Q: What is an issue that deserves more attention than it has received from candidates during the election cycle?
A: States' Role a Key Question
A key underlying issue is the balance of power between the states and the federal government. For decades, power has shifted toward Washington. With the federal government $16 trillion in the red, however, Uncle Sam can no longer afford that role. Inevitably, more power will revert to the states.
This could be a good thing. Because states can’t print money, they have had to be more careful in how they spend it. It's a natural move for them to take more responsibility, just as a bankruptcy trustee might take over a business.
Look at health issues, for example. The Republicans have suggested that Medicaid become a program of block grants to the states. Lacking the power to print money, state governments will have to be more judicious and creative in how they handle health care. They also know their own residents' needs best. As laboratories of democracy, they'll be able to experiment with new ideas. Finally, healthy competition between them will foster improvements.
Meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act would give more power to the federal government. In this and many other areas, that's the core debate: Should we double down on giving more power to the central government? Or should we give the states more leeway to find solutions, as intended by the Constitution?
The Founders created a government in which freedom was preserved because every level of government was balanced against another. The states were meant to be a check on Washington. Giving states more of the power they were meant to have will help safeguard our freedom.
So what happens if in coming years more power returns to the states? That would put more responsibility on North Carolina. Are we ready for it? That's the next good question.
This is a response to a question about whether there is a moral obligation to vote, asked by Everything Questioned. Check back Friday to see who wrote this response, find more views at EQ's homepage, and share your thoughts through comments or by submitting a 300-word response to Austin Baird.