By Shane Trejo
Once again, the New York Times has published an editorial attacking constitutional principles. This time, it calls for the virtual dissolution of the Republic.
The reasoning behind this assertion? That the government is too small.
Parag Khanna wrote an op-ed article in the May 30 edition of the Times suggesting a dissolution of the states because of “an antiquated political structure of 50 distinct states” holds back the grand fantasies of central planners in Washington D.C. It reads, in part:
The problem is that while the economic reality goes one way, the 50-state model means that federal and state resources are concentrated in a state capital — often a small, isolated city itself — and allocated with little sense of the larger whole. Not only does this keep back our largest cities, but smaller American cities are increasingly cut off from the national agenda, destined to become low-cost immigrant and retirement colonies, or simply to be abandoned…
Washington currently provides minimal support for regional economic efforts and strategies; it needs to go much further, even at the risk of upsetting established federal-state political balances. A national infrastructure bank, if it ever gets off the ground, should have as part of its charter an obligation to ignore state lines when weighing projects to support.
Khanna doesn’t seem to have any concept or regard for decentralized government, or the danger of consolidated power in the hands of a few powerful people. Those are just pesky little obstacles that need to be overcome while pressing toward the goal of “national greatness” achieved through new federal banking apparatuses, more spending binges, and power further centralized in Washington D.C.
Although Khanna may be correct that our nation’s infrastructure is dismal, there is simply no money left to fix it. The federal government blew through nearly $20 trillion while neglecting infrastructure. Even if the feds were to spend more taxpayer dollars to supposedly fix infrastructure, history dictates that they would not do any better of a job allocating those funds than they did with the previous $20 trillion.
Unfortunately, though, this is the mindset that is dominant among the political class and its backers.
The bad news for Khanna is that the public is starting to reject what he is selling. Distrust of the federal government is near all-time highs, something which has become a long-lasting trend. This makes it less likely for centralizers like Khanna to rally public opinion behind lofty fantasies about massive infrastructure projects and the elimination of state sovereignty, regardless of what is published in the New York Times.
On a positive note, the time-tested American principle of decentralization is starting to catch on again. In larger numbers, people are getting sick of the federal government’s heavy-handed nature, and want the power to returned home. States and people are more than equipped to handle their own infrastructure without bringing unaccountable Washington D.C. bureaucrats into the equation. If the momentum continues and gets firmly behind local control, Khanna’s prescriptions will never get off the ground.