Sen. Mark Pryor was one of two Democrats to oppose the bill. His reasons are expressed in the letter below, and all of Congress should learn from him.
That's why I sent this letter to Congress using DownsizeDC.org's "Obey the Constitution" campaign.
We encourage you to send a letter of your own, or you may borrow from or copy this . . .
I'm glad the Senate rejected President Obama's request of $35 billion to supposedly save the jobs of teachers, police, and firefighters.
* This was IN ADDITION to the $53.6 billion that schools and law enforcement got from the 2009 Stimulus
* Along with $25 billion more in 2010
* Not to mention hundreds of billions the states have received for countless programs over the years
Why was this needed? Haven't we spent enough? After all, since 1950 . . .
* Total education spending in the U.S. has nearly doubled as a percentage of GDP
* And so has total state and local government spending
* Yet test scores have remained flat or even declined
Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor said it best: "Philosophically, I am not sure it is wise for the federal government to take on the responsibility of paying teachers and firefighters.”
Sen. Pryor also noted that his state "has not run a budget deficit and teachers have not faced layoffs."
Pryor's observation raises two important questions . . .
1. What provision in the Constitution authorizes federal aid to states?
The Constitution gives Congress limited, enumerated powers. Paying for teachers, police, or other state employees are not among them. There is a good reason for this, as illustrated in the second question:
2. Why should taxpayers in relatively well-managed states be forced to bailout poorly-run states?
When you, as a congressperson, take our money and give it to state politicians, you give them NO incentive to act responsibly and balance their books. Money you give them to pay teacher and cops is money they will only spend (probably waste) elsewhere. This means...
You are not REALLY helping teachers and first responders, you are only BAILING OUT fellow politicians.
Stop rewarding failure. Oppose all future state bailout requests, and oppose all bills that violate the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.
You may send your letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), Jim Babka returns to the airwaves, this time as a REGULAR guest host, on Straight Talk w/Jerry Hughes.
* His first guest will be Judge Andrew Napolitano, host of "Freedom Watch" on Fox Business Channel, and author of the new book, "It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong."
* Jim also plans to explain, in simple terms, why the Occupy Wall Street movement is wrong about the Citizens United decision.
Both segments will be unlike anything you'll hear anywhere else.
You can listen live at 2:06 PM Eastern (1:06 PM Central, 12:06 PM Mountain, and 11:06 PM Pacific). (NOTE: The podcast feature was down as we published this Dispatch.)
To hear the show on the web, or to find a local station, visit the network's website.
Affiliates can be found in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Oregon.
Jim will monitor his Twitter account for comments and questions during the broadcast. @JimBabka
Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,
Policy Research Director