By Lynn Stuter
February 24, 2009
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has gone on record, stating his state will not be taking stimulus money that will force expansion of existing programs or the establishing of new programs. Joined by Governors Mark Sandord of South Carolina, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Sarah Palin of Alaska, Butch Otter of Idaho, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and Rick Perry of Texas, these governors are voicing concerns about the stimulus money being offered the states by the federal government under H.R. 1, better known as the Porkulus Package or the Piggy Package of Pork Barrel Spending.
In my last article, I stated that the total cost of the Porkulus Package would be $4.06 trillion broken down as follows: $789 billion for the Porkulus loan itself, money that would have to come from the already depressed economy; approximately $744 billion in debt service on that loan and $2.527 trillion in new programs and expansion of existing programs over the next decade.
It becomes apparent that the states are being offered stimulus money with strings attached; that the cost of getting that money is acceptance of federal regulation.
This phenomenon is nothing new; it has been going on, literally, for decades.
It is called federal discretionary grants.
This is how it works.
Congress writes and passes a law; money is appropriated to meet the monetary requirement of the law.
Requests for proposals (RFP) are published. RFPs delineate the terms and conditions the state, county, municipality, or school district (grantee) must meet in order to receive grant money. Prospective recipients write their grant applications to meet the terms and conditions of the RFP. The grant application must then be signed by an individual with the authority to do so, then is submitted to the federal agency administering the grant.
If the grant is accepted by the federal granting authority, grant monies are then awarded, establishing between the grantee and the federal government a de facto contract, legally binding, in which the grantee agrees to the terms and conditions set down by the RFP, including compliance with any laws stated in the RFP.
More often than not, one of the conditions of the RFP governing the grant, is that the grantee agree to fund the balance of the project or program and provide continued funding for the same.
What recipients of these grants have learned is that the federal grant money amounts to pennies on the dollar of the total cost of the grant project or program; that the grants really only represent “seed money”. At the same time, federal terms and conditions, as set down in the RFP, governs the entire project, including continued funding of the project. This is where the $2.527 trillion figure in the Porkulus Package comes from: the amount it will cost state, county and municipalities to continue funding programs and projects after federal seed money runs out. This is why many governors are “picking and choosing” the stimulus money accepted.
This also amounts to federal regulation of state, county and municipal tax dollars and budgets as monies to fund the federal projects after seed money runs out must be generated and allocated, whether the project is a priority or not, and whether the local tax base can afford it.
Many may recall the firestorm that erupted a few years ago over unfunded mandates which is the term used when federal money does not cover the cost of a federal project but the state, county or local municipality is required to continue funding the project or program after federal money runs out, creating a monetary burden the recipient is forced to fund, usually at the expense of priority programs for which they are constitutionally responsible.
Many wonder why infrastructure is crumbling. Unfunded mandates are part of the reason.
The other federal mandate of the RFP is just as deleterious to states, counties and municipalities as the unfunded mandate; that is the number of federal laws the recipient must agree to comply with as condition of receiving the grant money. Many of the laws are not even relevant to the project for which the money is being granted.
This has, over a period of time, resulted in a virtual spider-web effect. If a state, county or municipality accepts a grant, the recipient finds themselves subject to a virtual spider-web of laws that cannot be escaped. The effect is truly that of a fly trapped in a spider web, unable to extricate itself from the sticky mess in which it finds itself entrapped. Entrapping states, counties and municipalities, forcing them to subjugate to federal regulation is the stick that comes with the carrot of federal money.
Witness what happened in 2005 when Utah set about to “repudiate” No Child Left Behind. The feds brought out their rather large hammer and, in the end, the attempt by Utah to repudiate NCLB died a very quiet death. And while the citizens of Utah were not told why, the truth was that had Utah passed the bill to repudiate NCLB, the feds would have cut off federal money to the state.
How much are we talking about?
Several years ago a friend, out of curiosity, requested a printout of the grants received by Washington state. Several days later she received a box in which she found a stack of continuous feed computer paper listing no less than 15 grants per page. The stack of paper was approximately 7.5 inches deep. A ream of paper, 500 sheets, is approximately 2” deep. This would equate to approximately 1875 sheets of paper; no less than 28,125 federal grants, new and continuing.
This gives one some idea of the control the federal government exerts over state, county and local municipalities via discretionary grants.
It is pretty obvious that federal discretionary grants are a way of usurping control that otherwise could not be usurped; they do an end run on the Tenth Amendment.
Enter a move, this year, in several states to reassert state’s rights. Washington state is among several states that have introduced a resolution to do just that (HJM 4009), the resolution, stating in part,
WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and
WHEREAS, Many federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and
WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now being considered by the present administration and from Congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully resolve:
… (2) That this serve as a Notice and Demand to the federal government to maintain the balance of powers where the Constitution of the United States established it and to cease and desist, effective immediately, any and all mandates that are beyond the scope of its constitutionally delegated powers.
