfully working with given budgetary constraints to help agriculture and municipalities clean up groundwater and streams trickling down into the Chesapeake Bay – for decades. Now, even while federal funds are shrinking, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency still mandates that states do more with less – or face the loss of even more federal dollars.

Those are just two of many issues coming down to impact state and local governments via overzealous and fiscally irresponsible bureaucrats. It’s time to bring common sense and business sense back to government. It’s long overdue!

Your comments are welcome and wanted. Just click on “Add a Comment”.