You are a local town council. You need to put in something like sidewalks or a new sewer or a trail. So you apply to the Federal Government for a 80/20 grant. The state DOT needs to sign off on the proposal, so does the regional planning commission. And it has to work it’s way through the Federal bureaucracy. Sound familiar?
Nobody seems to be asking: Why is the Federal Government paying for sidewalks in Tinytown, Your state? Why are we sending our tax dollars to Washington DC, only to have a portion doled out to some small town somewhere? And in the meantime, everybody has a finger in the pie.
I’m not questioning the need for the sidewalk. The local town officials know better about town needs than anyone. What I am questioning is Washington being involved at all. The truth is, the State ought to be providing the grant money for that sidewalk not the Feds. Having the Feds do it is very inefficient.
This would mean that the State would have to raise taxes to start paying for local sidewalks. Theoretically then the Feds would lower taxes proportionately to compensate. Right? It should happen. It could happen - in your dreams.
Once you create an entrenched bureaucracy, in this case in Washington, it will fight like heck to defend itself and it’s power. But if you ever want to get the Fed’s out of micromanaging local affairs, this is where you have to start.