Federalism And Cities From The Middle Of The Twentieth Century

1291 Words Nov 8th, 2016 6 Pages
Federalism and Cities

From the middle of the twentieth century till the 1980 's the federal government gave a substantial amount of money to local governments to use on local programs with few to no restrictions. However, starting in the mid-eighties this changed. The federal government began giving less money with more demands. During the Reagan administration the amount of funding was cut using the justification of shrinking a bloated federal government. This continued through George H.W. Bush.

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- despite coming from different ideological goals -- both imposed substantial demands on grants to municipalities as a way to enact signature programs like welfare and housing reform, and No Child Left Behind. Under President Obama, partisan gridlock continues to choke funding and tie grants to onerous restrictions.

Lack of funding has led municipalities to turn to public-private partnerships as an innovative way to protect resources, but federal restrictions often stymie these efforts. Moving forward, cities must be given the room needed to return to their role as proving grounds for innovative funding models and novel initiatives.

History of Federalism


1980s – “New Federalism” - Reagan and the shrinking federal government
In the beginning of his administration, Reagan fought to dismantle the federal revenue sharing and grants economy that was formed in the 1960s & 1970s. The administration began by cutting of money flowing to…
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