So what happens when a state claims sovereignty over affairs within it's own borders and directly challenges the authority of the Obama Administration: The Fed then passes laws to single out that state and punish the citizens of that state for their impenitence.
This is what is currently happening between the state of Texas and Obama's Democrat controlled administration. For those of you that don't know, Texas Governor Rick Perry first had the audacity to refuse participation in the federal Common Core Standards and Race to the Top educational programs required to receive educational "stimulus" funds. Effectively telling Washington to "keep their money", Texas denied receipt of those funds claiming that the programs, and the strings that went along with them, would hurt Texas Education rather than helping. The Texas Board of Education then detailed their own, state mandated requirements, that provided for a much more elevated quality of education than those provided by the fed.
In a second move, Perry then denied more fed funds for unemployment insurance that would have come with even more strings and costs to the citizens of Texas. Acceptance of these funds would have required the state to redefine their unemployment standards, placing additional costs on Texas businesses that could better use the money to create jobs, rather than fund those without. Basically, Perry took the "teach a man to fish" outlook on unemployment which has led to Texas being one of the few states weathering this financial repression.
The fed then fired back by having the EPA overturn a 16 year Texas air permitting program which will most likely result in 125 refineries and businesses having to reapply for permitting which will have huge financial, and possible job loss, implications.
Perry, undeterred, then fired back a letter via the Texas Congressional delegation concerning Obama's attempts to take over the regulation of oil and gas safety. In what was essentially a big "F*** YOU" to federal authority, Texas declared:
While Congress has every right to consider whatever regulation it deems appropriate on activities in federal lands and waters, it is not permitted to force states to submit their successful regulations and laws to a federal agency for approval and allow that agency to unilaterally dictate changes.
The letter goes on to state:
Federal laws and regulations failed to stop the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Given the track record, putting the federal government in charge of energy production on state lands and waters, not only breaks years of successful precedent and threatens the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, but it also undermines common sense and threatens the environment and economic security of our state's citizens.
So, simply put, everything you guys (fed) touch turns into a disaster. Rigs without our lands and waters are ours and you best keep your hands off! Don't mess with Texas!!
Well, all of this "insolence" has not been unnoticed or forgotten by Washington, so they have decided to use law and appropriations to try and bring Perry in line. How do they intend on doing that? By attaching $10B in educational funding to a supplemental war-spending bill, then adding an amendment that specifically singles out and targets the state of Texas. Never mind the question about why educational funds are tied to a bill intended for the support of war-time efforts, let's concentrate on the provision that unfairly singles out Texas.
In a supplement amendment added by Austin Democrat Lloyd Doggett, undue, and against the Texas state Constitution, provisions are levied against Texas and Gov. Perry. Titled "Additional Requirements for the State of Texas", this amendment states that Gov. Perry must certify that the $800M in funding will not replace state funding and would remain as additional funding. Requires that Gov. Perry provide assurance that state support for educational funding for fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013 at, or above, current 2011 percentages. Lastly, it requires that the state allocate those funds based upon federal Title I algorithms.
So, besides being specific to, and singling out only Texas, this has several flaws. 1. Per the Texas state constitution, the governor does not have the power of appropriation of funds, as that is a responsibility of legislature. By law, no one legislature can bind a future legislature, so even if Perry had the power, he would be breaking state law by accepting. In addition, the provision is unfair as Texas is the only state that would be required to make such a certification. And to top it all off, by declaring that the funds would be subject to Title I appropriation would mean that state algorithms could not be used, thus possibly resulting in an unequal distribution of those funds. However, that doesn't stop Washington elites from trying to add such an amendment. How dare the state of Texas defy the federal government? Do it not know that the fed is the all-seeing, all-knowing, saving grace that knows better than thou? I guess Perry and his state have different answers to those questions than those on the Hill would like them to have.
So there you have it. As I watch this unfold, I'm reminded of a scene in the movie Braveheart, when facing the British Army, the Scottish Nobles ask William Wallace what his intentions were. With a gleam in his eye, he states "I'm going to pick a fight!" It appears that Gov. Perry is following in those footsteps, choosing to pick a fight with an over-reaching, over-bearing federal government rather than just folding to their demands. In what I'm sure to be only the start of a battle regarding state's rights and the place of state sovereignty within the United States, I'm sure this is not the last we will hear from Gov. Perry and the this wonderful state of Texas. I for one am proud that we have a governor willing to take up this fight and stand for the freedom of his constituents. I hope others will follow, and that those already in the fight, will continue. As I've said before, if the State has no liberty, then neither does it's citizens. Given the amount of intrusion that this Administration has made into our personal lives, I'm starting to believe that it's no longer America that is the last bastion of freedom, but instead, the individual states that make up this country.
American by birth, Texan by the grace of God!