Congress has continued to push policy costs on to the states because they can define an unfunded mandate in several different ways.
A version of the reform that expanded Medicaid for low-income people caused immediate criticism from governors because significant portions of Medicaid are paid for from the state treasuries.
The imperatives of effective policy solutions and congressional and presidential electoral calculations combine to create strong pressures for national solutions to our complex problems.
Since the days of the Articles of Confederation, advocates for the national government and supporters of the states have been fighting for power.
The power of the federal government is increased through the mechanisms of cooperative federalism, which gives the federal government an increasing role in domestic policy.
Critics have claimed that cooperative federalism has been transformed intoercive federalism, in which the states are pressured to adopt national solutions to their local problems with minimal state input, because of the restrictive rules of categorical grants and the economic threats that provide the muscle of unfunded mandates.
Members of Congress who pass the laws are elected in the states and have loyalties to their local communities, not to any national audience.
Their states are usually too happy to accept federal funds to meet the needs of their residents and voters for everything from education to highways to welfare and health care for the poor.
The anti-government rhetoric emerging from the Republican Party and its Tea Party wing strongly oppose the growth of the federal government because of the rules and regulations that come with federal dollars.
The electoral incentives that members of Congress have for supporting policies that bring federal money to their states can be overcome by this opposition.
You are a hot commodity.
Politicians, pundits, advertisers, and politically minded people in your social networks are vying for your attention, your support, your votes, and possibly your dollars, and they use an entire arsenal of weapons.
It's important that you understand what you're up against as a critical consumer of information.
Learning to identify logical fallacies and to understand different types of persuasive appeals can help you to articulate your own arguments in a way that is both persuasive and ethical.
Students who take notes on laptops do well on exams.
You're falling victim to the post hoc fallacy if you claim that the digital note-taking causes better grades.
Traditions can be used as a litmus test for what is right or wrong.
It's your job to carefully evaluate whether or not the way things have always been is the way things ought to be when a pundit points out the way things have always been.
One reason they come up so frequently in political narratives relating to things like marriage and family is that they are effective in persuading people who are nervous about change.
One way to get a lot of attention quickly is to stir up anger, fear, disgust, or empathy.
It's impossible to ignore your emotions when they're upsetting, but it's worth taking a moment to evaluate if you're being swayed by evidence or by your own feelings.
It is possible to make an argument appear stronger by showing that the other ideas are not as strong.
It's fine to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of two viable options.
It's not uncommon for pundits to argue against a simplified, weaker counterargument that can be easily knocked down.
Check to see if the counterargument is real when someone presents a weak one.
When a straw man argument is emotional, it can take on a narrative life of its own.
Consider the hysteria over government "death panels" during the fight over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
If you limit or allow one thing, that will eventually lead us down a "slippery slope" to anarchy, tyranny, or some other unthinkable outcome.
It's possible that one will lead to another, but if someone presents such connections as inevitable, you should take their arguments with a grain of salt.
When it comes to policy, beware of any argument that says limited options are available.
The narrative implies there are no compromises, but that's not true.
The United States may be a democracy governed by, for, and of the people, but facts remain facts even if they are not widely held.
If a writer or commentator uses the popularity of a statement as proof of validity, you should take a second look.
Even if opinions and beliefs are widely agreed upon, they are not credible evidence.
necdotes liven up speeches and can lend support to arguments, but they're of limited use when making a point and should never be used as evidence of a trend.
Real statistics that come from systematic research carry more weight than a single story.
It is important to ignore irrelevant or unrelated information, which can be used in arguments to distract you from the matter at hand.
A crucial step in developing an argument is deciding what evidence to use.
It may be tempting to ignore evidence that is contrary to one's opinion in the process.
This tendency, which social scientists call confirmation bias, often occurs unconsciously, so it is important to be vigilant in weeding it out of any arguments you encounter.
The country's longest and worst economic recession since the Great Depression has caused tension to play out in the aftermath of slower growth.
Revenues from sales, income, and property taxes plummeted in the states.
As we suggested earlier, as the national policymaking machinery can grind to a halt under divided government, an opportunity has opened up for states to take more action on their own.
For several years, a conservative Republicancontrolled Congress resisted virtually every initiative put forth by the Obama administration, and President Obama was not shy about using the veto when Congress sent him bills that did not fit with his agenda.
State policy initiatives are being filled with a policy vacuum.
Even though President Trump doesn't face divided government, the Republican caucus is split, which can be countered at the state level.
The houses of the state legislature are controlled by the same party as the governor.
This has given them the ability to move where Washington can't, and unlike Washington action that moves policy in the same direction nationwide, the states go their own, separate ways.