Leave it to Texas to take on Capital Hill.  This morning Governor Rick Perry (Texas) released this statement:

“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size,  its intrusion into the lives of our  citizens, and its interference with the affairs of the state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential Tenth Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”

What does the Tenth Amendment state? “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

The point of the House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50 is to support the rights of the sovereign United States to govern themselves in areas where the federal government has not been granted authority by the U.S. Constitution. To date, as the government continues to expand,  states are under constant threats of losing federal funding where they do not comply with federal regulations, even when those regulations stand outside the authority of the Constitution.

There are many contemporary “states’ rights” issues in which the federal government is increasingly exerting influence. These include: the death penalty, gay marriage, assisted suicide, and medical marijuana use. Other less polarizing issues are federal mandates related to highway funding, education, the legal drinking age, housing regulations, and more. And the federal government will only continue to balloon in size under the current direction of the Obama adminsitration, whose sole goal appears to be to monitor and oversee every sector of society, including the weather (I recently learned the President Obama has the power to block harmful UV rays and stop global warming!)

As the size of the federal government increases I believe we will continue to see a growing polarization in American culture between those who seem eager to see the United States move towards socialism and those who desire to defend the inalienable rights of the States and limit the intrusions of the federal government on the lives of individual Americans. Unfortunately, as long as Americans continue to look for a savior on Capital Hill to bail us out of our excessive materialism while refusing to accept responsibility for creating the moral and economic quagmire we’ve created, the more likely it is that states’ rights will continue to get swallowed up in the will of the talking heads leading us in Washington.