The Government Should Make Use of Revenue Sharing

Federal grants have become more common over the last 60 years, due to the
expansion and retraction of the size of the federal government. The federal
government began expanding in the 1930s to deal with the Depression. It used
federal agencies to directly deal with problems. As time went on, the tasks
were turned over to the states, but the federal government still remained
involved through the use of federal grants to states and localities. In the
1970s, Nixon's New Federalism put a heavy emphasis on federal grants. Revenue
sharing gave federal dollars to localities and states that had never received
very much or any federal money before. This increased local interest in
receiving federal money in many localities.

In order to deal with the federal bureaucracy and receive federal money,
localities and states have to develop efficient and effective bureaucracies of
their own. These state and local bureaucracies must understand the federal
rules and requirements for receiving federal aid. Some states routinely
receive a greater amount of federal money than other states with similar
populations due to the differences in state bureaucracies. The state which has
an effective grant-writing bureaucracy and maintains relations with federal
bureaucrats and leaders is often able to get more money.

Federal bureaucracies are often very regionalized. They are staffed by people
from a certain region, and they primarily deal with people from that region.
They give more federal assistance to these regions too. The overall trend in
federal spending in a state may be different from a particular agency's
pattern of spending. Some states may get very little overall federal funding,
but may get much more than the average amount of money from a certain federal
agency's grants.

American state-level politics can be divided up into 3 categories: traditional,
moralistic, and individualistic. Traditional areas are heavily elitist, and
social elites are the primary leaders of society. They have less reliance on
government programs, government spending, and government in general. They are
not as democratic as in other areas of the country. Moralistic cultures put a
heavy focus on government taking an active role in society. There is more
emphasis on democratic methods in government, government funding, government
programs, and the provision of services. The individualist culture sees
government as only being important when it can help the individual succeed. It
should never hamper the individual from attaining personnel success. The South
is considered more traditionalist. The midatlantic states and other areas
which have descendants of the original settlers of the midatlantic states are
considered individualistic. The northern states are moralistic. All of these
political cultures influences the state governments in their areas. The states
with the moralistic culture are more likely to have a responsive bureaucracy
that knows how to get federal grant money and services, while the others are
less likely to have this ability. Although general trends can be established,
they are not without irregularities. Some states do not follow the trends of
their region, and may contradict it. For example, Louisiana provides a
relatively high amount of unemployment benefits to its residents, while other
southern states do not. A state may have a very responsive agriculture
department which can obtain federal dollars and assist farmers, but have few
other agencies in state government which do the same in other fields.

The national government should make more use of revenue sharing than it does now.
Revenue sharing will prevent many of the disparities found in federal funding.
States with small populations now receive more federal money per capita than
states with large populations, possibly due to their having higher
representation in the Senate. The elimination of this disparity in funding is
needed in order to ensure adequate funding of all states.