Political Science revision
IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TOO STRONG OR TOO WEAK TODAY
Course Title: Course Unit
There is a general outcry that the big government syndrome is gradually into the American political scene. However, this seems unfounded as the American political system is anchored on very many checks and balances, than other democracies the world over. Still, various political pundits believe that the American political administrations have grown mold because of powerful non-state actors and lobby groups. They are present on both the right and left areas of America’s political spectrum, and they represent their clienteles’ interests. The 1789 American constitution bequeathed the federal government with more powers compared to the states governments, awarding them the powers to collect taxes, establish an army, be the final adjudicators of legal disputes between individual states, and regulation of commerce between states. It is often indicated that the Supreme Court of the United States represents the strength of the federal government over the states. The authority the 1789 constitution gave the federal government to collect taxes and raise an army effective trumped local state politics. This paper investigates the strength of either the federal or the state governments in the present.
Section 1: The Federal-State Power Balance
The United States Constitution established federalism, a system of power sharing between states and the central governments. It is without doubt that the roles bequeathed to the state government seem secondary and less powerful than the primary roles awarded to the federal government by the same constitution. Over the years, alliances of states or individual states have threatened to quash such federal authority, but many believe that the power of the federal political system has always prevailed. However, during the southern slavery pre-civil war, the federal government was constantly at the peril of the state government. Still, the states have only been restricted to small spaces of innovation and resistance, in their push to decline federal laws and create new state laws that the federal government has not developed first. The bill of rights was a celebrated amendment, as it was believed to have limited federal government powers. Today, the 1789 constitution has gone through numerous amendments that political scholars believe could have changed the sway on either direction. There are certain experts who believe that the amendments have strengthened the federal government while others believe that the amendments have made the states more powerful in relation to the federal government.
Section 2: Comparison State of Alaska versus the Federal government
This section shall compare the state of Alaska to the federal government to determine where the actual power lies. The Alaskan government much like another state government has been beneficiaries of federal grant over the years, a clear indication that the state government depends on the federal government for its development. The cannabis law that has been passed in some other states and currently being discussed in Alaska is a pointer to splinter move by the Alaskan state just like its other contemporaries to grow out of its present fold. An opinion is anchored on the belief that the Federal government provides a national image than the image presented by the fragmented political units in the form of states. Actually, the true strength of the state of Alaska compared to other states as opposed to the federal government is the policies that it implements. Today, thanks to technology and infrastructural developments, it is very easy to move across the country without any bottlenecks. It can be a real foolishness for a state to function like a separate country. Today, Americans live all over the country, and without any border restrictions between states. The Alaskan state must define its policies that represent the interests and wishes of its people, for instance, if Alaska is a gun loving state, and then it should enact laws that are pro-gun. If the federal government was to enact laws that declared guns illegal, then the state policies shall prevail in the state, and a nullification of such a federal policy by the state government does not necessarily imply the state is powerful relative to the federal government. States are ideally small imitations of the federal government, and it is without doubt that the citizens’ interests are properly catered for within the humongous national nation of the US. This was more evident when the then governor of Alaska while giving her State of the State Address on 17 January 2008, and imitation of the president’s state of the nation address. In her address then, the female governor declared that the state of Alaska deserved to be autonomous and not rely on the federal government for funds for development. Nonetheless, the state of Alaska receives the largest per individual federal earmarks in the country. The balance of power is effectively for the federal government, and this is because of the enlarging administrative agencies as well as other federal programs. These programs and agencies have encroached on the sovereignty of the and unsurprisingly to little resistance from the states’ political actors.
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Testa, Cecilia. “Allocating the US Federal Budget to the States: The Impact of the President”. Journal of Politics. 68, no. 2 (2008): 447-456.