What the Piggy Package of Pork Barrel Spending amounts to, in final, in an unprecedented grab for power by Also Known As (AKA) Obama and the federal government, a move to nationalize the United States of America into a soviet socialist republic.
On February 20, 2009, at a gathering of mayors at the White House, AKA was most empathetic, commiserating with mayors over the lack of funding, then singling out Texas mayors, telling them they could lose billions if Governor Rick Perry refused stimulus funds. AKA, however, carefully avoided mention of the federal strings and federal control attached to that money, a condition, however, that did not escape the journalist for The Dallas Morning News, Todd J. Gillman.
What needs to happen to rectify this situation, to reassert state’s rights?
State agencies must be prohibited from apply for or accepting federal discretionary grants.
The 16th and 17th Amendments to the United States Constitution must be repealed.
States must deny the federal government access to citizens or companies residing within the state for the purposes of taxation.
Federal agencies, established in direct violation of the United States Constitution, need to be challenged via the courts.
The United States of America stands on the brink of destruction at the hands of a man who has no allegiance to this country as he is not an American citizen yet sits in the Oval Office. He must be exposed and ousted before he does further damage to this country.
With the signing of the Piggy Package of Pork Barrel Spending, AKA has declared war on the United States in the name of “hope” and “change”. He and his communist and terrorist allies — the likes of William Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn, Frank Davis (his mentor), Jeremiah Wright, Carol Browner, ACORN, Sam Graham-Felsen (Obama’s official blogger and contributor to the Socialist Viewpoint), Rashid Khalidi (PLO operative), Hatem El-Hady (Obama fundraiser whose Islamic fundraising efforts were closed down by the government as terrorist connected) — want nothing so much as they want the destruction of this nation. And they have nothing on the tax dodgers (Tim Geithner, Tom Daschle, Nancy Kileffer), porn sleaze (David Ogden), ethics violators (Rahm Emanuel, Bill Richardson) and terrorist sympathizers (Eric Holder) AKA has appointed or tried to appoint to fill administration positions.
The United States Supreme Court, in refusing to address the illegitimacy of AKA to the Oval Office, is aiding and abetting that destruction.
Meanwhile, the rumble of discontent among the American people is growing louder with each passing day. The recent protests in Mesa, Arizona while AKA was there pontificating about the mortgage bailout wasn’t shown on the lamestream news. Should we be surprised considering truth is not their forte. Pictures can be viewed here. It is very obvious that AKA is not fooling a growing segment of the American population with his empty promises.
Never, in all my years, have I seen people become so disenchanted with a man so quickly. This past week has seen a upsurge in cartoons, articles, even newspaper advertisements castigating the Marxist ideology of AKA and his corrupt minions. The issue of his illegitimacy to the Oval Office is a ball and chain that he cannot and will not get away from.
In this past week, while the Secret Service harassed an Oklahoma City man, Chip Harrison, for having a sign on his truck stating “Abort Obama, not the unborn,” the FBI has done nothing about Mark Ames who has more than strongly suggested someone kill Betsey McCaughey who exposed the AKA plan, in the Piggy Package of Pork Barrel Spending, to force health care providers to supply to the federal government confidential information on patients to be data-based at the federal level, a precursor to nationalizing health care and implementing socialized medicine; Ames claiming Ms McCaughey just wanted to keep the money for her “plutocrat friends.”
The message is very clear: it’s not okay to display signs proclaiming “Abort Obama” but it’s okay to threaten to kill people who oppose AKA’s Marxist policies!
Democracy in action. As James Madison stated in Federalist #10, democracy …
“can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole, a communication and concert results from the form of Government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths.”
And while Congress dithers, the Supreme Court dawdles, and law enforcement discriminately enforces the law, the fabric of this country is being shredded.
These people are not deserving of the respect their office engenders as they have no respect for their office themselves. Beyond that, they have violated their oaths of office to protect and defend the United States Constitution.
They are traitors, one and all!
Other of my articles concerning federal grants:
1. ACORN Trains Citizens to Protest Home Foreclosures
2. Holder advocated regulating Internet speech
3. Rahm’s rent is just the tip of the ethics iceberg
4. Obama’s porn lawyer national security risk
5. Obama destroying the USA to rebuild it in his own image?
6. President Obama is economically insane
7. Rick's Revolution Continues -- CNBC Reporter Responds to White House Criticism -- Video
8. Obama's Housing Plan: CNBC's Rick Santelli and the "Rant of the Year" -- Video
9. Saving America: Time to Hit the Streets?
10. Tax Evasion vs. Tax Revolt
© 2009 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved
Activist and researcher, Stuter has spent the last fifteen years researching systems theory and systems philosophy with a particular emphasis on education as it pertains to achieving the sustainable global environment. She home schooled two daughters. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance, the sustainable global environment and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and a growing body of citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation from a Constitutional Republic to a participatory democracy. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas.
Web site: www.learn-usa.com