While I scoff at the notion of the US as an empire in the world, there really is one being built right under our noses, and its imperial capital is Washington D.C. President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget, combined with the stimulus and the sweeping changes being proposed to health care, energy, education, and taxes, means more money and power being concentrated in Washington D.C. and less sovereignty at the personal and state and local levels. And apparently that is what we the people want.
I think some of us really do believe that money grows on trees and that Washington D.C. is loaded with them. "Hey, it's not our money, the feds are giving it to us". I think others like the "cake and eat it too" lifestyle that can be had by pawning off debts to future generations, something that is difficult to impossible at the state and local levels. And for some it is a way to impose their politics and lifestyle on the rest of the country while avoiding the consequences. The more that local and state spending derives from taxes at the federal level the better for those folks. Where are you going to move yourself or your business to in that circumstance? Canada?
The end result is that we are sending more and more money to Washington D.C. just to have the privilege of begging the imperial capital to send it back to us so we can fund our schools or build our roads. With the money also come policy mandates and the continued erosion of state and local control and flexibility.
Weighing against the argument for empire is the fact that we send our own representatives to Washington. True enough, but the trend has been more and more nationalization of what should be local and state issues, and the latest push by Obama may represent a tipping point this year. State and local governments will continue to increasingly become auxiliary branches of the federal government, in fact I see it accelerating if the Democratic plans go forward. We may send locals to D.C., but what we are going to get back are national solutions for state and local issues that come from one party or the other. And I do mean one party or the other. I don't buy for one minute that the GOP at the national level is any more capable of restraint right now than Democrats.
Most depressing to me is that I think this whole mess is what Americans want anyway, that's why we are getting it. Not all of us of course. Enough to make it happen though. Right now, we are getting exactly the government that we deserve, and it's starting to look like our days as a republic are numbered.
More: Darleen Click notes that Intel earlier this month chose to invest $7 billion in manufacturing facilities in the US, none of which is in their headquarters state of California. Why might that be? Perhaps they saw the handwriting on the wall*:
Well, no problem, right? If California wants to do that stuff then...let them. As Darleen also notes, because:
Exactly. The answer of course, is that there will be nowhere better to go in the US. It will all be Californiacated anyway.
*I need to check into this at that link: "...trapping heat at a rate 23,000 times higher than carbon dioxide." Anybody know if the science is solid on that? It sounds like bullshit to me, if not technically, at least in practice.