Let Utah Do It

Early in the days of the Reagan administration, President Reagan proposed a system in which federal funds for some programs would be disbursed to states in a block grant manner. Under this system of "New Federalism", states would have the discretion to restructure those programs, allocating funds in whatever manner that best suited their state's individual needs.

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, Michael Waddoups, the President of the Utah Senate, and David Clark, the Speaker of the Utah House, revisit this idea in calling for the federal government to use their state as a pilot study by giving them the full authority for managing and funding certain federal programs which are usually done as state-federal partnerships, like health care and education:

We believe the federal government is attempting to do far more than it has the capacity to execute well. Congress has inserted itself into every aspect of our lives with laws and regulations that don't fit the widely divergent nature of the states and localities. The job descriptions assumed by President Obama and Congress have grown far larger than their ability to deliver.

We'd like to relieve some of their burden.

We don't believe that 535 members of Congress and the president can educate our children, provide health care, pave our roads and protect our environment as well as the nation's 8,000 state legislators and tens of thousands of local officials.

So please, let us help. Let's select a few programs -- say, education, transportation and Medicaid -- that are managed mostly by Utah's government, but with significant federal dollars and a plethora of onerous federal interventions and regulations.

Let Utah take over these programs entirely. But let us keep in our state the portion of federal taxes Utah residents pay for these programs. The amount would not be difficult to determine. Rather than send this money through the federal bureaucracy, we would retain it and would take full responsibility for education, transportation and Medicaid -- minus all federal oversight and regulation.
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Bold thinking. Let's see if the powers that be in Washington are willing to respond to such an offer

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