Reinventing American Federalism

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Transcript of Reinventing American Federalism

  • Electronic

    Journals

    of the

    U.S.

    Information

    Agency

    April1997Vol. 2 No. 2

    Reinventing

    AmericanFederalism

    Issues ofDemocracy

  • 2

    From theEditors

    Reinventing AmericanFederalism

    The United States of America is acountry of many governments. The federalgovernment is of course the largest, but the governments of the fifty states andthousands of smaller unitscounties,cities, towns and villagesare no lessimportant. The drafters of the Constitutioncreated this multilayered system of govern-ment. They made the national structuresupreme and assigned it certain specificfunctions, such as defense, currency regulation and foreign relations; yet theywisely recognized the need for levels ofgovernment more directly in contact withthe people, and so they left many otherresponsibilities in the hands of state andlocal jurisdictions.

    Over the past 200 years, Americanfederalism has undergone constant evolu-tion. In this issue we examine todays newalignments and balances between the fed-eral, state and local governments from avariety of perspectives.

    I N T R O D U C T I O N

  • As President Bill Clinton and VicePresident Al Gore point out in the leadarticle of this journal, the necessity forreinvention of government is dictated byscarcer funding resources and a greaterneed for people to solve their own prob-lems. Clinton and Gore explain how theold top-down governmental relationshipsare being replaced by partnerships thathave produced greater efficiency and better results at the local level. ProfessorEllis Katz of the Center for the Study ofFederalism at Temple University explainsthe origins and development of Americanfederalism and analyzes the forces thatappear to be moving it in new directions.Governor Michael Leavitt of the state ofUtah urges a rebalancing of the AmericanRepublic, asking his fellow governors tomake more effective use of the powers andtools the Founding Fathers had assigned to the states within the federal system. In an interview, Alice Rivlin, the vice

    chair of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, advocatesreturning many federal responsibilities to state and local jurisdictions. Finally,reinvention experts David Osborne andPeter Plastrik report on how managementbased on partnerships has brought thetown of Hampton, Virginia back to life.

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    Above, the Philadelphia State House, where theU.S. Constitution was signed in 1787.

  • 4

    Issues of DemocracyElectronic

    Journals

    of the

    U.S.

    Information

    Agency

    Contents Reinventing AmericanFederalism

    F O C U S

    Forging New Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6President Clinton and Vice President Gore explain the need for realignment among federal, state and local governments.

    American Federalism, Past, Present and Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Ellis Katz of the Center for the Study of Federalism at Temple University, explores the origins and development of American federalism.

    C O M M E N T A R Y

    Rebalancing the American Republic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Michael Leavitt, governor of the state of Utah, exhorts his fellow governors to take back the powers and tools the Founding Fathers had assigned to the states within the federal system.

    Dividing Federal from State and Local Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Alice Rivlin, the vice chair of the Board of Governorsof the U.S. Federal Reserve System, advocates returning many federal responsibilities to state and local governments.

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    Issues of Democracy

    R E P O R T

    Reinventing City Management: A Dying Town Returns to Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Reinvention gurus David Osborne and Peter Plastrik tell how management based on partnerships revived Hampton,Virginia.

    D E P A R T M E N T S

    Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32Recent books and articles on federalism and government reinvention.

    Internet Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35Sites in cyberspace that feature federalism and reinvention themes.

    Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . Judith S. SiegelEditor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark SmithManaging Editor. . . . . . . . . Valerie KreutzerAssociate Editor . . . . . . . . Wayne HallArt Director . . . . . . . . . . . Diane WoolvertonInternet Editor. . . . . . . . . . Deborah M. S. BrownContributing Editors . . . . . Jim Fuller. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Warner RoseReference Specialist . . . . . Barbara SandersGraphics Assistant . . . . . . . Sylvia Scott

    Editorial Board. . . . . . . . . . Howard Cincotta. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rosemary Crockett. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Judith S. Siegel

    Vol. 2 No. 2

    Bureau of InformationU.S. InformationAgency

    [email protected]

    April1997

    Electronic Journals of the U.S.Information Agency

    USIAs electronic journals, published and transmitted worldwide at two-week intervals, examine major issues facing the United Statesand the International Community.The journalsEconomic Perspectives, Global Issues, Issues of Democracy, U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, andU.S. Society & Valuesprovide analysis, commentary, and background information in their thematic areas. French and Spanish languageversions appear one week after the English.The opinions expressed in the journals do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Government. Articles may be reproduced and translated outside the United States unless there are copyright restrictionscited somewhere on the articles. Current or back issues of the journals can be found on the U.S. Information Service (USIS) HomePage on the World Wide Web at http://www.usia.gov/journals/journals.htm.They are available in several electronic formats to facilitateviewing on-line, transferring, downloading, and printing. Comments are welcome at your local USIS post or at the editorial offices: Editor,Issues of Democracy (I/TDHR), U.S. Information Agency, 301 4th Street, S.W.,Washington, D.C. 20547, United States of America.

  • The era of big government is over,but the era of big challenges is not. Peoplewant smaller government, but they alsowant active and effective national leader-ship. They want government that providesthem the means and opportunities to meettheir responsibilities and solve their ownproblems.

    With these words President BillClinton, in his foreword to the Blair HousePapers, proposed a new public manage-ment model for the federal government,one based on forging new partnershipswith state and local governments.

    The Blair House Papers, prepared inJanuary 1997 by Vice President Gore andthe National Performance Review staff,have emerged as a centerpiece of the newClinton administrations effort to reinventgovernment and foster partnerships andcommunity solutions to solve problems.The Blair House Papers were named afterthe historic red-brick building across thestreet from the White House where Clintonheld the first Cabinet meeting of his new administration.

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    F O C U S

    by

    Jim Fuller

    Forging NewPartnerships

    In an effort to make government

    work better and cost less, new

    partnerships between the federal,

    state and local governments are

    replacing the predominant role

    Washington has played in the

    recent past. In the following article,

    contributing editor Jim Fuller cites

    President Clinton and Vice Presi-

    dent Gores explanations for the

    realignment, and some encouraging

    results.

  • Making Government Work Better

    Vice President Gore continued the theme of reinvention and partnership in the introduction to the Blair HousePapers, calling on government to treat the public the way top companies treattheir customersputting the customerfirstand removing regulatory and legalbarriers so communities can solve theirown problems.

    In 1993, President Clinton askedme to figure out how to make governmentwork better and cost less, the vice presi-dent said. We called it reinventing gov-ernment. The need to reinvent was clear.Confidence in governmentwhich is sim-ply confidence in our own ability to solveproblems by working togetherhad beenplummeting for three decades. We eitherhad to rebuild that faith or abandon thefuture to chaos.

    We had reason to hope we couldsucceed, Gore continued. CorporateAmerica had reinvented itself to competeand win. The same ideas and some newwrinkles were starting to work at the stateand local level. But it was going to beincredibly difficultthe largest turn-around everand management expertssaid it would take at least eight years.

    Not quite four years later, Gore can point to thousands of examples ofreinvention islands of excellence inevery government agency. And public confidence in government has reboundedby nearly nine percent since 1993, according to a recent Roper poll.

    Everyone in government knows bigchallenges remain, Gore says in the intro-duction to the Blair House Papers. It istime for faster, bolder action to expand ourislands of excellence and reinvent entire

    agenciestime to entirely reinvent everydepartment of government. Luckily,partners are ready to help. Businesseshave proven effective partners in achiev-ing a cleaner environment, worker safety,and other regulatory compliance goals.Communities can solve their own prob-lems with a little help and opportunityfrom their feder