October 19th, 2010
04:25 PM ET

Growing disconnect between states and federal government?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The legalization of marijuana, immigration reform and health care.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/10/19/art.pot.jpg caption=""]
These are just three hot-button examples of how the states and the federal government are increasingly out-of-step with each other.

Starting with California, the Justice Department is vowing to keep prosecuting people who possess marijuana there - even if voters approve a ballot measure that would legalize recreational use of the drug.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the administration "strongly opposes" Proposition 19 and will "vigorously enforce" federal drug laws should the measure pass.

Whether or not you approve of marijuana, California is bankrupt and in desperate need of money. Taxing pot might be a way to raise some cash.

Meanwhile - the federal government is going after states like Arizona, which are trying to do something about illegal immigration since the federal laws go all but unenforced.

The Obama administration is suing Arizona, claiming the state's immigration law is unconstitutional. A federal judge has put some of the most controversial parts of the law on hold... but Arizona's governor Jan Brewer is vowing to take her state's case all the way to the Supreme Court.

And then there's President Obama's signature issue of health care reform. It's been the law of the land for several months, yet dozens of states are now challenging it.

A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by 20 of these states can move forward. He says the states can challenge the constitutionality of the law's requirement for all Americans to buy health insurance.

Here’s my question to you: Why does there seem to be a growing disconnect between the states and the federal government?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Carla writes:
The disconnect is far more serious than that, Jack. The real disconnect is between the people and the U.S. government. The states are only trying to follow the collective will of the people, their residents. Frankly, "one nation indivisible" has been divided for a long, long time, and the gulf grows wider each day. The founding fathers would not recognize what's become of what they started.

Mark writes:
The American people are a diverse bunch. There are differences in philosophy among the regions. The federal government is a one-size-fits-all organization. The feds cannot dictate social behavior for the entire country without causing unrest. I believe this is one reason the founding fathers set up states rights and gave the federal government limited powers.

Matt in Illinois writes:
Jack, Because there is a disconnect between those who "govern" and those who pay the bills. States are tired of having to pay the bills for unfunded federal mandates and federal officials tying their hands. Citizens are tired of no one listening yet expecting us to pay the bills. It is broken and it needs fixin' now.

Gino in New Orleans writes:
Jack, Historically, there has always been a disconnect between federal authority and those rights relegated to the states. Recently, it seems like the states are places of polarization. Where a state like California is becoming increasingly more and more liberal, my home state of Louisiana is becoming ever more conservative. I think that the federal government is stuck in a balancing act between states pulling further and further apart from one another in the ideology of what constitutes freedom.

Bud in Washington writes:
This is high drama, Jack. Just what the doctor ordered for cleaning out the system. I look forward to the showdown. We've always fought this battle of federal versus states' rights. From the very beginning of the republic, it's been argued: Too much federal government versus too little. Every 50 years or so, we have to clear the air.

soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Greg M.

    Legalizeing something that is currently illegal to raise cash?Isn't that the reason drug dealers do that?The Feds stopping the illegal immigrants is roughly equivelant to stopping a dam with your finger.The disconnect seems to come mainly from politics itself.With all the dumb studies they have,they should do one about how many tons of paper were used between Feds and States,writing,revising,distributing,making copies,etc. to make all this junk happen then equate it to how many trees how long it took to grow them etc.I would gladly personally pay for that one if I could,just for fun.
    Greg M. Largo,FL

    October 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  2. Matt


    Because there is a disconnect between those who "govern" and those who pay the bills. States are tired of having to pay the bills for unfunded federal mandates and federal officials tying their hands. Citizens are tired of no one listening yet expecting us to pay the bills. It is broken and it needs fixin now.


    October 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  3. pat in michigan

    In my humble opinion it is because states rights are ignored by the federal govt.
    The states should be able (you notice I did not say allowed) to set their own course for the needs of their citizens. The Federal Govt. is to provide for the defense of our citizens within our borders. It is not to dictate policy.
    If the citzens who pay their taxes wish to smoke pot and they vote to make it legal in Cali.then so be it.
    By the way Jack have you listened to the side effects from sleeping pills?How many people overdose from pot ?

    October 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  4. MNResident

    Remember, it was the states that set up the federal government (NOT the other way around) to accomplish limited tasks (provide for a COMMON defense, promote the GENERAL welfare, etc.). When the federal government oversteps that limit, it is the right of the states to absolve it. To quote an old Bill Cosby line to his son, "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it....."

    October 19, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  5. george coleman

    It's time to limit the Federal Power over the states. The states have obviously allowed this to happen over time because of reasons i'm probably not privileged to know about. But I do know it has happened. The United States Congress and the Administration, whoever is in power, has demonstrated they can't be trusted to do anything that is to the advantage of the majority .

    October 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: Raising money for California by taxing recreational use of pot will cost more in the long run. Lost days at work, more car accidents, and more problems than the tax will sove. Raise taxes on gas, gambling, cigerettes, and raise the cost to use state parks. I do not like taxes, but legalizing pot is stupid, because it will lead to other drug use.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  7. bud rupert

    This is high drama Jack. Just what the doctor ordered for cleaning out the system.

