Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Don’t Forget States Created the Federal Government

noem press header kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Don’t Forget States Created the Federal Government
By Rep. Kristi Noem

Washington often forgets a reality President Reagan so succinctly explained:  “[T]he Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.”  One of my primary objectives as South Dakota’s sole member of the House of Representatives is to reduce the federal government’s influence, giving state and local governments as well as individuals more opportunities to make the decisions that impact their families and communities most.  This was something I spoke with the South Dakota State Legislature about earlier this month.

I join the thousands of South Dakotans who are deeply concerned that the Obama administration has stepped over its Constitutional limits and grossly expanded the role of the federal government in our lives.  I am proud that over the last few years, we have passed dozens of bills to return more and more authority to states and individuals.  We haven’t always been successful in getting the President to sign them into law, but we’ve put the marker down and made some meaningful progress along the way.

For instance, bureaucrats in Washington have been able to micromanage our children’s classrooms for far too long.  Last December, we passed, and convinced the President to sign, the first major education overhaul since 2002.  With this new legislation in place, those closest to our kids will be more empowered to design an education system that is right for them.  As an example, we made sure the federal government could no longer pressure states into adopting specific standards, such as Common Core.

Congress also passed into law the first long-term highway bill in a decade.  This legislation gives states five-years of certainty to plan, invest, and conduct maintenance on our intricate network of roads, bridges and railways.  It also gave state leaders more flexibility to spend money in a way that worked at the local level.

I’ve been fighting for flexibility like this because I put a lot more trust in our state government than the federal.  Rather than handing down federal mandates, Washington should be taking lessons from the states about what really works.  After all, states are often incubators for innovative public policy and South Dakota is no exception.

We have an incredibly healthy economy.  Not only does South Dakota have a higher percentage of people participating in the workforce than most states do, but our unemployment rate is the second-lowest in the country.  Much of this is due to the fact that the state government puts minimal burdens on families, whether through fewer regulations or lower taxes.

Despite the successes we’ve long been able to share, I am the first South Dakota Representative in history to serve on the congressional committee responsible for designing our nation’s tax policy.  I see my duty on that committee as an overdue opportunity to share our experience as a proven example of what can be accomplished by a government for its people.

During my first year on the committee, we were able to put permanent protections in place that keep more Americans from enduring tax hikes.  For example, we permanently extended the state and local sales tax deduction, which will save people money in states like South Dakota that don’t burden their citizens with a state income tax.

Protecting states’ rights is critical.  Earlier this month, America lost a great legal mind and a tremendous defender of the 10th Amendment, which preserves states’ rights.  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of admirable faith and unyielding candor, but perhaps one of the greatest gifts Justice Scalia imparted upon the Supreme Court was a lesson that the words captured within the Constitution matter. That includes the 10th Amendment:  “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution … are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  I couldn’t agree more.


16 Replies to “Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Don’t Forget States Created the Federal Government”

  1. Jason Sebern


    The states did not create the federal government. The states nominated delegates who participated in conventions. These conventions eventually ratified the Federal Constitution that established our federal system. Again, the states did NOT create the federal government.
    The “states’ rights” mythology drove our nation into a Civil War. The “states’ rights” mantra was espoused by traitors like John C. Calhoun. Our nation endured a Civil War over this issue! Fortunately, Abraham Lincoln was able to save the Union from the “states’ rights” threat. This is basic U.S. History Ms. Noem.

    Jason Sebern

    1. Anonymous

      You are correct, Mr. Sebern. Ms. Noem is not. Had she actually taken any history courses while she was being fast tracked to a degree at SDSU, she would have learned the federal government was formed by the Constitution.

    2. enquirer

      the spirit of her meaning remains. this nation began with 13 separate colonies which became states, all of which predated the constitution by a significant amount of time. any reasonable person would instantly know what she was referring to. get over yourselves.

