When I taught U.S. government, I attempted to ensure that students understood the difference between enumerated, reserved and concurrent powers. I no longer understand the difference.
Naively, I had not realized that the federal government could buy reserved powers, including my favorite, education. Alas, I have witnessed it in the form of RTTT grants. My state earned $700 million for seeming to "voluntarily" sell its reserved power over education.
It made me wonder.... Might not states go into business and barter some of their other reserved powers for more federal grant money? The federal government could issue all licenses, regulate intrastate trade and even pass Constitutional amendments without the added obstacle of state ratification.
But why should the federal government stop at the reserved powers? Why don't we allow financially strapped U.S. citizens, or merely those wishing to further stuff their pockets, the right to voluntarily sell their basic rights to the federal government? It might cost some pretty pennies of grant money to convince people to voluntarily part with their First-Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition, but, for some, the price tag will surely be there. How much would the government give us to dismantle our right to bear arms? I'm sure there are plenty who would quarter some soldiers for a quarter of a million. Legal rights are nice, indeed, but I'm sure even the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth amendments must have their price tag.
Funniest of all is the fact that while the government is so very much in debt it can still afford to throw around so much grant money. It must think it's Bill Gates! Heck, what's a little more debt when it can buy you the rights of the people!