December 7, 2012

MICHAEL S. GREVE: Interposition Now. “The heart and soul of our government is the delivery of services, benefits, and entitlements; and with the exceptions of Social Security and the federal tax code, all of that work is being done through and with the assistance of state and local governments: education, transportation, welfare, housing, food stamps, medical services, the environment, etc., etc. States cannot be compelled to do that work (the Constitution gets in the way); they have to be asked and incentivized. Under the ‘cooperative’ federalism programs that implement the states-do-the-feds’-bidding m.o., states gain what they lacked in 1798: an institutional trump against the feds. And for the first time in memory, states now have a powerful incentive to play that trump. They will very likely do so within the next two or three years, to altogether salutary effect.”