      1. Anonymous

        The Colonies were controlled by the British Crown; hence, the American Revolution. Which you coveniently left out. Ha! ‘Get over yourselves.’ Good one. Any reasonable person would know the federal government wasn’t formed until 1789. After the revolution ended.

    3. Cliff Hadley

      Mr. Sebern, the states were sovereign from 1776 to 1787, with their own currencies, trade rules and foreign policies. It was chaotic and threatened to undo all they fought for in the Revolution. So representatives from the states met — illegally, they all agreed — to make something new, a constitution for a limited national government strong enough to safeguard our natural rights, but deferring to the states whatever wasn’t specifically assigned to the federal branches.

      States rights is real and enduring, but Congress and the executive branch have long chipped away at the 10th Amendment, primarily through expansive interpretations of the “common welfare” clause.

      The Southern states used states rights as their defense of a way of life that required enslaving other humans because they were “inferior.” Their logic was immoral, not states rights.

      1. Cliff Hadley

        Thought of one other thing: Before the Civil War, everyone referred to the nation as “these united states.” The states thought of themselves as sovereign. After the war, it was “the United States.” The states still had liberty to pursue much of their own ways, but leaving the union wasn’t one of them.

      2. Cliff Hadley

        And thought of one other thing…

        The immoral use of states’ rights to excuse egregious behavior was entirely a Democratic Party project, first to keep slavery, then to maintain Jim Crow. That’s entirely at odds with how conservatives understand states’ rights, which is mostly a matter of subsidiarity.

        God help the children in your history classes.

    4. Anonymous


      And just who were each state’s delegates who ratified the federal constitution as presented to them? WHO allowed them to exist? Did they nominate themselves as they saw fit and just go off and decide to ratify the constitution as presented?

      Do you REALLY think that any state allowed or would allow a group of delegates to speak for the state without the state legislature(s) passing resolutions and statutes on how the process for selecting delegates would occur?

      And what of the 2 states that did NOT ratify the federal constitution prior to it being declared in effect? They delegated NOTHING and thus had a legitimate claim that the federal document had no effect on them.

      NO historian of note believes that the federal document created the US!

      What a bunch of numbskulls.

    5. Anonymous

      Oh god, not another graduate of Bernie Sanders Kollege of Herstory.

      Look, you don’t understand the differenced between federalism and “state rights”.

      Constitutions do NOT form ANYTHING other than a paper trail–otherwise, Syria would be run by a “government” since it has a constitution.

      Since the states selected the delegates who decided to ratify the federal constitution, doesn’t that mean the states CREATED the constitution?

      As proof genius, let’s consult the document itself:

      “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.”

      Ummm, ratification of STATES!!!

      Ohhhh, establishes the constitution between the STATES!!!!!

      Gosh, even the constitutional convention acknowledged in writing in the proposed constitution that the STATES were to ESTABLISH & RATIFY THE CONSTITUTION!

      freakin’ geniuses.

        1. Anonymous

          The topic was the RATIFICATION of the constitution, not the constitutional convention.

          Try to keep up, precious.

          I guess quoting the actual constitution instead of a website now constitutes “rambling”! Amazing.

            1. Anonymous

              –I never said anything about the convention,

              So why did you provide a link that was ALL about the convention, dude?

              It sure was dumb to copy & paste the link without ever looking at it.

              Sorry, you had your chance–there’s no need to watch any more of your videos that you probably haven’t viewed.

              If you cannot defend your position, then move on, snowflake.

              1. Anonymous

                Oh, pop tart, you’re not very smart. Do you always refer to women as ‘dudes’? Try to pay attention in your high school civics class. You have much to learn.

                I do understand your need to deflect with ‘insults’ (which by the way are cute) but it’s clearly obvious you don’t understand the Constitution and how the government was formed. You are part of the reason why this country is in decline. What a shame. But thanks for adding comedy to my day. 🙂

  2. Anony

    Don’t forget Sdsu gave her credits towards her degree for serving in congress. Love her. She’s proud of the founding fathers and admires them. Sure they would return the favor.