    I look forward to the showdown. We've always fought this battle of federal versus states rights. From the very beginning of the Republic it's been argued: Too much federal government versus too little. Every 50 years or so we have to clear the air.

    I don't think we'll have to fight a war over the subject this time however.
    What a country! You got to love her!

    October 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  8. JB from Tennessee

    There IS a disconnect between the Federal Government and the
    States because this administration and its majority leaders totally
    don't care about the American taxpayer's opinions. They go on
    about their business of passing laws that no one wants, and that
    will burden states. Their whole agenda is a slap in the face to
    the American people. Let's hope , that on election day, THEY get
    a huge "slap in the face."

    October 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  9. Sylvia from California

    This administration has polarized just about everyone..... Minorities against whites, wealthy against the middle class, democrats against republicans, unions against non unions, private sector against the public sector, states against the feds.... and the list goes on. Basically, the Obama administration is hurting our country and turning us into a second rate democracy while we bicker with each other...

    October 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  10. Bob in Kansas City

    Why the disconnect?, lets start with imposing expensive costs on everyone with health insurance, suing states for try to do something about illegals in the country then claiming its a federal issue while not doing anything about it if is their problem. Funding grants to study stuff that won't matter for the next 10 lifetimes. I could go on & on but whats the point....nothing will change until we insist on it by electing enough people who will listen to those that hired them, not those that fund them.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  11. Rich McKinney, Texas

    History has a way of repeating itself Jack. During the great depression 400,000 illegal aliens were deported back to Mexico to create more jobs in America. Believe it or not this was the first time in history that there were more people leaving America then coming to it. We are only at the start of the drastic measures and I suspect many more creative ways to raise funds will follow. We are broke Jack and our government is out of control. For the last 4 years politicians have spent more time and effort trying to stymie the other party instead of working for the common good of the nation that little or nothing has been accomplished worth while. The only disconnect is on the federal side. The federal government has turned our economy into a cesspool of crap and the rest of us are just treading water yelling don't make waves.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  12. David in Raleigh, NC

    Obama has taken the country in a Marxist direction that the people don't agree in. The states feel they must stop the federal government from going against the wishes of the people. The states are the last chance we have to stop the Marxist overthrow of our Constitution that Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are attempting.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  13. Paul Austin,Texas

    Well are we all to old to remember the one's that called for States Rights in the past. Like George Walace to name only one. Is this call only a way for hate groups that want control of goverment. We can not stand on the side lines and watch a group of people take power to only get what a small group of individual may want. If we fail to stand united we will all fall.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  14. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    Legal marijuana means more jobs. It means more tax revenue. It means cutting the legs out from under organized crime. It means emptying prisons of decent kids who just wanted to smoke a joint. It means that those in power are smoking something a lot stronger and far more addicting–power to push us little people around.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  15. Kathie

    It is a power struggle. These officials behave worse than toddlers having a temper tantrum. Time for them, especially the federal government, to grow up and behave like adults while representing the will of the people not their own self serving interests

    October 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  16. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: A real simple answer--dissatisfaction and failure-both between the states and federal government.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  17. Paul New Port Richey, Fl

    Duty to honor, God, and country has disappeared at all levels of government. Those who try to do the right thing are defeated by the hordes of thieves and charlatans holding office. It's all about the boodle now. America be damned.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  18. adem jemal

    I think State government is a little better in solving problems while the fedreal government is good on spoon-feeding corporations.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  19. Wade in Las Vegas, Nevada

    The only thing that is not disconnected is that of our youth and their portable electronics.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  20. JackieinDallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Jack, there isn't a "growing disconnect" between states and the federal government – these same types of issues have been argued since Day 1 of the United States, and were a major bone of contention during the Constitutional Congress. The difference here is that with increased media attention, and the growing polarization of people in this country, the disconnect between states rights and federal rights is becoming more bitter.

    Don't forget, the War between the States was based on this same type of disconnect!

    October 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  21. Gail, Plano TX

    Because the President is an African American. The states will fight his administration on anything and everything. The atmosphere reeks of prejudice!

    October 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  22. steve- virginia beach

    The straws that broke the camel's back seem to be things like special interest groups' growing influence on the federal government, federal power grabs, unfunded mandates, a general attitude of not caring what We the People want, both major partys caterig to only certain segments of society, and the out-of-control consequences. And not enough Americans making the effort to be truly informed about what's heppening in and to their country.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  23. Dennis north Carolina

    Disconnect between the states and the federal government is another dis core by politicians and office holders to use as a excuse to the voters of their failures. if we legalize drugs than the rich and big business will have taken the final step of enslaving the mid-class for life. the first step was destroying the education systems which has been done. you may not want to reap what you sow after this election period.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  24. Jose

    Marijuana is going to end up being the referendum that determines whether or not Obama has a chance in 2012.

    If he lets AG Eric Holder go against the wishes of the State of California, Obama will suffer greatly.

    I would love to see the GOP get on the bandwagon to end the nanny state laws against marijuana, promote individual responsibility, and make it harder for children to get marijuana by legalizing it.

    It would be the fastest way for Obama to go up in smoke.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:16 pm |

    The feds cannot always be Big Brother. Will we see states secede?

