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Revenue sharing between the states and the federal government

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.

Source: Essay UK -

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