The founding fathers of the United States constitution formulated it with an aim of controlling/limiting the powers of the central government by delegating some of it to the local government levels. Looking at the transitions that have taken place in the American context throughout the centuries, it is indeed visible why the American Federalist system of government has stood the test of time. Moreover, despite the enhanced institutional frameworks seen in other nations, the tyrannical ruling witnessed where a strong government exists clearly adds value to the Federal system.
The constitution is the sole instrument governing the limits of the powers of both states and central government. According to Bardes & Schmidt (2011) allowing the U.S constitution to be ratified in several states was purely based on the factor of protecting individual liberties from national government abuse. Hence, in the event the constitution was to be amended to entrust greater powers to Washington DC, as long the amendments safeguard individual liberties, this would not be a problem. The sole powers and interests of the state were reconciled with the essence of a strong national government so that a middle ground would be created (Bowman & Kearney, 2010). This implies that to safeguard liberties, an institution would be created to watch the extent to which these powers are practiced.
To some extent, in the 21st century the central government should be allowed to have greater powers of dictating national policy. According to Wayne and Cole (2006) the effectiveness of available political spheres in affecting individual outcomes of policies depends on the existence of competition within the concerned policy. Presently, the U.S is struggling against a backdrop of serious economic issues, some which require the central government’s stand to solve them. However, the democratic principle guaranteed to the states coupled with the participatory principle frustrates the central government efforts sometimes.
In the present setting the federal and state governments have structures put in place to address public policy issues. However, there have been push and pull factors on which entity should actually control specific issues. Bond and Smith (2009) observed that at one time there was a push to implement a distributive policy requiring certain policies such as Social Security to be put under the Federal government’s jurisdiction, and developmental policies such as roads and education to be put under the jurisdiction of the states. This setting was later adopted into the system. However, this led to the creation of disparities in terms of school resources and quality, which is caused by differences in the allocations given to schools in low and high income areas (Gregory & Steven, 2010).
In essence, this means that in as much as structures are in place to ensure protection of individual liberties there are certain vulnerable populations that still need the protection of stronger central government. In addition, there are certain programs that have suffered greatly due to the sharing pattern of the federal and state governments. For instance, most states come up with their own social welfare programs and initiatives, but funding is channeled through the federal system (Bauer, 2011). In this regard, the federal system may stipulate guidelines that may sometimes not be adhered to by the concerned state parties.
Finally, it is important to note that in as much as the Federal system may appear functional by standing the test of time; current challenges necessitate some restructuring to be done to give Washington more powers. Since, the founding fathers already ensured that the amendments of the constitution will be done to protection individual liberties; as long as Washington is not given a free way to abuse powers it can be beneficial in many aspects such as achievement of objectives of important economic policies.