    October 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  26. Jeff Pierce in Bishop, Georgia

    Revenue may increase if pot is taxed, but non-essential spending will also have to be decreased for a healthy budget. The history of the politicians & bureaucrats have shown little proclivity for responsible spending. Dumb idea for folks to believe that taxing drugs will solve state debt and deficit.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  27. Charles in Lawrence NJ

    Each area, healthcare, pot and immigrant labor, is somebody’s cash cow. Pot brings more money to America that the auto and steel industries combined because it’s black market which pays mortgages, business and car loans from sea to shining sea. Healthcare industries rule the Dow and illegal immigrants work cheap and can’t call the police. Obama shills for the Chamber of Commerce both seen and unseen, it's his job.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  28. gordon

    Could it have something to do with the states having Republican Governors and the Federal government being primarily Democrats? Probably not. That's not how politics works. ;-O

    October 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  29. lakua

    On the campaign trail, Obama attacked Hillary Clinton for supporting the idea that Americans should be required to buy health insurance. Then Obama does a 180 and now supports forcing Americans to buy health insurance, whether they want to or not.

    This is just another example of Obama saying one thing on the campaign trail, and doing the exact opposite in office.

    Obama once said the War on Drugs was a failure and now supports prohibition and the same policies that have given the US the highest incarceration rate in the world. How can you be the land of the free when 1% of your population is in prison, most for "crimes" that should not exist in the first place?

    Is this change we can believe in? I made a big mistake by voting for him in 2008. I won't make that same mistake in 2012.

    Vote YES on Prop 19!

    October 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  30. Kevin

    The reason for the growing disconnect is that the federal government doesn't abide by the Constitution anymore. They find ways to get around the 10th Amendment, and get their right wing Supreme Court to rubber stamp their illegal legislation.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  31. Tony from Southport

    The states and federal government have historically supported each other somewhat like a marriage of husband and wife. But when the husband starts to attack the wife, much like the federal government did with Arizona, the wife stands up for herself against the husband and might just ask for a divorce.

    The states want to work with the federeal government, but do not want to be slaves of the federal government. Ronald Reagan said it best: Government is not the solution to the problem.... government IS the problem.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  32. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    There does not seem to be a growing disconnect between the states and the federal government as there has always been differences. And always will be some conflict. Remember the civil war Jack?

    It is only the attention and the accentuation of today's media in search of controversy that makes it appears as much more than it has been in the past.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  33. Steve

    The reason for the diconnect is obvious, we have the wrong people running the Federal Government. The reason Obama was elected because the voters hated Bush. Obama got elected as a Rock star. Most voters didn't pay attention what Obama stood for. Now with false promises , he can't deliver. Federal government can not represent all of the people, especially this administrastion . They don't know how. The bottom line the people and the press needs to listen to the next candidates to Congress and the presidency so that the people do not get duped. The states know better what's needed for their people. The peple in Washington are out of touch with the rest of the country. There is no alligators in Washington, no wolves in Washington, but there is a problem with alligators in Florida and wolves in Montana. Do you think Obama cares about that.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  34. Anthony from Swedesboro, NJ

    It depends on the laws the states are attempting to enact. Arizona's immigration law reminds one of the days of the Gestapo. Texas is attempting to include religious theory in their educational textbooks. Not to mention the many states trying to constantly whittle away at abortions rights. These are Constitutional issues.
    California, on the other hand is attempting to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. They will save millions in enforcement and reap in millions through taxation. It's a win, win situation and the Feds should revisit this futile policy. In the end, it's all about regressive and progressive laws by both parties.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  35. ken, atlantic city nj

    There is a total disconnect.The federal government gets money from the states and then mandates what they must do. The states should mandate what the federal government does since they pay for everthing the federal government does. The federal reserve prints money and loans it out to banks at 0% interest so they can loan it back to the people in the states at 20% interest. What a deal. The federal government continues to give benefits to wall street and big business while the states are going bankrupt and the people in the states are unemployed and losing their homes.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  36. chris

    yes there is a great disconnect cause the federal govt is not listing to the states to what they want to do we all shopuld have arizona type immigrantion rules

    October 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  37. Carla

    The disconnect is far more serious than that, Jack. The REAL disconnect is between the PEOPLE and the US Government. The States are only trying to follow the collective will of the people, their residents. Frankly, "one nation indivisible" has been divided for a long, long time, and the gulf grows wider each day. The founding fathers would not recognize what's become of what they started.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  38. Honest Ron

    It's seems easy for some in Congress to point at the Federal Government employee's, the little guy's, as being their scapegoat for their unpopularity. Yes, our elected officials in Washington are useless, and unreliable. They have forgotten who hired them! For a long time now, they have witten laws "to" the people vice "for" the people. It's no wonder private sector worker's dislike government employee's. Our Congresssinal representatives should look in the mirror to see who is to blame for the reputation of the government sector!

    October 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  39. Heather

    I think the disconnect is bigger than just between the States and Federal Government...it seems to be an epidemic sweeping through this land. Everyone will scream at the top of their lungs to be heard, but no one is willing to really listen and hear what is being said. If people would listen to each other and if they really wanted to 'fix' anything, they would find that the solution is there waiting to be acted upon by reasonable people.

