There are many reasons that most Americans say they would prefer to elect a former governor as President of the United States. Governors are on the front lines of federalism: helping people, getting things done and balancing all the pressures that come from running a state – especially a big, complex and occasionally crazy place like my home State of Florida.
Governors also have the best sense of when the federal government is exceeding its proper role in our constitutional system, at the expense of the states – and, most importantly, the people. Long before President Obama’s lawless power-grabs began, I supported moving more power to the states and a more bottom-up – rather than top-down – approach to government. Shortly after President George W. Bush took office, for example, I sent him an extensive “Dear George” letter highlighting areas where the states should take the lead.
The words of 10th Amendment are clear, “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.”
Under President Obama, the pendulum has swung far to the left, with federal mandates, regulations and bureaucrats encroaching on the rights of the states and their citizens. As president, I will restore the proper balance between Washington and the states. I will honor the separation of powers that is at the heart of our federal system.
Here’s my plan:
· Strictly Adhere to the Constitution’s Limits on Federal Power
America must return to the idea of a limited federal government. I will veto legislation that exceeds federal authority and nominate judges who will vigorously enforce the Constitution’s limits on federal authority.
· Nominate & Appoint Agency Officials Committed to Federalism
For key positions, I will nominate and appoint people with proven experience in the states over Washington insiders and academics.
· Reform the Regulatory Process
Repeal and, where necessary, replace regulations to restore the proper role of state governments in our constitutional system.
· Enhance State Enforcement of Federal Immigration Policies
Empower states to enforce laws that promote the goals of federal immigration law without allowing states to create their own immigration regimes.
· Promote State-Driven Labor and Employment Policies
Ensure that federal labor regulations do not unduly restrict state flexibility in responding to the workforce demands of our new digital economy.
Under President Obama, the federal government is amassing power at the states’ expense, despite the fact that state leaders are closer to the schools our children attend, the hospitals that care for our sick and the water we drink. Hillary Clinton is offering more of the same.
As a former governor, I know that many problems, even some that are of national scope, do not call for federal solutions. Across the domestic operations of the federal government, I believe that shifting power to the states would simultaneously improve policy outcomes, put money back into American taxpayers’ pockets and enhance individual liberty.
If you look at my detailed proposals for repealing and replacing ObamaCare, preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare, embracing the energy revolution in our midst, improving our Western lands policy or reforming the federal government, you will see a consistent theme: shifting money and power out of Washington, DC and back to the states.
When it comes to honoring the 10th Amendment, I’m all-in. I believe states must be re-empowered to exercise their constitutional freedom to govern their citizens – and that’s what I will do as president of the United States.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is a Republican candidate for president.