JLF Triangle Blog

David Price agrees with Pete Stark

I posted earlier about California Democrat Pete Stark’s statement at a recent public meeting that there are really no limits on the federal government. Here’s the video:

As I watched it again a few minutes ago I was reminded of something that 4th District Democrat incumbent David Price said at a meeting of The Herald-Sun‘s editorial board when I was managing editor of the paper.

It was in the early to mid-’90s, and we were discussing recent examples of the federal government using threats to funding to get states to do their bidding. Examples were changing the drinking age from 18 to 21 and changing speed limits whenever the federal government thinks they should be changed.

After a brief discussion of the topic, I asked Price how far he thought the federal government could go using this tactic to extract policy outcomes in states, and still have federalism, as it had traditionally been known, survive. Where would he draw the line on that kind of tactic?

“I don’t see a line,” he said. Nobody but me on the editorial board batted an eye at this comment, but I’ve never forgotten it.

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