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Colorado should help lead a states' rights fight

Posted by WhoSaidYouSaid on December 27th, 2010
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GOP legislators in Colorado may use “priority-based budgeting” to suggest cuts to the state budget, reports Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Sentinel. But that approach doesn’t sit well with state Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver.

“They say to put a list of everything you want to do in order with dollar amounts,” Ferrandino said, reported the newspaper. “Then when you’re at the bottom, you cut it off. Well, there’s a lot of things we do that are constitutional or federally mandated that might not be the highest priority.”

In regard to federal mandates, Ferrandino’s last sentence nails it, but not for the reasons he might think.

Colorado officials need to challenge Washington, D.C., on the budget-crushing mandates (and spending enticements) that come down from on high, starting with health care.

Attorney General John Suthers is doing his part by challenging ObamaCare in court, arguing (along with attorneys generals in other states) that the federal government lacks constitutional authority to require citizens to buy health insurance - or pay a penalty.

And check out the budget upheaval in Colorado caused by federal health-care budgeting. “Lawmakers ponder trade-offs as federal funding rises for health care” was the headline of a recent story by Debi Brazzale of Colorado News Agency about a recent state Joint Budget Committee meeting at which State Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, asked…

“If we took in a billion dollars in (federal stimulus) funds, for health care policy and finance, and there is a billion-dollar increase in the budget, whether it’s federal dollars or not, my question is still, can we afford this?”

That’s the right question. And the answer is for more power, and budgeting decisions, to be made by the states - and its taxpayers - rather than by a gargantuan federal government with a voracious appetite for deficit spending and new regulatory schemes.

“…With the Medicaid, we’d like to see block grants back to the states,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry (appearing last month on Fox News; see video above). “So we’re going to be very involved in working with our counterparts - not necessarily our counterparts - but our colleagues and friends in Washington as they devolve power out of Washington, D.C., back to the states.”

That’s also the subject of Perry’s new book, “Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington.”

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  • Post by WhoSaidYouSaid on December 27th, 2010

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