    Heather, Nevada

    October 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  40. Leslie

    Because the federal government is not in touch with what is happening in real-time America. The fact that pot should be legal is for those in the state to approve or disapprove. If the federal government want to prosecute someone they should be limited to prosecuting those that grow on federal land or work for the federal government. With the federal government going after states like AZ for their immigration law means that the feds are not doing their job as far as illegal immigration to their state is concerned and those states should take the federal government to court on the basis that they are not protecting the country from illegal invasion. The health care law is horrible as a law and should be revised but not repealed. We should not want anyone to go without health care and there should be a public option to create an environment of competition between the insurance companies and the health care industry.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  41. Mari, Utah

    I do not believe there is a "growing disconnect between states and the federal government." What I believe is happening is that 'some' talking-heads on the Far-right, meaning the GOP-TeaPartiers like to complain about the Federal government. Which they do not understand any more than they understand the U.S. Constitution!

    October 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  42. Annie, Atlanta

    It’s not so much a disconnect as it is the DOJ failing to uphold our laws! Bush & Cheney aren’t in prison for war crimes. Wall Street is still gambling, keeping their winnings and asking for handouts to cover their losses. The US Chamber of Commerce may be sinking foreign money into our election process. What in the hell does the DOJ actually do for the salaries we pay them besides step in to fight AGAINST our equal rights and freedoms, as well as our laws?

    October 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  43. Bob


    Our politicians are failing us in both federal and state offices and we are failing ourselves. One can say that if the States do their jobs, the feds will not have to interfere. Others say that if the Feds don't enforce federal laws, the states should have a right to. The biggest fact is that if we raise our children and grandchildren with a good solid foundation, this country might have a chance. Too bad all of the recent bailouts destroy any chance our children might have. What do we do? Well, it might nor be a bad time to pray. You never know...

    October 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  44. kathy from phx,az

    Well here in Arizona I think the governor is trying to take us back to the 1800's. We have a republican run state and we have less jobs than most states, more foreclosures than most, our biggest employers outsource to Mexico and India. Our state senator now wants to challenge the 14th ammendment about babies being born here in az not to be american citizens while having gun owners allowed in bars and restaurants without a permit. And Arizona thinks our federal government is doing a worse job. Come on Gov. Brewer, Republicans run this state and I don't see us better off.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  45. Emily

    Well, every state has it's own problems, and sometimes the federal government may or may not be benefiting the state itself. Of course, I believe it is impossible to satisfy every state in every way, so, they "disconnect" and want to make their own rules. I say let them, as long as it benefits them, and the rest of their country. As for the constitution, new generations are born, and new opinions rise, why shouldn't the constitution change like people do? Sometimes, the best thing is ... Echange.
    Augusta Maine

    October 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  46. dennis in pa.

    when people are effected at the state level they feel washington doesn't care about them. katrina, the oil spill, and other disasters are a local problem that the government is always a day late to! states are broke and washington is spending money we don't have. i think we will see the end of the united states just like what happened is europe. 50 states will become many countries. it may be the best thing that can happen! it will allow each state the ability to govern totally without fear of being sued! arizona and texas have an immigration problem, why should anyone in montana and north dakota care? or even want to spend money on? the u.s. needs to seperate. smaller countries can govern better then bigger ones. also it will make each persons voice that much louder.right now we are a country without direction like a rudderless ship!

    October 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  47. Olga

    People in the U.S. are angry, listening to the divisive, poisonous venom of Tea Party zealots, they rely on their ignorance, intolerance, delusional attitude that they have the answer...

    NO ONE has the answer to all of our problems. The Tea Party pushes for Hispanics not to vote as a message of failed politices and promises not kept, they pride themselves of being patriotic. How insulting!

    Upon further questioning, my impression is that they don't know what to do either, except to create a false furor that they have the answers.

    The only answer I see for this country if Republicans win is DISASTER. This country, like lemmings, rush toward the demise of this country.

    Austin, Tx

    October 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  48. Mark, Oklahoma City

    The Federal government can WASTE Billions upon Billions of dollars...no problem. States cannot print money and have to have a REAL budget. When the states see the government wasting Billions of dollars on every dumb project under the sun when they are going broke, have no money for education, social services and other infrastructure repair, it makes the states very angry at the Feds and I don't blame them a bit.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  49. Craig from Arizona

    Power. The federal government confiscates money [taxes] from the State's citizens. The federal government creates policy for the States to implement; ie., education, emission requirements, etc... If the States play along, they get a portion of the confiscated money back to help them run their affairs. The trouble is that the Policy dictated by the Feds can cost more to implement than the money they return to the States. This scenario is causing many States to go Bankrupt. Most States are required by law to balance their Budgets, unlike our Federal government, that prefers to print and borrow money rather than to live within its means. And surprisingly, about 50% of the Country is OK with this...

