The Show-Me Institute isn’t typically one to join “coalitions” or issue open letters to officials, but the public debate on a proposed second round of coronavirus-related bailouts to state and local governments deserves a plain response.
There should be no further state bailouts. None.
Please do not offer bailouts. Please do not entertain them. The story of American governance over the last half-century has been one of a growing parent-child relationship between the federal and state governments. This relationship is predicated on the expectation of financial support for states in both ordinary and extraordinary times. American states were meant to be sovereigns, not trust fund babies protected from the consequences of their individual actions by the federal government
Now is the time for states to move out of the federal government’s basement and openly reject a new round of bailouts. If they don't, the federal government needs to kick the deadbeats out by declining to deliver one. The federal government should not prevent states from receiving a needed education on the consequences of their policy decisions.
Further “stimulus” to the private sector, whether it be to businesses or workers directly, should similarly cease. But the increasingly subsidiary federal-state relationship deserves immediate attention, and immediate rejection. Every state, including Missouri, needs to stop its extraordinary reliance on federal money, and the right time to start the detox process is now.
No bailouts. It’s time for the states to grow up.