Tags: Aaron Chatterji | state policies | federal gridlock

Duke Prof: States' Policies Unlikely to Have National Impact

By    |   Monday, 12 Jan 2015 11:13 AM

As cries continue to end the partisan stalemate in Washington, states are unlikely to step up to the plate to incubate new ideas for policy reform, The New York Times reports.

"While states might experiment with numerous policies over the coming years, very few will ever go national," predicts Duke University business school professor Aaron Chatterji in a editorial published Sunday.

"For those of us frustrated with federal gridlock, the states will provide little comfort going forward. The 50 laboratories of democracy will produce many so-called cures, but none of them will go down very well in our nation’s capital," Chatterji said, as the new GOP-led Congress begins its work.

He adds of the forecast, sparked in part by states' increasing political divide: "Just when we need their innovative energies, the states are looking less and less likely to be fountainheads of new federal policy over the next generation."

Previously, strong ideas emerged from states where governors led the way to policy reform on "school vouchers, energy efficiency standards, welfare reform and the Affordable Care Act," among other issues, Chatterji said.

But now, he says, with 60 percent of the states controlled by one political party, politics will likely get in the way of the bipartisanship that, he says, drove previous state-created policy ideas on a federal level. "Increasingly, efforts to 'federalize' state innovations have been hobbled by political backlash," he writes.

Clashes have already been registered on gay rights, marijuana legalization, immigration and education policy as states assert the will of their voters and federal courts turn back those wishes.

The Fiscal Times predicts 2015 as a banner year for state tax reform, even as Congress may not move to tackle its own federal tax reform issue amid other more pressing problems.

Pundit George Will predicted that the partisan shift with the new GOP-led Congress will effectively drive state's rights as they bump up against federal power amid new discussions on Obamacare, immigration and the EPA.

Wrote Will in the Hartford Courant last month: "Come January, federalism's vitality will be an increasingly inconvenient truth for Obama. Twenty-seven states will have Republican attorneys general who can try to restrain the federal Leviathan much as the Lilliputians restrained Gulliver."

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As cries continue to end the partisan stalemate in Washington, states are unlikely to step up to the plate to incubate new ideas for policy reform, The New York Times reports.
Aaron Chatterji, state policies, federal gridlock
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2015-13-12
Monday, 12 Jan 2015 11:13 AM
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