Federal Money for Local Communities?

That’s what Congressman Tim Ryan (D, OH) wants—and not just for States; he wants Federal dollars for local communities within the States.

I talk to my mayors every day, township trustees, they’re in a world of pain here. There’s no money coming in. There’s gonna be huge layoffs at the local level.
I think that [McConnell’s plan is] a strategy to let these states go bankrupt so that they can renegotiate the pensions and…renegotiate the contracts for the police and fire and get the wages down[.]

This is ignorant on a number of levels. On one level, Ryan obviously slept through his junior high school civics class. In our federal democracy structure, those mayors, township trustees, et al., lead the governments of communities of the State in which they’re resident, not communities under the jurisdiction of the Federal government. John Jay wanted the States to be nothing more than political bodies established for the purpose of enforcing Federal diktats, but fortunately, he lost that debate at our Constitutional Convention all those years ago.

It’s the State governments that are responsible for the communities within them.  Those mayors and trustees should be looking to their State governments for fiscal help, and it’s solely on those State governments to provide it, or to say “No, clean up your spending.”

On another level, Ryan slept deeply through those civics classes. States cannot go bankrupt, not as long as they have taxing authority. They have no need of Federal dollars.  Beyond that, the States that are in fiscal trouble need first to get their budgets in order, to cut their spending to fit within their revenues—to, among other things, fix their irresponsibly profligate public pension programs rather than demand money from the citizens of all the other States—which is what Federal monies are—to pay for their own foolishness.

On yet another level, there’s Ryan’s threat of huge layoffs at the local level. That would simply expose the government bloat that exists as much at the local level as it does at the State and Federal level. Most of those folks would be better off working in the private economy and so would those communities. The police and firemen about whom Ryan shed his crocodile tears would be better off, too: the payroll funds allocated to that bloated work force could be reallocated to the police and fire departments—and at no extra cost to the rest of the citizens of those local communities.

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