Richard Rickerson: Power to the states


Eight state legislatures have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution - Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington. There is speculation that Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania will join them.

The eight state legislatures that have enacted 10th Amendment resolutions deserve praise, but the next step is to give them teeth. Otherwise, Washington will blackmail the states by withholding funds previously collected and provided by the states as a collection agency for the Washington mob.

To stop the flushing of monies through Washington and looking for a refund, it is more appropriate to collect these funds and then provide accurate dispersal to Washington. In 1994, the Colorado Legislature passed a 10th Amendment resolution and later introduced a bill titled "State Sovereignty Act." Had the State Sovereignty Act passed both houses of the Legislature, it would have required all people liable for any federal tax that is a component of the highway user fund, such as a gasoline tax, to remit those taxes directly to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The money would have been deposited in an escrow account called the "Federal Tax Fund" and remitted monthly to the IRS, along with a list of payees and respective amounts paid. If Congress imposed sanctions on Colorado for failure to obey an unconstitutional mandate and penalized the state by withholding funds due - say $5 million for highway construction - the State Sovereignty Act would have prohibited the state treasurer from remitting any funds in the escrow account to the IRS. Instead, Colorado would have imposed a $5 million surcharge on the Federal Tax Fund account to continue the highway construction.

Washington wants to have total control over our lives, and through blackmail of tax funds, it enforces its control. The founders of this nation tried to limit that power with the 10th Amendment, which reads: "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."

Richard Rickerson

Steamboat Springs


ybul 8 years, 1 month ago

No child left behind is a good example of the extortion that the federal government uses to push its agenda even if many disagree with the cost vs benefits of a program. New Hampshire (I think might be another NE state) tried to opt out of the program and the federal government threatened withholding highway money if it did not comply.


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