Scott Walker is at it again.
The governor of Wisconsin, who has previously publicly stated his intention to resist Obamacare, had his state’s Department of Natural Resources reject federal requests to close portions of parks in the wake of the federal government’s shutdown. The Wisconsin DNR also reopened a boat launch that the federal government had closed down on Tuesday.
As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“The park service ordered state officials to close (portions of national parks), but state authorities rebuffed the request because the lion’s share of the funding came from state, not federal coffers.” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had also closed down a boat launch, but “in a sign of defiance, the DNR removed the barricades at the landing, saying it had the legal authority to operate the launch under a 1961 agreement with the federal government.”
Let’s ignore for a moment the idiocy of closing park land because of Congress can’t decide exactly how much it should add to the ballooning national debt. What Wisconsin has done is quite heroic. In the face of childish federal “take my ball and go home” tactics, Wisconsin has told the feds to go away, that they can handle the expenses of maintaining these parks without federal “help.”
Governor Walker advised the federal government to “Look at what we did in Wisconsin. We had a $3.6 billion deficit; we now have more than a half-a-billion-dollar surplus.” Walker added, “I think not just in Wisconsin but in states across the country there’s a lot of governors and lawmakers in both parties who wish the folks in Washington in both parties would act more like the states and less like our nation’s capital.”
Of course, it is probably unrealistic for Washington to “act more like the states” because the problems that plague D.C. emanate from the federal government’s very nature. Whether he realizes it or not, what Walker and his state have shown in a small but significant way is that it really doesn’t matter how the folks in Washington act. As states continue to become self-reliant and reassert their sovereignty, they show the utter dysfunction of the federal government and the incredible efficacy of state-based resistance.