We will never be able to stand up to Washington as long as we are dependent on federal funds. You can’t stand up to someone on whom you are perpetually dependent and expect to be taken serous. Utah receives more federal funds than it pays. Many have falsely viewed these funds as a great gift. There is no such thing as "something for nothing;" this money comes with strings attached.
A prime example of the money coming with strings attached is our federally subsidized public education system. As more federal dollars have flowed into our schools, the federal government has begun making demands on what and how our teachers teach. As this federal money and influence has come into the classroom, the quality of education has eroded. We can see a similar trend in other state-run programs that rely on federal money.
Obviously we are not in a position to refuse all federal funds overnight; it will be a process. This will not be easy, since many of us want the security of having Uncle Sam take care of our every need, but the longer we put this off, the more difficult it will become. We need to embrace the spirit of self-sufficiency that drove the pioneers who settled this state. It is time for us to get our house in order. Our state leaders need to have courage to say no to Washington’s economic pacification.
As State Senator, I will use my influence to reduce our dependence on federal funds to run state programs.