Ohio sends message to federal branch
Published 9:59 am Thursday, October 8, 2009
Over the past several years, our leaders in Washington — from both political parties — have watched over a major expansion of the size and scope of the federal government.
This has been fueled by excessive regulations, unfunded mandates, multi-billion dollar bailouts and the federalization of banks and other industries.
This growth not only threatens the financial stability of states and local governments and the well-being of future generations of Americans, but violates the very ideals that our country was founded upon.
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When our Founding Fathers traveled to Philadelphia in 1787 to draft the Constitution, they came from states as far south as Georgia and as far north as New Hampshire, all with different economies, landscapes and traditions.
Therefore, they fought to preserve their states’ individuality and ensure that the laws of the nation protected the right of each state to govern themselves and make local decisions.
The 10th Amendment reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
In other words, the federal government was created by the states and only has certain powers, which are spelled out in the Constitution.
Unfortunately, many recent actions by the federal government directly contradict this principle.
For instance, President Obama and many Democrats in Congress continue to champion a cap and trade energy policy that could have a devastating effect on Ohio’s economy, while dramatically raising electricity prices for consumers in our region.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is also pushing excessive regulations on states that would not only increase operating costs for existing Ohio business, but could impact our ability to attract new development and create jobs.
In addition, the President is leading an effort to create a public health care option and give the federal government more control over our nation’s health care system.
Concerned about the increasing influence of the federal government and its impact on the future of our state and Ohio taxpayers, my colleagues and I in the Ohio Senate recently approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 13, which urges Congress to respect the 10th Amendment and adhere only to the limited rights and responsibilities delegated by the states to the federal government.
I co-sponsored the resolution.
Similar resolutions have been introduced in other states, including New Hampshire, Arizona, Michigan and Missouri.
However, it is important to note that SCR 13 does not threaten succession; it only seeks to affirm Ohio’s sovereignty at a time when the federal government is rapidly expanding.
Former President and author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, once said: “The states should be left to do whatever they can do as well as the federal government.”
While all levels of government can serve a valuable purpose in our society, there must be a strong balance between local, state and federal power.
What is good policy for California or New York may not be good for Ohio or West Virginia. For that reason, our leaders in Washington need to honor the 10th Amendment and respect the right of the states to make their own decisions.
For more information on SCR 13, please visit the Ohio General Assembly website at www.legislature.state.oh.us.
John A. Carey is a member of the Ohio Senate and represents the 17th District. He can be reached at Ohio Senate, Statehouse, Columbus, Ohio 43215 or by phone at (614) 466-8156.