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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Sam Smith on Constitution Day

THOSE WHO dreamed up the federal government-enforced Constitution Day for schools and colleges might want to spend that day reading the Tenth Amendment which says, "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 way the feds repeatedly get around the Tenth Amendment is through greenmail, saying in effect, "We don't have the right to tell you what to do but we do have the money so if you want our money you have to do what the Tenth Amendment says we can't tell you do." Since schools and college get federal funds, they are easy targets of greenmail.

This would be a worthy topic of discussion in schools and colleges on Constitution Day.

Since the average state probably gets a quarter of its revenues from intergovernmental grants in aid, and that 25% ties down a lot more through matching funds requirements and mandates, greenmail is a potent force indeed.

The latest revised Arkansas state constitution proposed by the political class here would have authorized state agencies to apply for federal funds to spend pursuant to federal programs, without the need for an appropriation from the legislature. In other words, the governor would have been made independent of the legislature's power of the purse, and would instead have become an administrative arm of the federal government. That was, by the way, a central issue in the revolutionary struggle between Masachusetts and the British Parliament. The Brits were using tax revenue collected in the colonies to pay colonial governors and judges, and render them independent of their own colonial legislatures' power of the purse.

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Blogger b-psycho said...

Man....it's almost a sick joke how much stuff we now do that blatantly flies in the face of what this country was founded on. It's as if we were overthrown and then rebuilt by a Bizzaro-world version of our founders that merely took every line that said "shall not" to mean "shall definitely".

September 17, 2005 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a lot here that needs clarification and amplification, particularly what seem to be some serious misunderstandings in that last paragraph of KC's. This browser can't post here at enough length, so this is just a heads up that I shall be emailing KC about it. I would have done all this earlier, but my ISP did an unscheduled upgrade from which my access had no sooner recovered than I came down with some sort of chest cold which is only now clearing up. Not to mention my continuing reactive depression, clearing up at its own slow pace... For starters, consider what, if any, distinction there is between greenmail and "the power of the purse", as used here. The power of the purse is actually something materially different

September 25, 2005 12:32 AM  

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