National Review / Digital
Rogue States
They are the enemy of federalism


In this season of resurgence, conservatives have goals more ambitious than ending bailouts or cutting federal spending: They seek a constitutional restoration. They believe that today’s bloated federal government is not just doing damage to the economy but doing violence to the Founders’ design. They worry especially that the federal expansion has come at the expense of the states. So there is talk in conservative circles about constitutional amendments to right the balance, and about “devolving” power and programs to the states. The House Republicans’ “Pledge to America” calls for a revival of the Tenth Amendment, a constitutional provision often considered to be a defense of “states’ rights.”

Yet this may not be an auspicious time for a campaign to empower the states, since their own mismanagement has been in the headlines for several years. California and Illinois are the most familiar basket cases, but even Utah, the best-ranked state in Forbes’s survey of state-government debt, has unfunded pension obligations that amount to $7,000 per resident. At a time when states have been asking the federal government for bailouts, is it really a good idea to entrust them with more responsibilities? Will the public think so?

October 18, 2010    |     Volume LXI I , No. 19

  • The pope called a nation back to greatness.
  • In the California Senate race, Republican Carly Fiorina tries to replace a heroine of the Left.
  • Gender discrimination does not explain the male-female pay gap.
  • Will the U.S. remain dominant in the Asia-Pacific region?
  • They are the enemy of federalism.
  • How Marco Rubio became the conservative frontrunner in Florida’s Senate race.
  • Paul Krugman’s destructive and self-destructive quest for the great white stimulus.
Books, Arts & Manners
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .