President Obama urged reluctant lawmakers Saturday to quickly approve nearly $50 billion in emergency aid to state and local governments, saying the money is needed to avoid “massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters” and to support the still-fragile economic recovery.
Anyone else just have to sigh at these pleas? As Tad DeHaven over at the Cato Blog rightfully put it, “the increasing dependency on the federal government has contributed to the states’ dereliction of duty when it comes to keeping their fiscal houses in order.” He argues that, “reviving fiscal federalism is critical to getting governments at all levels in the United States to clean up their fiscal messes.”
Sounds about right to me. Like I’ve mentioned before, by bailing out failing institutions, whether it be States, General Motors, or Merrill Lynch, we are subsidizing bad behavior. President Bush did it in the latter half of his presidency, and Obama has carried the torch. Now, he wishes to carry it even further.
November couldn’t come any sooner.