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Entries in Federalism (16)


APP News Update: Federalism, American Exceptionalism and the Free Market 

Alfonso Discusses Latino Conservatism
The Federal Reserve's Achievement
On Indiana's Common Core Rebrand "They had their commission set up to redo the Indiana standards. And, lo and behold, they cut and pasted and they came up with another version of Common Core - except in some respects the standards aren’t even as good as Common Core, which is kind of a disturbing thought.”  - APP Senior Fellow Jane Robbins
One News Now - 9/22/14
Exam Erases U.S. Exceptionalism

Defenses of the College Board's revised Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) Curriculum Framework have ranged from "it's a balanced document" to "teachers will have flexibility" to "what's wrong with a leftist slant?" None of these defenses should be acceptable.

To the "balanced document" argument, we say: Read it. A Pioneer Institute study by experts, including renowned Madisonian scholar Ralph Ketcham, describes the framework as "a portrait of America as a dystopian society — one riddled with racism, violence, hypocrisy, greed, imperialism and injustice."

The origins of the framework have been traced to the philosophy that the U. S. is only one nation among many, and not a particularly admirable one at that. Every trace of American exceptionalism has been scrubbed; seminal documents such as the Gettysburg Address have vanished.

Read more.

Brietbart and APP to Cosponsor Federalism Forum

Breitbart News Network joins American Principles Project and Cornerstone Action as co-sponsors of a forum that will focus on the principles of federalism as viewed by the Framers, the role of state elected officials in guarding against federal overreach, and how the federal government undermines that duty.

Titled “Practical Federalism: How the Federal Government Is Silencing the People,” the forum will bring together state lawmakers, policy analysts, and activist citizens to discuss the current level of federal intrusion into the states and American life, and will be held in key presidential primary states, beginning with New Hampshire in November of 2014, then moving on to Iowa in February of 2015, and South Carolina in April of 2015.

The forums will examine the impact of federal overreach in areas such as ObamaCare, the Common Core standards, privacy and data collection, Medicaid expansion, religious liberty, and the EPA and land use.

Read more.
Register for the forum in New Hampshire on 11/22.

There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Market

Well-meaning conservative and libertarian groups beat the drum for something called “free markets.” Liberal groups blame these “free markets” for many of the world’s evils.

Here’s the harsh reality neither side will tell you. There ain’t no such thing as a “free market.”

The free market ceased to exist more than 40 years ago. Nixon drove a stake through its heart by shutting down the Bretton Woods world monetary system, without which free markets cannot exist.

Read more.

Other articles: 
Donate to American Principles Project

ALG's Daily Grind - Can the Export Import Bank be Sunk? 


Sept. 11, 2014

Permission to republish original opeds and cartoons granted.

The unsinkable Export Import Bank
House Republicans are unwilling to shut down the government over the fate of Ex-Im, and Harry Reid knows it. So why tie it to the continuing resolution?

Cartoon: Never Forget

The states of irrelevance: A case for the original United States Senate
How the 17th Amendment destroyed federalism.

Legal Insurrection: How prosecutors targeted Scott Walker and conservatives exposed
"Wisconsin prosecutors seized a wide-range of records from numerous conservative activists on the theory that it was a crime for such activists to coordinate issue advocacy with the campaign of Governor Scott Walker."


CEI - Obamacare Court Ruling in Halbig a Major Blow to Opt-Out States

Plaintiffs Now Appealing Decision


Washington, DC, Jan. 15, 2014 – In a blow to states that opted out of Obamacare, a District Court on Wednesday upheld an IRS regulation extending the law’s employer mandate to those “refusenik” states that decided against setting up their own insurance exchanges. The Competitive Enterprise Institute is assisting in the coordination and funding of the lawsuit and, now, the appeal.

Statement by CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman

The court’s ruling today in Halbig v. Sebelius delivers a major blow to the states that chose not to participate in the Obamacare insurance exchange program. It is also a blow to the small businesses, employees and individuals who live in those states as well. In upholding this IRS regulation that is contrary to the law enacted by Congress, this decision guts the choice made by a majority of the states to stay out of the exchange program. It imposes Obamacare penalties on employers and on many individuals in those states, penalties that Congress never authorized, putting their livelihoods and the jobs of their employees at risk. Worst of all, it gives a stamp of approval to the Administration’s attempt to substitute its version of Obamacare for the law that Congress enacted.

The court does all this despite its own finding that our arguments were supported by, in its words, “the plain language” of the law’s key provision regarding state-established exchanges.  And by erasing the distinction between functions carried out by states and functions carried out by the federal government on behalf of states, the ruling undercuts some basic aspects of federalism. We have appealed this decision, and will shortly move to expedite the appeal.

In its ruling, the court first dismissed the three employer plaintiffs in the case, holding that their claims were barred by the Anti-Injunction Act. But the court found that at least one of the individual plaintiffs had a sufficiently concrete injury to proceed. In its ensuing substantive analysis, the court based much of its reasoning on the alleged congressional purpose of providing nationwide subsidies for health premiums regardless of whether states cooperated or not.


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!


CEI Today: Obama's EPA, Fiat & US taxpayers, homecare providers at the Supreme Court, and more

Friday, January 10, 2014
In the News Today

OBAMA'S EPA - WILLIAM YEATMAN Obama’s EPA Is Killing Cooperative Federalism

EPA’s primary enabling statutes, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, are founded in cooperative federalism. Simply put, Congress intended for EPA and States to serve as partners in the mitigation of environmental pollution attendant to economic development.