    October 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  50. Luci

    It is spelled the Republican Tea party. We have never had so much discourse as the last two years. The same thing such as job loss, drugs, immigration etc. was going on during the Bush administration, but they didn't say a thing. Their ugly heads didn't rise up until Obama became our President, then all Hades broke loose. Could it be Racial? He is so intelligent. How could anyone want our next leader to be dumb as the one tea and party are wanting to represent them. She will never be my president

    October 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  51. Melissa C. Memphis,Tn

    Jack lets just be honest...Its all about the money... Whomever it is more profitable for is all for it.When things become easier and could help people save money and interrupts the cash flow.Stop it ...Its Unconstitutional and can never be legal

    October 19, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  52. Jeff In Minnesota

    The federal government has lost touch with the people of the US because they no longer are beholden to those they represent. A lot of Senators and Representatives raise money outside of their districts if not outside of their states. If you think the act of raising money outside of their districts and states does not skew their views, then you should take a better look at who your congressional delegation really represents and who they vote for. It's usually not the people who elect them.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  53. Kevin of SD CA

    Why does there seem to be a growing disconnect between the states and the federal government?

    When the federal government lets foreign countries attack US States then it is time for that foreign government to be replaced!

    I never thought that I would see the day when my government would turn on its own citizens and private property owners in favor of foreign governments who do nothing but beg for handouts so that they can suppress and manipulate their own people into submission.

    We are being contaminated by foreign countries that have been morally broken for Centuries! Pres. Obama, and his administration are the apex of moral assent into third world standards!

    October 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  54. John from San Antonio

    Because the citizens of the United States did not honor their responsibilities and duties required to keep a democracy functioning. That being to monitor governmental activities and hold the bureaucrats accountable, thereby allowing the power to shift from the people to the bureaucrats..

    October 19, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  55. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Well Jack, "We the People" are being forced crap on us by "Us Capital Folks". You know career politicians who are more interested in themselves and some legacey that they want to leave.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  56. Deborah Seibert, co

    Because they don't care about us or what we think. They are under the impression, they were elected dictator and think they know best what is good for us. I think that is how you treat a 10 year old

    October 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  57. Gigi Oregon

    Because some of our states are going back in time nearly 200 years in social issues. Which in this country the melting pot of the world, It ain't going to happen with out a fight. Same with health care. We provide health care, pensions etc., for our government workers (the best money will provide) and they don't want to provide for the people who pay their wages. It's not going to happen with out a fight. We are know to be a generous people to other countries and let many go to bed hungry every night in America. Shame on the greed in the U.S.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  58. Brian Sherman

    With the growing numbers in grassroots movements like the Tea Party, more and more people are coming to view the federal government in a more negative light than ever before. The federal government is being viewed as the strict "parent" while the states are feeling like the supressed "youth" who are being told what to do. If anything, this is a very Libertarian viewpoint concerning civil liberties and the government interfering in the lives of individuals. Political reform really originates at the local level, and more people are starting to realize that due to changes that started at the state level (i.e. California's Proposition 215 in 1996 that has now led to 14 states allowing medical marijuana).

    October 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  59. Sunshine

    Arnie needs money and since his state is full of wierdo's, potheads will just add to it. NO to potheads, NO to legalizing pot..

    October 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  60. steve in fl

    It's called divisive politics. Divide and conquer. With the Citizens United decision, I'm sure that disconnect will seem ever more earth-shattering as it's spoon fed to us in larger doses, funded by whoever can afford to stand behind the curtain and fire off any message fits their agenda, without the worry of being held accountable.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  61. Jim - Michigan


    The disconnect is with the administration. They do not care about the will of the people, well not until election time anyway. This administration repeatedly ignores the people and justifies it by telling us that "in time, we will see their wisdom." The problem is, we are not children, we are their employers. If you need any proof of the will of the people, look at the polls and the damage the democrats are about to endure.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  62. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    The growing disconnect is because the Federal dopes won't let us have our dope and their pathetic policies are allowing illegal aliens to bring their dope across the border. It's a sad STATE of affairs and a FEDERAL offense.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  63. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    When anonymous (foreign?) donors outspend local contributors nearly 20 to 1 in political ads, America can not be said to be run by Americans for Americans. Lincoln is rolling over in his grave to see the Supreme Court so eager to hand over the will of the people to a few corporate giants. And yet my grandmother can't sit in her own living room and smoke a joint should she wish. The Moral Nazis have taken over our government and threaten to take away all our personal rights like to smoke pot, to have an abortion, to marry your gay friend...unless its rights they support like to carry guns and to threaten the president.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  64. Donny Fisk

    I do not believe that there is a growing "disconnect" between states and federal goverment. what it is is a struggling for the power that was originally given to the states, taken by the feds, and the fight over those powers that have not been given to either.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  65. David Post

    It's really simple Jack. The federal government has completely lost touch with the needs and goals of the American people.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  66. Jim in Alabama

    Jack, I believe that the major reason for this disconnect is the fact that our Representatives to Washington from the states do not represent the views of their constituencies and therefore the people of each state are fed up with what goes on in Washington and how their representatives in congress vote on key issues. If this trend continues, there will be a wholesale house cleaning in Washington and possibly a state by state revolution if these idiots don't begin to listen to the people who elect them.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  67. Chris Iowa

    The answer is simple... The federal government has become so self-involved that they have completely lost touch with the needs and desires of the people it "serves". The states have not.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  68. Janelle

    Because we're dealing with a growing dictatorship, and a fading democracy. What sense does it make to sue a state for attempting to enforce federal immigration laws ? And is it just me or has "comprehensive" immigration reform talk disappeared? What does "comprehensive immigration reform" even mean?

