Two Kentucky candidates recently made Tenth Amendment friendly statements.

While Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jack Conway continued to press the issue of rampant drug problems in Eastern Kentucky, saying his Republican opponent doesn’t get it and vocally advocating for federal funds, Rand Paul stuck to his guns, reiterating that he opposes federal funding for drug enforcement and addiction programs.

Paul insists the best way to deal with problems comes through innovating local solutions, adding that Washington siphoning money out of the state makes that more difficult.

“Right now we send money to Washington that comes back to us after it circulates through the Washington bureaucracy. Maybe if we weren’t sending so much to Washington, we’d have more in Kentucky,” Paul said.

Paul’s stand has apparently cost him some points in the polls. But Paul is right. And even if those dollars create some benefit when Washington deems it fit to bless the Commonwealth with a little windfall, the federal government has no Constitutional authority to fund drug programs.

Unfortunately, most politicians and citizens put pragmatism over principle, rooting in the feed trough for federal dollars instead of making tough decisions and prioritizing spending at the state level. It’s easier. And we all love easy.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Moffett also made a strong statement for state sovereignty, calling for Kentucky to take control of its own health care system and emphatically emphasizing the proper relationship between state and federal powers.

“Health insurance is not a federal issue; it is a state issue,” Moffett said. “While Washington D.C. is fighting itself over ObamaCare, Kentucky should deregulate its health system as quickly as possible to protect consumers and taxpayers. We just need to exercise some leadership.”

The key lies in actually exercising some leadership and having the courage to make hard decisions. Citizens must come to understand that government, at any level, cannot solve all of its problems. And while most issues are better handled at the state and local level, something our founders understood when framing the Constitution, government of any kind must work with limited resources, which means setting priorities and learning to say a word most politicians find nearly impossible to utter.


cross-posted from the Kentucky Tenth Amendment Center

Mike Maharrey

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