New Federalism

4 April 2015
Analyzes libertarian & devolutionist goals of U.S. political leaders of 1990s who falsely claim to seek federalist balance between state & federal powers.

The American concept of federalism implies balance. Without a careful balance between the powers and duties allocated to the central government and the governments of the states, there is no federalism. Recent critics of the state of American federalism maintain that this balance has been disrupted by the excessive powers allocated to the central government, at the expense of the states. Both President Clinton and the Republican-dominated Congress favor restoring the states’ dominion over various functions. Yet, though it is certainly correct to say that American federalism is out of balance, the current proposals go too far in the other direction. Rather than restoring balance, they simply overbalance on the other side. Their interpretations of the Tenth Amendment increase the confusion over states’ rights, and their attempts to empower the states are destined to.

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