    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  69. Gino, New Orleans


    HIstorically, there has always been a disconnect between federal authority and those rights relegated to the states. Recently, it seems like the states are places of polarization. Where a state like California is becoming increasingly more and more liberal, my home state of Louisiana is becoming ever more conservative. I think that the federal government is stuck in a balancing act between states pulling further and further apart from one another in the ideology of what constitutes freedom.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  70. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    We the people do not run this country anymore. We elect people who say one thing and do the opposite when they enter the halls of Congress. It's like being deceived by the priest of a church who molests our children. We are being molested by the people who are suppose to represent us. Illegal immigration is a problem of gigantic proportions, yet Congress refuses to address the issue. We wanted reform that would help us curtail the rising cost of health care. Instead we are told now you must buy insurance and pay the premiums that the health care industry sets without any scales set up to protect us. What a joke. Do you think premiums will go down in the near distant future? And what happened to states rights. So California wants some tax dollars from a lucrative business that is going to continue regardless of the federal government enforcement.
    November is coming, but we have little hope that we can elect anyone that will help us out. WE THE People are destined to try and hang on to our hats. Forget the two car garage and chicken in every pot.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  71. Jim in PA

    It's Nullification!

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    10th Amendment
    US Constitution
    December 15, 1791

    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  72. Bill, Bloominton IL

    I would say so Jack. The federal government has lost their collective minds over the last couple of decades and the states have to take control.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  73. Stephen from Florida

    The government's of the individual states are trying to do to only things that is in their interest. Not to mention that its the politicians trying to push their own agendas on both levels. I think the states should all declare sovereignty by referendum and separate into different countries. That way the state government's become the federal government of their own country. But find away so that people can travel between the states to visit family.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  74. Tommy TBones Chicago,IL

    If California legalizes marijuana, I'm moving and I think you'll see 100,000 people follow in my foot steps. When will our country leaders see that regulation is better than persecution and it'll cost less.

    Tommy TBones
    Chicago, IL

    October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  75. Bob Field Estero

    As Albert Einstein said " The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has limitations". That's the reason for the disconnect.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  76. Bijhan ("bee" like the stinging bug, "jh" like the j in Beijing, and "ann" like the girls name)

    The growing disconnect? They started disconnected. What's more worrisome is the growing connection! The Federal government leverages its highway funding to enforce a uniform – and internationally very high – drinking age; they invent Federal crimes outside of managing interstate economics or the common defense, like getting intoxicated on a plant; and bailing out the massive corporations while doing nothing to enable your everyday average Joe to easily access the resources needed to start a business. Growing disconnect? If anything there's been a growing connection, and the one thing I'll always agree with conservatives about is that smaller communities ought to be able to manage their own affairs.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  77. Scott Stodden

    I Think In My Opinion That The Reason There's A Growing Discconnect Between States And The Federal Goverment Is Because America Is Scared Plain And Simple-Scared Of All These New Laws And Weather Or Not There Discriminatory, Weather Its Wrong Or Right To Smoke Pot, Weather Or Not Health Care Is Good For America Or Not America And Americans Are Scared! I Believe That Pot Should Be Legal Only For Medical Purposes Because Some People Need It, The Law In Arizona Against Illegal Immigrants Is Right In My Opinion Because What Else Is Governor Brewer To Do? They Have Illegals Everyday Entering Their Country Illegally And Committing Serious Crimes And The Federal Goverment Refuses To Still Do Anything To Solve Immigration! The Health Care Issue Is Simple People Are Worried That The Law Will Make Health Care To Expensive! It All Has To Do With Being Scared!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  78. Marcus in Greensboro, NC

    I think it has a lot to do with the fact that each state has it's own problems, and they have their own solutions on how to fix the problems. If Obama would have supported the Public Option, instead of negotiating it away, there would be no lawsuit against a mandate on everyone to enrich health insurance companies. I am a Democrat, but I think there was too much negotiation on issues that should have never been negotiable. Immigration issues in each state depends on the state, and the fact that Congress is selectively not addressing that issue. Legalizing cannabis is not even an issue to be honest. The most that will happen to anyone who overdoses on cannabis is a nap. People need to really read the facts on cannabis use before trying to fight against something that is harmless when compared to alcohol or tobacco.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  79. roger

    I don’t see what the problem is the government already calls for everyone to carry car insurance or you get a ticket so why not health insurance. The laws with car insurance has spurred the car insurance industry to grow and constantly compete keep the lowest prices

    October 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  80. honest John in Vermont

    Because the power center in Washington is so out of touch with the realities of the citizens of the states and with the very states themselves. The bureaucrats in Washington sit thousands of miles away from what is really going on in America and dwell in their Ivory Towers issuing law suits to all who disagree with them. Each day more people get fed up with the bs. And how is the secure southern border coming?

