Federalism and the 2012 Election

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, David Rivkin and
Elizabeth Price Foley highlight a major issue that has received
little attention in the presidential race. They write:

In the presidential debates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney ranged
across dozens of topics, but an important one didn’t come up:
federalism. And no wonder.

The idea that the Constitution grants only limited and
enumerated powers and leaves the remainder to the states is foreign
to those who believe that the national government should or even
could address voters’ every concern. But contrary to the view
widely shared by the political class, Washington—in particular,
Congress—does not have the power to pass any law it wants in the
name of the “general welfare.”

Politicians should take heed. Voters are increasingly focused on
the proper role of government in society: Witness the rise of the
tea party and unease over the massive debt caused by entitlements
and other government handouts. The continuing loud objection to
ObamaCare’s takeover of health care shows that voters want to
preserve the Constitution’s architecture of limited federal

Read the rest