The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.That amendment is the basis for a limited federal government. However, our federal government has morphed from one of enumerated powers to one of plenary powers. There are not many tools available to reduce federal influence, but there are actions that states can take to curb federal power.
I described one attack that states can mount on federal power in my very first post: Rush the Hill! In that post I argue that states should not allow any member of their congressional delegation to serve consecutive terms. They could do this by altering their certification and eligibility rules. State legislatures have an incentive to do this, not only because it would reign in the federal government, but also because it would create opportunities for state legislators to run for Congress.
A more pressing area where states can make their dissatisfaction known involves a possible financial bailout of California. I would like to see various states—as many as possible—adopt legislation aimed at thwarting a bailout of another state. This can be done with legislation to suspend the collection of all state taxes (sales, income, property, business, etc), iff another state is bailed out. This "tax holiday" would be lifted when the federal government also agreed to bailout ALL states originally opposed to the bailout.
It's time for the states to pickup the proverbial stick and beat the federal government like the rented ass it is!