The Topic: Fiscal Federalism

 fenrik (8:45 AM)
Contention: The use of categorical grants-in-aid by the federal government to provide money for state and local programs such as public education, welfare and social improvement initiatives is inherently flawed in that it concentrates too much power in the hands of executive bureaucrats. Allowing state officials, who are after all closer to the problems than federal bureaucrats, to decide how money is spent, is a wiser plan. Therefore, block grants should be used more often than categorical grants.

Comment intelligently on this idea.


 Alexander Hamilton (10:09 AM)
More block grants? That's a great idea. And why not just take away the Federal Government's ability to collect taxes, too? And the military, who needs that? And federal courts? What a bunch of hogwash. Let's just let all the states do whatever the heck they please. Those geniuses in the state capitals are just so much smarter than anyone in the Federal Government.

 Alexander Hamilton (10:09 AM)
In case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic.

Marge Simpson (10:10 AM) 
Well, Duh.

Thomas Jefferson (11:07 AM) 
I'd start a debate with you about balance of small and large governmental bodies, Alex, but we all know where that gets us.

 Hobbes (11:07 AM)
Where does it get us?

Thomas Jefferson (11:07 AM) 
Watch, I'll demonstrate. *Ahem*.

When considering the ideal granularity of a governmental body, one must consider the two extremes. At the largest extreme, you have a single monolithic bureaucracy governing an entire country. All decisions are made at this central authority. It obviously has the problems of too much complexity, and not enough information about the needs of local areas.

Thomas Jefferson (11:07 AM) 
At the other end of the spectrum, you can give most of the power to small community governments. This has different problems- different areas do redundant work to solve the same issue, local politicians don't have enough real work to do, so instead become powerful local busybodies...

 Space Moose (11:07 AM)
Man, my asshole hurts.

 Milkman Dan (11:07 AM)
Try using more milk, next time. Say, may we join in the discussion, guys?

 Batman (11:07 AM)
What do you screwups know about politics?

 Who Is Tyler Durden? (11:07 AM)
Politics is for the weak and the timid. To cause real change, action must be taken directly.

The Director (11:07 AM) 

 Mr. T (11:09 AM)
I pity the fool who talks about politics!

The Director (11:09 AM) 
With more feeling!

 Mr. T (11:09 AM)
I pity the fool who talks about politics!

Thomas Jefferson (11:09 AM) 
And here we are. This is where it gets us.

 Alexander Hamilton (12:13 PM)
Sorry, I was off getting a sandwich. Did I miss anything?

 fenrik (1:24 PM)
Mr. Jefferson, your argument is compelling on the extremes, but flawed in that it fails to address the possibility of striking a balance. The original contention said "more often," not "exclusively." Aristotle teaches us the wisdom of finding a mean between two extremes. Can not you and Mr. Hamilton put aside your historical differences (keeping in mind you're both dead and printed on currency anyway) and come to an accord? You can achieve more together than warring with one another.

 Thomas Jefferson (1:36 PM)
I failed to address the possiblity of striking a balance because (as always) my discourse was cut short by the usual brainless rabble, bursting in exactly on cue.

Alexander Hamilton (1:40 PM) 
It seems pretty quiet now, Tom. Why don't go you go for it?
I'm sure no one will interrupt this time.


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