    October 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  81. Betty---Iowa

    The tea party people is dividing the country. It is time they realize we are a UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I don't see any States turning down money to help them keep their highways, bridges, & help for the farming industry.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  82. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I don't think it is so much a disconnect as it is being afraid to do what is right for fear of losing votes. Look Jack most of the problem in California stems from illegal immigration. The States can no longer afford all of the illegal aliens so they have to find another way to make money no mater how wrong it may be. The federal government has ignored the problem for decades and now it has come back to bite them on the ass. At this juncture it has become a mater of survival and common sense is thrown out the window. You legalize dope and you get a whole new set of problems.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  83. Steve San Diego

    People are upset and the divide is growing not only in the state/government level but also on a personal level. Some of the country has moved into the current time and are looking to the future, like California who has finaly stepped up to tell, the outdated government policies that were miss informed with fear and false information back in less open minded or advanced time, that we as a people have the power and drive to take back out personal freedoms The federal government is still stuck in the outdated mindset and now that the people are stepping up to voice their opinions the federal government is having a fear based knee jerk reaction instead of looking at the 13+ states that already have states that allow the use of marijuana and seeing that the people they claim to represent do not reflect their policies.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  84. Norris

    It's easy to fire 2 worthless senators but impossible to fire the other 98.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  85. Jim in PA

    The disconnect is there purposely so the power lies with the People and not a central economically planned society. The Founders ratified the 10th Amendment to help ensure that protection.

    'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    10th Amendment
    US Constitution
    December 15, 1791

    October 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  86. Codie Petersen

    I think the government in general has failed to prove itself as the glue that holds this country together. It was supposed to be about the people and ensuring their rights in states and that states don't take to much authority. But the glue, to continue the metaphor, I think is failing and the people's interest came in third when held up to Corporate interests and the interests of those sitting on the hill. So like Rome we are starting to govern ourselves and like Rome when the Federal glue is practically gone we will have barely noticed it in the end. My only fear is that our federal government will turn more and more to police state rule to keep itself in power.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  87. Courtland Ellis

    States are getting tired of having Federal Health care forced upon us when the majority spoke out against it. DC said screw you we know what is best for you! As for immigration the feds have a law which they do not enforce and if you are here illegally your illegal which means NO medical aid, no welfare, no education it means you get nothing!!!! The feds put out the welcome sign to illegals why is it so hard for a US citizen to get a loan to buy a home car or education but if you are illegal or somewhat legal they will pull out all stops to get you what you need! Time to care for the citizens and LISTEN to them remember "OF THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE"

    October 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  88. Dave

    How can states challenge the constitutionality of mandatory health care when most, if not all states require mandatory auto Insurance in order to drive a car.
    The disconnect is in the State Attorneys Generals brain

    October 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  89. George

    Americans at the state and local level have come to view the government as a poorly run self serving corperation wich creates and enforces policies to fatten the coffers of the crafty. Economic and social policies that fail and yet are still enforced and adheared to is in my opinion causing a long overdo backlash,especially at the polls.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  90. sue

    Nobody is being honest about anything anymore. Will the government sue California if it doesn't get it's way . They aren't concerned about the safty of Arizona's residents, not even commenting on other countries sueing them also. Health care, what a joke! Just got my new Medicare book. some parts for 2011 could not be quoted, due to publishing timing. Must be because we are NOT THINKING CLEARLY!!!

    October 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  91. Louise from NJ

    Jack,this battle has been fought and won before...The Civil War which so many American died, was for States Rights. History repeating itself but with different issues. We never seem to learn.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  92. Mike Wagner

    Since when have states and the Federal gov. ever gotten along ?

    Mike , FL

    October 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  93. Andrew Amherst NY

    Jack, It's a great example that shows the Federal Government has become to powerful. It shows that it's State and Local government that knows best for the citizens!

    October 19, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  94. Jim Chamberlain of Chattanooga,TN

    This is part of the revolution agaist federal power since there is a strong belief that the federal government is too powerful and intruding into our private lives too much.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  95. Donald Lasswell

    Hey Jack, I am one of the many Americans that can't even buy health insurance, and I was hoping health care reform would help me. So on July 1st I checked out the high risk pool insurance that was available in Arizona. I found out that the republican Governor decided not to participate in the federal program, this means the rates are not based on income, they are just aged based. I am 46 years old and the plan would cost me $497.00 a month and would not cover the first $2500.00 of any medical care. I am sorry but this is over a third of my income gone for coverage before they cover a dime. Not acceptable!!!! Don from Tucson Az

    October 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  96. Dave in Philly

    It's a party thing. The republicans are arrogant blow hearts and think they are always right. When the democrats took control, like little babies, the republicans pouted and stopped doing working "across the aisle". The states which are predominantly run by republicans are the states who are revolting. They don't want to play some one Else's game, just their own.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  97. Harry in IN

    The Lords [Governors] are challenging the Emperor [Pres. Obama]– in public, not privately. DAH!!

    October 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  98. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Well I guess it is the result of the independent thinking we all want to live by that we can make it on our own from every state when in fact uniting our strenghts and resources would create better outcomes for more people!

