| November 12, 2012

From the president's desk: Time to remember the states created the federal government and not the other way around

Dear supporters and friends of OCPA,

For the past year, the minds and hearts of concerned Americans across the country have been concentrated on the presidential election.

In the first term of the Obama administration, deficits were more than $1 trillion a year, the debt climbed to $16 trillion, and, when the needle moved on unemployment, it only moved up. Few Americans were full of hope for the future and many of us were ready for a change.

So, we looked to November, to this month, which we correctly perceived would be historically important and directionally decisive.

To assuage the anxiety, many Americans engaged the electoral process by donating to candidates, sporting bumper stickers and yard signs, debating policy with friends and relatives and, as both a first and last resort, bowing their heads in prayer.

Now, we know who will be inaugurated in January, and we face the prospect of four more years like the last four unless we the people do something differently.

It’s time we remember: The administration’s ability to enact its agenda rests on the acquiescence of Congress, the states and the people.

The states are the key. As Ronald Reagan wisely stated in his first inaugural address, “All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.”

As our founder, chairman and former Heritage Foundation chairman Dr. David Brown says, “It has to be the states.” At this point, the states might very well be our only hope to restore the America we’ve known and loved.

Friends, we were lucky to wake up in Oklahoma last Wednesday morning. This election proved that the people of Oklahoma understand the need for leaders who respect our ability to choose for ourselves how to spend our hard-earned money, how to provide for our own health care, how to educate our children and how to fuel our country.

In the next few years, our state leaders will face important decisions. The federal government has a history of offering “federal funding” for important programs – with strings attached. Fortunately, the Constitution was designed so that state leaders always have a choice whether to cooperate with federal-state programs – and, when those programs are fiscally irresponsible and not in the best interests of individuals, they have every reason not to cooperate.

Policy matters because people matter – and we the people impact policy, particularly at the local and state levels. Now, more than ever, we must be attentive to what goes on in our local and state communities – and encourage our leaders to hold themselves and the federal administration accountable to principle.

We’ve done it before. We can do it again.

Our vision is of a future in which the individual can be free to pursue his or her dreams without intrusive governmental interference or regulatory burdens. Limited government. Unlimited entrepreneurship.

Whatever issue area we tackle – whether energy or education, health care or labor, tax policy or civil society – we approach it from this perspective.

We always have. We always will.

Right now especially, after this historic election, we plan to redouble our efforts to champion limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy. We at OCPA won’t rest until elected officials at all levels and of whatever party actually rein in spending, roll back unnecessary regulations and restore to individuals the largest possible measure of freedom. We hope we can count on you to stay vigilant in the fight, too.

Onward to liberty,

Michael Carnuccio

OCPA President

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