Federalism Disad



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Extension to #1 – Nonunique

The disad is nonunique the Bush administration spent eight years expanding federal authority – your impacts should have already happened.

John Dinan and Shama Gamkhar May 14th, 2009 (Dinan is a professor of political science at Wake Forest, Gamkhar is a professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin)The State of American Federalism 2008–2009: The Presidential Election, the Economic Downturn, and the Consequences for Federalism” Published in Publius: The Journal of Federalism” page online: http://publius.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/pjp012 Accessed July 9, 2009.

Still to be determined is whether Obama will be guided by a general approach to federal-state relations. Although George W. Bush opened his presidency by professing concern for federalism and state interests, he was notably inattentive to federalism considerations in office—supporting expansion of federal authority even on issues where Republicans had traditionally deferred to state authority such as education, prescription drug coverage, driver's licenses, and welfare policy, and rarely perceiving any tension between his policy priorities and state prerogatives or concerns (Conlan and Dinan 2007). It remains to be seen how Obama will handle situations where his policy priorities are in tension with state interests, and whether he will be any more attentive than his predecessor to federalism concerns in these crucial instances. To date, however, Obama has offered several important professions of respect for states’ role in the federal system, most notably in a December 2008 address to governors in Philadelphia and in a February 2009 toast to governors whom he honored by inviting them to the White House for his first presidential state dinner. Moreover, Obama and his cabinet can be expected to be sensitive to the perspective of state and local governments, as a result of the president's experience as an Illinois state legislator and his appointment of current or recent state and local office-holders to head the Departments of Education, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Health and Human Services. These developments suggest at least the possibility of a different approach to federal-state relations (Harkness 2009).



The disad is nonunique – Obama is not a federalist he will only support state’s rights when it suits his agenda

John Dinan and Shama Gamkhar May 14th, 2009 (Dinan is a professor of political science at Wake Forest, Gamkhar is a professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin)The State of American Federalism 2008–2009: The Presidential Election, the Economic Downturn, and the Consequences for Federalism” Published in Publius: The Journal of Federalism” page online: http://publius.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/pjp012 Accessed July 9, 2009.

It is important not to overstate Obama's support for state experimentation. As James E. Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia University, noted after the EPA policy shift was announced: "I don't think we have a hallmark, sweeping view of states’ rights here." Rather, Tierney argued, "the Obama administration is going to take these one at a time" and "will be with the states as long as the states fit in with his view of the national interest" (quoted in Schwartz 2009). However, the political dynamics at the start of this administration are aligned so that liberal and progressive causes are in several areas currently being advanced by decentralization of policy authority. Insofar as these sorts of issues remain atop the policy agenda, Obama will continue to be in a position to both advance his party's policy goals and support policy decentralization.


***FEDERALISM BAD***




US Federalism Bad: Natural Disasters


A. Federalism magnifies the impact of natural disasters by making states complicit with basic federal regulations.

Governing Magazine, 2005

(RISK AND RESPONSIBILITY, October, 2005, LEXIS)


After Hurricane Frances ripped through Florida about a year ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency wrote checks worth $31 million to residents of Miami-Dade County. There was a big problem with the payouts, though: The storm had actually hit about 200 miles to the north. Frances gave Miami a good soaking but didn't really do much damage there. It's an ironic tale, in light of all the finger-pointing wrought by the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina. To be sure, state and local officials never relish having to work with FEMA's bureaucracy when disaster strikes. That's been abundantly clear this past month. But there's usually a silver--or green--lining. It's not too hard to shake millions, even billions, out of Washington after a calamity, or even a rainstorm in Miami's case. In fact, it's much easier than winning federal aid for workaday priorities such as education or public housing. This is one of federalism's little quirks--one that some argue makes natural disasters even more disastrous. If the feds always pick up the tab, then there's no incentive for states or localities to halt risky development in areas prone to flooding, mudslides or wildfires. It's an example of what economists call a "moral hazard" problem. "The signal that's gone out over many years is that no matter what type of natural disaster it is, FEMA comes in and bails you out," says Pietro Nivola, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. "State and local governments become complacent."

B. Lack of preparedness and rapid response will allow the new wave of disasters to render the earth uninhabitable
Sid-Ahmed 2k5 (Mohammed, Al-Ahram Online, Jan 6-12, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/724/op3.htm)

The human species has never been exposed to a natural upheaval of this magnitude within living memory. What happened in South Asia is the ecological equivalent of 9/11. Ecological problems like global warming and climatic disturbances in general threaten to make our natural habitat unfit for human life. The extinction of the species has become a very real possibility, whether by our own hand or as a result of natural disasters of a much greater magnitude than the Indian Ocean earthquake and the killer waves it spawned. Human civilisation has developed in the hope that Man will be able to reach welfare and prosperity on earth for everybody. But now things seem to be moving in the opposite direction, exposing planet Earth to the end of its role as a nurturing place for human life.

Today, human conflicts have become less of a threat than the confrontation between Man and Nature. At least they are less likely to bring about the end of the human species. The reactions of Nature as a result of its exposure to the onslaughts of human societies have become more important in determining the fate of the human species than any harm it can inflict on itself. Until recently, the threat Nature represented was perceived as likely to arise only in the long run, related for instance to how global warming would affect life on our planet. Such a threat could take decades, even centuries, to reach a critical level. This perception has changed following the devastating earthquake and tsunamis that hit the coastal regions of South Asia and, less violently, of East Africa, on 26 December.

This cataclysmic event has underscored the vulnerability of our world before the wrath of Nature and shaken the sanguine belief that the end of the world is a long way away. Gone are the days when we could comfort ourselves with the notion that the extinction of the human race will not occur before a long-term future that will only materialise after millions of years and not affect us directly in any way. We are now forced to live with the possibility of an imminent demise of humankind.




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