Revenue Sharing between the States and the Federal government

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Ph.D.A+, January 1996

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Federal grants have become more common over the last 60

years, due to the expansion and retraction of the size of the

federal government. The federal government began expanding in

the 1930s to deal with the Depression. It used federal agencies

to directly deal with problems. As time went on, the tasks were

turned over to the states, but the federal government still

remained involved through the use of federal grants to states

and localities. In the 1970s, Nixon's New Federalism put a

heavy emphasis on federal grants. Revenue sharing gave federal

dollars to localities and states that had never received very

much or any federal money before. This increased local interest

in receiving federal money in many localities.

In order to deal with the federal bureaucracy and receive

federal money, localities and states have to develop efficient

and effective bureaucracies of their own. These state and local

bureaucracies must understand the federal rules and requirements

for receiving federal aid. Some states routinely receive a

greater amount of federal money than other states with similar

populations due to the differences in state bureaucracies. The

state which has an effective grant-writing bureaucracy and

maintains relations with federal bureaucrats and leaders is

often able to get more money.

Federal bureaucracies are often very regionalized. They

are staffed by people from a certain region, and they primarily

deal with people from that region. They give more federal

assistance to these regions too. The overall trend in federal

spending in a state may be different from a particular agency's

pattern of spending. Some states may get very little overall

federal funding, but may get much more than the average amount

of money from a certain federal agency's grants.

American state-level politics can be divided up into 3

categories: traditional, moralistic, and individualistic.