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August 2, 2021

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DARREL SMITH: Federal mandates change local governments

2 min read

Published Mobridge Tribune 

How much liberty can we, our children, or our grandchildren expect to enjoy if every year the federal government and our state government pass hundreds of new laws and thousands of new regulations?
Unfortunately, it’s not just laws, regulations and even courts that limit our liberty but also government mandates. A mandate is an order from a higher government that a lower government must obey. There are books of laws, regulations and court cases but not of mandates. They are in most federal and state departments and programs. They affect every one of us.
California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office termed just its educational mandates ineffective and estimated that its state educational mandates might cost their educational system about $400 million a year with outstanding educational mandate claims against the state totaling about $3.6 billion.
We now have Common Core educational standards because of mandates. They were unusual mandates. The U.S. Department of Education had $4.3 billion of stimulus money available. They set up a state funding program called “Race to the Top.” States that satisfactorily adopted (not federal educational standards) but the entire copyrighted Common Core standards were eligible for significant federal funding. Neither Congress nor the Legislature approved Common Core and it wasn’t initiated with Common Core regulations.
It’s interesting that the South Dakota Constitution specifically gives control of education to the state Legislature and the Legislature didn’t approve Common Core. If you want to have South Dakota removed from Common Core, you would have to go to the Legislature and gain two-thirds of their vote to overcome the governor’s veto while being opposed by the governor and multiple pro-Common Core organizations that have accepted millions of dollars of funding from the Gates Foundation.  You can internet search “A Brief Audit of Bill Gates Common Core Spending” to track Gates’ spending.
Our health care system is filled with mandates. If you see a doctor, you will be asked a series of questions and your answers will be recorded in a computer. Where do those questions come from, where do the answers go and how might they be used? If you visit a doctor, how much of what he says and does is because of your needs and how much is because he is following controlling mandates? His professional life is surrounded by mandates. The new health care law extends the definition of mandates from governments to include individuals. The individual mandate requires individuals to purchase an approved health care plan or be penalized.
Federal mandates and the financial aid that sometimes come with them tend to change state and local governments from separate competing sovereigns into governments that are inclined to act more like subsidiaries of the federal government. Our protection is best served by separated, constitutionally limited government.