This changed on or about January 20th, 2009.
> Read more

> Interview William Yeatman


Daily Caller: How Fiat took U.S. taxpayers for a ride

As 2014 opened, Detroit was bankrupt, but they were cheering the five-year-old U.S. auto bailout in Italy. That’s because after being the beneficiary of billions in U.S. taxpayer largesse, Fiat, the 115-year-old Italian auto company, is going to buy its final stake in Chrysler from that other big bailout recipient, the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Chrysler wasn’t “sold” to an Italian firm, but given away through U.S. tax dollars.
 > Read more

> Interview John Berlau

> Follow John Berlau on Twitter



Workplacechoice: Fate of Homecare Providers Rests in the hands of U.S. Supreme Court

In January, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments for Harris v. Quinn. A case that will determine whether a state can force homecare providers to accept union representation and financially support them. > Read more

> Interview Trey Kovacs

> Follow Workplacechoice on Twitter


Reining in Sue and Settle with the REDO Act

Senior Fellow William Yeatman argues that the REDO Act, up for a House vote today, would limit a practice called sue and settle. Friendly activist groups sue allied agencies over missed deadlines, and the settlements typically include enactment of policies that the agencies and the groups both favor. Sue and settle is a form of regulation without representation, without input from Congress or voters.


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website,, and blogs, and  Follow CEI on Twitter!


CEI President Lawson Bader

Top 10 for Congress in 2014






Thank You and Happy Holidays from State Budget Solutions! 

News from State Budget Solutions

Highlights from 2013

Thank you for your readership and support of SBS throughout this past year, be it reading our website, sharing an article with others who are interested in state finance or following us on Facebook. We are grateful for you. 

SBS has had a wonderful year in 2013 and we are very excited for 2014. We have big plans for the new year and will hit the ground running with the January release of our 4th annual state debt study with crucial information for citizens and lawmakers in all 50 states. You won't want to miss it.

Please consider a year-end tax deductible contribution supporting State Budget Solutions' vital reform work in the states!

From the entire SBS team we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. This month's newsletter features some highlights from this year, enjoy!

Promises Made, Promises Broken - The Betrayal of Pensioners and Taxpayers

Comprehensive research into the funded status of state level defined benefit public pension plans reveals that public employee retirement promises are underfunded by $4.1 trillion. Combined, state public pension plans are just 39 percent funded.

Figures were drawn from state Fiscal Year 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, as well as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports and actuarial valuations published by individual plans. In each case, figures were from the most up-to-date valuation available at the time of research. Plans were compiled based on the United States Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Public Pensions and state-level financial reports. Therefore this includes municipal pension funds that are administered by the state.  

Read More

The debate over Medicaid expansion is as much about federalism and the issue of state control as it is about money-because these are ultimately one in the same.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes Medicaid expansion, which widens the range of eligible individuals who can receive government insurance. The federal government has promised to provide 100 percent of the funding for the new enrollees, consisting of the childless adults whose income is 138 percent of the federal poverty line, for the first three years. Over time, the states will gradually pick up 10 percent of the total costs. Several states have jumped at the opportunity to get "free money" to provide more government services.

Read More

Financial Incentives Are The "Core" Of New Education Standards

The implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is forcing states to determine when a "good offer" becomes an offer that cannot be refused. That is to say that federal incentives offered to states for adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have become very attractive--so attractive that "voluntary" participation in the program may be merely a nominal check on the centralization of American education.

The CCSS are a list of specific and universal educational benchmarks in English language arts and mathematics that will replace the individual state K-12 education goals and requirements of each state that adopts them. This report will explain the issues surrounding the adoption of the CCSS and address the "voluntariness" question, the incentives and disincentives for states, and how the CCSS may affect the balance of federalism between states and the federal government. These issues are at the forefront as states grapple with whether to implement the CCSS and as some states, including Michigan and Indiana, reconsider their endorsement of the CCSS.

Read More


State Budget Solutions In the News

State Budget Solutions is a known expert in fiscal responsibility and pension reform. Every month, countless media outlets and financial professionals cite the work of SBS's expert analysis and publish the opinions of SBS leaders. Here are a few highlights from 2013:

California on the Brink: Pension Crisis About to Get Worse
Fox News
It's all largely due to soaring employee retirement costs, according to new analysis based on the methodology by Bob Williams and his team at State Budget Solution (SBS), a non-partisan organization that studies state budget crises READ AND WATCH MORE

Detroit Emergency Manager Meeting with Creditors
USA Today
Detroit's debt-to-asset ratio may be as high as a stunning 33-1. Meaning, for every $1 in assets the city has, it holds $33 in debt. By comparison, that ratio was 20-1 for General Motors when it and Chrysler went into bankruptcy in 2009, according to State Budget Solutions, a nonpartisan nonprofit group that advocates for reform in government budgeting and pensions. READ MORE

Study: State Pension Shortfalls Reach $4.1 Trillion
Daily Caller
America’s state-level public employee pensions are underfunded by $4.1 trillion, according to a study released Tuesday by the organization State Budget Solutions. READ MORE


The Williams Report

As a former state legislator, gubernatorial candidate and auditor with the Government Accountability Office, State Budget Solutions' President Bob Williams is a national expert in fiscal and tax policies.  Each week, he compiles the latest news and headlines pertaining to state budgets, collective bargaining and state public pensions into The Williams Report.

State looking at deficits of more than $1.1 billion for three straight years starting in the 2016 fiscal year. Hartford Courant


Pensions for teachers fall farther behind. CalPERS added more than $4 billion to the unfunded pension liability in 2012 because they chose to underfund its so-called "catch up" payment. The Heartland Institute


S&P removed the "negative" stigma it had associated with Illinois and changed the rating to "developing" due to pension reform. Chicago Tribune 

Read More Williams Report