State Sen. Neal Hunt: Federal mandates hurt state

March 18, 2014 

I was asked recently to take a survey about the biggest issues facing state legislatures today. As I reflected on that question, it became obvious that the major problems of N.C. and the other states were beyond our control. Certainly the states can do a much better job controlling their unfunded liabilities, but the imposition of federal mandates and the federal debt associated with these mandates are by far the greatest problem of the states.

The ramifications of an overzealous federal government are twofold. First, as the power of the federal government grows, the power of the states and the individuals in the states diminishes. For example, the Affordable Care Act requiring individuals and businesses to conform to federal guidelines, gives enormous power to the federal government. Whoever controls our health care controls us! It may seem far-fetched but imagine the government withholding health care from citizens who objected to people refusing to send their children to public school.

Second, our current federal debt is about $17.5 trillion and growing rapidly. Our national debt load has more than doubled in the past five years, and a significant portion of this government spending has gone to pay off political supporters of the current administration. We all know that individuals, businesses, cities, states and countries cannot survive economically with excessive debt. Readers know of bankruptcy examples in each of these categories.

The merits of decentralizing the power of government to the individual states is a testimony to the wisdom of the writers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Let’s not let our federal representatives abandon these principles in the name of political expediency or even short-sighted good intentions.

State Sen. Neal Hunt

Raleigh

The writer, a Republican, represents N.C. District 15. The length limit was waived.

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