States fell gypped by the federal government on most social programs: the feds promise money and don’t come through with it.
See, for example, the sorry state of New York’s struggles with Medicaid.
The federal government was aware of this. Government work attracts controllers and bullies. Their response to the states was to bully them first: your state’s citizens don’t get the subsidy from us that we approved if your state’s government doesn’t set up the exchange we desire.
Landsburg points out that Congress threatened the states on other issues with the Obamacare legislation.
The states called the federal government’s bluff. A supermajority of 36 of them, by the way. (
Landsburg uses the word “bluff” and it’s appropriate here. Obama was pretty clear on this when he said there was no Plan B.
The Supreme Court, a branch of the federal government, supported the other two branches of the federal government against the states.
What I wonder is why so many conservatives and libertarians think that they’d do otherwise.
I think if we didn’t have the 17th amendment, we would never have gotten to this point.
More seriously, the armor they’re using was state of the art 500 years ago: very expensive, and not that common. It would be interesting to see someone fight in the much heavier and less mobile chainmail of 1,000 years ago.
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