The Bean Patch

Political commentary and satire, seasoned with personal experience, from the point-of-view of an ultra-conservative member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and the Patriarchy to boot.

Location: Jasper, Georgia, United States

Conservative, Baptist, family man. Married for 13 years with 4 children. Accountant by trade. Bachelor's of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University in Marietta, GA, in 1996. Graduated Cherokee High School, Canton, GA in 1991. Live in Jasper, GA.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Where A Big Government Belongs

Mike Huckabee, governor of Arkansas, has received some bad reviews from some of the conservative watchdog groups. Of those who are considered "real" contenders for the nomination, I would say that at this point I like Huckabee the best, although I am not at this point in time completely convinced he is as much of a conservative as he claims to be.

The watchdog groups point to some of the events that unfolded in Arkansas under his tenure, such as increases in taxes, to say that he is not conservative. Although the act of "raising", or collecting, taxes is not anti-conservative, since a certain amount of revenue is needed for the operation of government, the amounts raised and methods of raising are definitely debatable.

Huckabee raised sales taxes, or at least the state did while he was governor, which is the preferred method of raising taxes to conservative. Huckabee also claims to be a proponent of the Fairtax, which is a plus. But watchdog groups making a blanket assumption that the growth of state government under the tenure of a governor disqualifies him as conservative is fallable at best. As a matter of fact, constitutionally, this is where a conservative would prefer the growth of government.

The U.S. is unique in that its citizens have the ability to move for hundreds, even thousands, of miles freely. No other nation in the world boasts this freedom. Consequently, different regions have different needs and philosophies. The degree of government within each state is unique to that state, provided that it does not counter the few powers delegated to the Federal government, such as interstate commerce. If a state, such as Arkansas, wishes to raise taxes to whatever level, this is their constitutional right.

State government is also more accountable to its citizenry, since the state represents a region of the body and not the whole. So if government is growing in size anywhere, it should be at the state level. State citizens can then debate what they need. If the citizens of the state do not like the operation of the state, they have the freedom and choice to move to another state more suitable.

This is the principle upon which many issues should be decided rather than decided in the supreme court of the land, or even in the federal legislature. An issue, such as murder or abortion, should be state mandated. If Massachusetts wants to legalize abortion or murder, then the state has the power to do so. But this does not mean that a state such as New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Nevada should be held to laws that go against the wishes or morality of their citizenry.

While I may not agree with the views of liberals, I do agree that if they can win at the ballot box with their viewpoints within their state, they do have the right to legislate those viewpoints within their state, but not at the federal level.

And so Mike Huckabee may have been subject and even party to some anti-conservative governmental moves while governor of Arkansas. But his words and acts will dictate whether or not he is truly conservative, not the acts of legislatures or courts within the state during his tenure.


Blogger Wadical said...

I agree. If big government must exist, it should exist at the state level. But I must admit, I am torn when considering such issues as abortion and homosexual marriage.

If abortion were illegal in Florida but legal in Alabama, then someone who really wanted to kill their child could simply drive a few hours to do so. Has justice really been served by allowing this person to kill their kid simply because they're on the left side of some line on a map?

If I marry my wife in Florida and then move to Georgia...we're still married and Georgia has to recognize that. So then, it would be reasonable to assume that if two men can marry each other in Vermont, that they can then come to my state and expect to be acknowledged and accepted to be married here. They could reasonably expect to be able to file joint tax returns and recieve employer provided family benefits, etc., even though it is against the law here. And why? Because of a line on a map? What good then does it do me to have a law in my state forbidding it if you can just do it in another state and reap the benefits here in mine?

My point is that moral issues dealt with at a state level affect the populous of other states. In such instances, those states should be unified. The only way to do that is with legislation at the federal level. I'm not sure how to draw that line. It would be fuzzy indeed. For example, some people may consider gambling to be just as offensive and sinful as abortion, but lincensing, taxes, economic impact and other revenue generated from such activities are used for the benefit of the citizens of that state and it should therefore be at the discretion of that state to decide if such activities are legal or illegal.

Another example of a "power" that should not belong to the state is in the area of gun control. The US Constitution guarantees the people the right to keep an bear arms. To allow a state the power to legislate away that right is Unconstitutional. But it happens...and not only at the State level but also at the local level.

There are some powers that just should not belong to the state government. There are more powers still that shouldn't belong to any government. But, as a civilized society, we should all be held accountable to the same standards.

I guess this is why I'm still a Republican and not a card carrying Libertarian.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Leona said...

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8:04 PM  

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