| March 19, 2013

Time for 'competitive federalism'

OCPA’s articles have appeared not only in the likes of The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World, but indeed have been published in more than 200 newspapers—not only in Oklahoma, but throughout the United States.

Whether it’s an article by our late distinguished fellow J. Rufus Fears (“Power of the purse can ‘redress every grievance’”) or an appearance on Fox Business by our research associate Tina Korbe Dzurisin, sometimes OCPA’s message needs a national audience. Thus, in the Sunday Washington Times, OCPA president Michael Carnuccio and research fellow Matt Mayer sketched out their vision for “competitive federalism” (“Fixing America must start with the states”). They write: “We must move the discussion from fiscal gamesmanship in Washington to the real issue—where do Americans want the locus of government power over their lives to reside?”

The issues ripest for applying competitive federalism are Medicaid, education, and transportation. In 2010, federal spending to the states totaled $564 billion for those programs. These items are typically among the largest parts of state and local budgets. It is simply disrespectful of state sovereignty to have such enormous budgetary issues driven by decisions in Washington. States are more than capable of deciding how best to tend to our poor, educate our kids and maintain our infrastructure. … By leveraging competitive federalism, we will empower states to experiment and identify solutions that best serve the unique needs of their citizens. Each state can decide how generously to fund programs over which it has total control.

It’s an important article, and I encourage you to read the whole thing here.

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