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Governor Murphy Shouldn’t Have to Panhandle

Dear Editor:

If you, like me, are one of the few people who haven’t completely tuned Phil Murphy out by now, you probably know his biggest hits by heart. There’s Mask or Die, Keep your Distance, Shut it Down, Freedom is for Knuckleheads, and my personal favorite, the topic of this letter: Give me Money Now.
The chorus of this ditty goes something like this: the federal government must give the state billions of dollars or we’ll be forced to make “hard decisions.”
Its laughable when someone like Taylor Swift presumes to make a song about “love” when everyone knows they clearly have zero credibility on the topic—that’s the initial feeling I get when I hear the governor repeat this particular line.
There are too many obvious questions and rebuttals that immediately spring to mind when Murphy makes this statement. For example, why shouldn’t the state have to make “hard decisions,” isn’t everyone else? Or, how could we possibly be out of money with taxes as high as they are?
These are good questions, but beside the point: I’m not here to beat up on Phil. The truth is, if you squint hard enough, you can make out the shape of a legitimate point in his complaint.
Doesn’t it strike you as odd that the state is asking money from the federal government at all?
After all, any money the federal government has, it took from the people of the states, either directly or indirectly. So why is the federal government taking money only to give it back? That seems pretty inefficient.
Why not just keep the money at home in the first place?
If this weird arrangement were just wasteful, I could live with that. But the truth is far less sanguine.
Every “federal” dollar a state receives comes with strings attached. So, Washington D.C. takes money from the people of a state, only to turn around and use that money to bribe the state into surrendering more of its sovereignty.
In one fell swoop the people are robbed of both their money and their right to self-governance: a pretty neat trick, to be sure.
Through the repetition of this perverse cycle, the states have become largely impotent and subordinate to Washington D.C. The federal system established by our founding fathers has been taken from us in a bloodless coup.
What can we do about it?
We can stop enriching the suburbs of D.C. and put that money to work here at home by calling an Article V convention of states to amend the Constitution (learn more at conventionofstates.com).
Our bloated and expensive state government is certainly problematic, and it’s outrageous to say that state workers should somehow be immune from the economic headwinds everyone else in the state is facing.
But, by the same token they ought to have far greater job security than federal bureaucrats.
I’m tired of watching our governor grovel for money that should never have left the state in the first place. If you are too, I hope you’ll join in the fight to restore our federal system and return power to the states and to the people.

Seth Essendrop

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