State Senator Jim Lembke has taken a lot of heat for filibustering the extension of unemployment benefits. Lembke is not alone in his filibuster. State Senators Brian Nieves, Will Krause, and Rob Schaaf have joined him to sustain the filibuster.
Last Friday I caught a few minutes of the Rush Limbaugh show and heard Mark Steyn who was filling in for Rush praise Lembke for standing up to the Federal Government's offer to extend unemployment benefits with more government debt. As Steyn notes, DC is offering money they don't have.
All but one state is required to balance their budgets, so situations like this make a mockery of that requirement. In effect, states like Missouri that have a constitutional requirement to balance their budget are simply transferring debt to the Federal Government. The Feds understand that they pull all of the strings because they are unconstrained by a balanced budget; therefore, they erode state sovereignty by giving the states money that DC either has to print or borrow from foreigners. In exchange for this new Federal debt, states are given rules and regulations formulated or promulgated from Capitol Hill.
Kudos to Senators Lembke, Nieves, Krause, and Schaaf for taking a stand against this off-balance sheet shell game and protecting state sovereignty.