Cheering AG Abbott

The SE Texas Record Mar. 27, 2010, 8:44am

The relationship between the states and the federal government is in decline.

To a person ignorant of American history, the states might appear to be little more than administrative districts of the federal government. But the federal government is actually a creation of the states, not vice versa.

When the states approved the U.S. Constitution more than 200 years ago, they thereby established the federal government and spelled out its few powers. The federal government was beholden to the states for its powers and its finances.

There was no provision for a direct federal income tax; in fact, it was expressly prohibited. The federal government was obliged to go to the states for its revenue. U.S. Senators were elected not by the people but by state legislatures, and could be counted on to serve the interests of the states.

Senators elected by state legislatures would never have passed the Health Care Reform bill with its imposition of onerous mandates upon the states and its usurpation of state prerogatives.

Early in the 20th Century, when the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution established a direct federal income tax and the election of senators by the vote of the people, the relationship between the states and the federal government inverted.

With an income of its own, the federal government no longer was subservient to the states. In fact, it was able to use its largesse to make the states and its senators subservient to itself.

In recent times, the role of protector of the state's interests has fallen to the state attorney general. Our own Greg Abbott has served that role well.

Abbott and 13 other state AGs have filed suit against the federal government, charging that provisions of the health care bill are unconstitutional.

Abbott's goal is to "protect all Texans' constitutional rights, preserve the constitutional framework intended by our nation's founders, and defend our state from further infringement by the federal government."

We're rooting for him.

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