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By Lynn Stuter

May 1, 2007

Recently Jerome Corsi wrote and article, published on World Net Daily entitled Feds threaten Texas over superhighway funds plan in which Corsi alerted readers that the federal government, in a letter to the Texas Department of Transportation, warned that some of the pending legislative proposals, if signed into law, "could affect the State�s eligibility for receiving Federal-aid highway funds."

In her article, Devvy Kidd quoted from a document resulting from Senator Hillary Clinton�s attempt, at the outset of her husband�s first term as president, to federalize health care (socialized medicine). That document stated, emphatically, that �

�State governments are independent, although subordinated, sovereignties, not subdivisions of the federal government. Although the federal government may regulate many of their functions directly [as well, for example, it subjects state water districts to the Clean Water Act], it may not require them to exercise their own governmental powers in a manner dictated by federal law. The states may be encouraged, bribed or threatened into entering into joint federal state programs of various sorts, from unemployment insurance to Medicaid; but they may not be commanded directly to use their own governmental apparatus in the service of federal policy.�

This, of course, is in reference to the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which states,

Powers reserved to states or people. 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 Tenth Amendment is commonly referred to as the States� Rights Amendment.

So, how is it that the feds could get away with threatening Texas as they have?

The answer is simple: federal discretionary grants.

What is a federal discretionary grant? Every department of the United States Government has a federal discretionary grant program. These are grants of money, established by federal law, for which states may apply. Understand that states are not forced to apply for these grants; applying for these grants is voluntary. In fact, every federal law, establishing grant moneys emphatically prohibits federal violation of the 10th Amendment. Follows is the language from the infamous Goals 2000, Educate America Act:

Sec. 318. Prohibition on Federal Mandates, Direction and Control

Nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize an officer or employee of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school�s curriculum program of instruction, or allocation of State or local resources or mandate a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act.

Similar verbiage is used in every federal law establishing a discretionary grant program.

So, if the feds are specifically prohibited from violating the 10th Amendment, how is it that the feds could get away with threatening Texas as they have?

After a federal law is passed establishing a federal discretionary grant program, a Request for Proposals (RFP) is published. This document invites states to apply for federal grants. In many cases, the services of non-governmental organizations are contracted to write the grant application to ensure that the grant application will meet the terms and conditions of the RFP as the intent in submitting the grant application is to obtain the money being offered by the federal agency.

The grant application must be signed by an individual at the state level with the authority to do so. In other words, the grant application cannot be signed by the lowly secretary in the state agency or department seeking the federal grant money, the grant application must be signed by the head (person with authority) of that state agency or department.

If the federal government accepts the grant application as meeting the terms and conditions of the Request for Proposals, an award of grant money is set in motion. The moment the federal government sets in motion the award of grant money, the state and federal government, via the legal signature of the head of the state agency or department on that grant application, has entered into a de facto contract in which the state agrees to abide the terms and conditions set down in the federal Request for Proposals.

The terms and conditions set down in the Request for Proposals are what people need to be looking at in determining what their state has agreed to in order to receive the federal discretionary grant money. What was established, in the terms and conditions of the RFP, does an end run on the 10th Amendment. There, in the terms and conditions, are listed all the federal laws in which the state must be in compliance in order to receive the grant money, many of those laws not even related to the topic at hand. What this does, in effect, is establish an ensnaring web not unlike that of a black widow spider from which the state, once ensnared, cannot escape.

When the feds threatened Texas with the loss of federal highway funds, it is not only federal highway funds the state of Texas will lose if it defaults on its de facto contract with the federal government, it will also be funds for every discretionary grant to which federal highway funds has been tied.

At the time researchers in Washington State were researching the state�s claim that participation in Goals 2000 was voluntary, but the state at the same time saying it had to meet the requirements under which Goals 2000 grant money was received, one researcher called a little known and not advertised U.S. Government office and requested a complete annotation of all federal discretionary grants for the State of Washington. About two weeks later a box was delivered to her door filled with continuous feed computer paper about 7� deep, each page listing line after line of federal discretionary grants held by the State of Washington. This gives one some idea of the spider web of federal control that has been established over not only the State of Washington but every state in the union.

Federal discretionary grants provide pennies on the dollar of the actual cost of a program at the state or local level, but for pennies on the dollar, the state or local agency must comply with the federal requirements set down in the terms and conditions under which the grant application was accepted. This establishes de facto federal control over what states do. Taxpayer dollars pay the salaries of our state legislators, maintain a state capitol, maintain the state infrastructure; and in the end, every dollar we pay in state taxes is controlled by the federal government through the discretionary granting process. On top of that, we are forced to pay, through federal withholding, the money that is used at the federal level to set up discretionary granting programs.

State governments and state agencies are nothing more than implementers of federal mandates accepted through voluntary application for federal discretionary grants. Taxpayers could save themselves a lot of money by doing away with state legislative bodies and state government and moving to a regional governance structure under the auspices of the federal government. That, of course, is the ultimate goal and will be achieved through the continued downward spiral of our economy, loss of jobs to outsourcing, environmental policies, and continued influx of illegal aliens (cheap labor).

There is not a state legislature to date that has had the fortitude to tell the federal government to take its money and get out. When Alabama decided it would not implement Goals 2000, it was reminded of all the federal money it would lose if it failed to comply. Alabama capitulated.

Will Texas capitulate?

I wouldn�t bet anything that it won�t!

What needs to happen to change this situation?

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  • State agencies need to be prohibited from apply for or accepting federal discretionary grants
  • Repeal of the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • State laws need to be implemented denying the federal government the right tax citizens living within the boundaries of the state or on employers residing within the state
  • Repeal of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • Federal agencies, established in direct violation of the United States Constitution, need to be challenged via the courts.

The proper role of the federal government needs to be re-established.

� 2007 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved

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Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas.

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The moment the federal government sets in motion the award of grant money, the state and federal government, via the legal signature of the head of the state agency or department on that grant application, has entered into a de facto contract in which the state agrees to abide the terms and conditions set down in the federal Request for Proposals.