    October 19, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  99. james swinson

    The reason why there seems to be a growing disconect between the states and government is obvious. First of all the President is black and most of your political officials who are filling these negative attacks against the government are officials who were already in office and would not have voted for President Obama in the first place. They're still sore that we have a black president. Two years is not enough to clear up all that was made wrong. Come on, until now we had never seen anything like a tea party unless it was the Kkk. If it quacks like a duck it is a duck.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  100. James in Quantico, Maryland

    A FIVE letter word, OBAMA.......... and his over regulation of all aspects of our life from arrogant federal government Washington DC.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  101. Jim


    Why stop there? What about civil rights legislation? How many states were cheering that one? How about Medicare and Social Security? Do you remember what conservatives were saying about those "out of touch" laws back then? What about this business of allowing allowing African Americans to serve in the military. Now even gays will be allowed to serve their country in uniform. Talk about out of touch. Then there was that harebrained idea about giving women the vote. What were they thinking? Seems like the federal government and the states have always had their disagreements.

    Reno, Nevada

    October 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  102. Greg in Mechanicsburg

    I hate having what I can and can not do dictated to me by a bunch of moral bigots. These right-wingers want to take away everyone's freedom unless it fits with their agenda; no gay marriages, no abortions, no smoking pot. Our nation has bigger problems that are not being dealt with because these people are so preoccupied with "taking their country back," back to the 1960 pre-civil rights era, that is.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  103. Michael McMahon

    Unfortunately, over the years our government of the people, by the people, for the people has slowly become "our" government of the government, by the government and for the government. My God, Abe must be rolling over in great pain

    October 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  104. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    State government is nothing but a piggy bank for waste and fraud with failure to control and balance their own budgets. People don't seem to hold state governments accountable because their officials pass the blame onto the federal government.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  105. terrance/atlanta

    I don't think that there is necessarily a disconnect its just that it's the responsibility of the executive office to uphold the federal laws of the country. For example in the case of California legalizing marijuana, federal law states that to grow, sell or distribute controlled a substances is against the law. The Obama administration would be neglecting their duties if they did not enforce federal law, which triumphs state law.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  106. P Walker


    We have spent so much capital demonizing marijuana that it is almost impossible to retreat and legalize it now. Lives are lost every day because of drugs both literally and figuratively (prison).

    As to healthcare reform, we should repeal it, auto insurance, interstate commerce, schools, and all forms of taxes. That way the country can run itself into the ground quicker, only the strong will survive and we will not have to pay Congress' salaries for their incompetence.

    It is a thought.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  107. Thom Richer

    The disconnect is purely over power and control. The sad thing is, neither the states nor federal government has the people's interest at heart. We are supposedly the "United" States of America but have never been so divided, nor have so many sought to divide us as now. Should any part of government, state, federal or local ever put the people's welfare before personal, political, or corporate interests, all would fare better. Division amongst a people is a very effective means of control by those who govern. We are guilty of such governing. Simply stated, "United we stand...divided, we fall."

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    October 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  108. Renee Peoria,Ill

    It's a natural reaction to bad times. Some people realize that the way out is to move forward. Unfortunately, far too many people just like to play the blame game; like the tea party whose solution to everything is to take us back. They call it the good old days, for society at large it's tantamount to a return to the dark ages when only the rich and powerful had any say in anything.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  109. Shonnie Holmes

    My father, before he died said " The government will go bankrupt, I won't live to see it but you will". He was right, China owns us. I think before I pass I'll live to see states recede from the Union and the sale of National Parks to pay our debts or worse war for not paying our bills. I pray I'm wrong.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  110. frankie

    Because the Republicans do as much as they can to make sure the Federal government does as little as possible and the new laws are implemented as slowly as possible.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  111. Doug

    jack ,
    what are these people smoking on your blog. The federal government is supposed to be OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE. I am the people and am sick and tired of the state and federal government digging its hands deeper and deeper into my pockets. Am I the only one worried about the future we will leave our children. The feds are to big and getting bigger and I guess that's what some of you want but not me. they are not supposed to impose there will on the states whenever they see fit.. I have been hit hard by whats going on in this country and when you stand up and say this they call you a tea bagger. seems the feds and some of its citizens wont be happy until this country is run into the ground.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  112. Steve T - Baltimore, MD

    My heart tells me that allowing illegal aliens and legalizing recreational drugs is wrong.

    Selling our souls for tax dollars is more than wrong, it shows the world that our morals are for sale.

    I don't our trust fed or state politicians to rule in the interest of tax paying citizens. A good fight between the two is usually healthy in that it tends to bring us closer to the truth.

    We always have the supreme court to make the final decision.

    If that doesn't work shame on all us!

    October 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  113. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Because people no longer think of the USA as a Republic. The Federal government is acting like a national government and has gone beyond the scope of its limited powers that were conferred upon it by the Constitution and the states were supposed to reserve the remianing rights. If you want government healthcare, move to Mass. where they provide it. It doesn't work well but it is supposed to be your state's choice, not the Federal Government. Our system in not supposed to be a USSR-like socialist nanny-state and the state's are pushing back. In the case of Arizona, they tried living by the rules of the Constitution, but the Feds weren't holding up their end of the deal and Arizonians had to take matters into their own hands.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  114. Simon, FL

    This a disconnect between the current government and the wishes of the general population. Two weeks from now a lot of them will lose their jobs because of it.

    October 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  115. Bill Anderson

    China’s Interest Rate on the Rise

    How much will giving the tax break for the top two percent really COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm |