Discussion Board Forum Instructions
Purpose & Procedure
The discussion board’s purpose is to contribute to the community of scholarly learning and to do so as a Christian statesman. You will participate in 3 Discussion Board Forums with your classmates in this course which will consist of 1 thread and 3 replies.
· For the 3 replies– Select 3 of your classmates’ threads, compose a reply to each thread and post the reply to that thread. Each reply should interact with that student’s points as they relate to the prompt. Both responding to other students and responding to the instructor will count as 1 reply post. Each of your 3 replies must be unique. Avoid repeating what you said in the thread or what you said in a previous reply.
Consider the replies as professional communications by the Christian statesman. As such, they must
· be substantive, contemplative, and well-reasoned rather than merely reflective or opinionated.
· demonstrate a mastery of the reading assignments as they relate to the prompt.
· 350–500 words for each reply).
· provide a minimum amount of support from the course materials (at least 3 citations from course materials for the thread; at least 1 citation from course materials for each reply).
· provide at least 1 Scripture reference (where applicable).
· demonstrate care in the proper citation of sources.
· relate issues to Scripture, biblical principles, and pertinent personal experience.
- Stay focused on the prompt question(s) in your responses. Don’t just elaborate on course content or on illustrations/examples used by the student. Stay focused on their response to the prompt and the argument they are presenting. Focus on the points that they make, not just comments they make. Do not reply to students that are off track with respect to the prompt question(s).
- Agreement & disagreement. Good in providing a balance between those areas you agree with, those you do not, and providing the reasons for your critique.
- Interaction. In your reply, work toward more interaction with what the student says. Don’t just mention their point in passing and then move on to what you have to say. Respond to what they said throughout your reply.
- More clarity needed. I can basically understand what you are saying but your points, and your explanation of them, need greater clarity.
- Too much repetition. Your three replies and your thread have too much overlap. Work toward providing a thread and three replies that are unique.
- Provide more critique. You are more likely to advance the discussion if you do more than just agree and elaborate on what’s said.
- Turabian Author-Date style. Do not use footnotes or endnotes for any assignment in this course. You use the parenthetical (in-text) citation with the format (Author Date, Page numbers) and a list of references at the end. I have provided you helps for implementing the Author-Date style of Turabian. See my announcements for the links.
- Turabian errors. I did not mark every Turabian/grammar error in your work, but only some of them so that you can get an idea of the kinds of errors you are making. Also, I might also mark the same kind of error only once, but you may have made that same error multiple times elsewhere.
- Page numbers. Include page numbers in your citations. They should be needed most of the time. They are always needed if you are quoting from books and articles. HTML documents usually will not have page numbers so in that case no page numbers are needed.
- References. Follow each post with a list of references in proper Turabian Author-Date style. See my recommended documents on how to format the list of references in Turabian Author-Date style.
Post # 1: Pleinies
Discussion Board 1
There are three different models of federalism under Wright’s classification system and that includes the Coordinate-Authority Model, the Inclusive-Authority Model, and the Overlapping-Authority Model (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 47-57). These three models are distinct on how they distinguish the different spheres of authority among local, state, and federal entities. The Coordinate-Authority Model is characterized by an emphasis on local interests being below the hierarchy of state interests (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 47). State interests would then be equivalent and separate from national authority (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 47). The Inclusive-Authority Model can be described as a hierarchy where local authority is the bottom of the metaphorical Totem pole and national authority supersedes all other authority (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 50). Of the three models, the model that best represents the United States’ version of federalism is the Overlapping-Authority Model that can be classified as shared authority and cooperation among the different levels of government (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 58). This model of federalism takes into account the idea of cooperation and competition in the different levels of government (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 58).
The Overlapping-Authority Model is comprised of the different levels of government in a constant state of cooperation and competition (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 58). The text gives the example of bargaining relationships between the different levels of government (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 58). For example, if the national government wanted to implement a public works program, they can provide the funds to the state, or local government in exchange for an agreement that they will carry out that program and report back (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 58). An example of such programs is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and welfare programs between the national and state governments. The federal government provided a block-style grant to state governments to institute these programs to fight poverty (Meni and Wiseman 2017, 28). States, “States submitted plans to the Department of Health and Human Services (and its predecessors) for AFDC operation that included specification of eligibility and payments. If the plans were consistent with the requirements of the Social Security Act, the federal government paid for half of administrative costs and a fraction of benefits costs” (Meni and Wiseman 2017, 28). This describes an example of how this type of interaction occurs under the Overlapping-Authority Model of intergovernmental relations. The text for this course this week also discusses various other examples of grants and programs that the federal government has attempted to institute through relationships with state and local entities.
Overlapping-Authority Model vs. Inclusive-Authority Model
In addition, another characteristic of this model is the different levels of government working in collaboration with one another and that is true of intergovernmental relations in the United States (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 58). Whereas the other Inclusive-Authority Model describes that the national government has supremacy over state and local actors, there are exclusive laws at each level of government. In addition, state governments have been known to have checks in power on national governments. In fact, this important constitutional check exists to protect rights which belong to the states specifically, “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” (U.S Constitution, amend. 10). This would discredit the Inclusive-Authority Theory which would state that states are below the federal government in the hierarchy of power.
Overlapping-Authority Model vs. Coordinate Authority Model
Finally, the United States could not be the first model presented in the text, because this model espouses the equal power spheres of state and federal and reduces local interests to being subservient to the state (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 48). This would be inaccurate and not a true depiction of the United State intergovernmental relations, because there are local laws that are outside of the jurisdiction of the state. An example of this would be local traffic laws, or city ordinances. In addition, the state at times has to be subservient to national interests with the supremacy clause and therefore can not always be equivalent to national power, “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding” (U.S Constitution, art, 4. sec. 2). This demonstrates that the state at times is subservient to national interests and thus intergovernmental relations are not congruent with the Coordinate-Authority Model. In the same sense, they would be on par with the Overlapping-Authority Model of intergovernmental relations, because there is room for small levels of single-jurisdiction independence, but there is still cooperation among all levels of government (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 57).
Federalism and Man’s Sin Nature
Intergovernmental relations are crucial when it comes to checks and balances within government. In the end, federalism was created to diffuse power among the branches of government and different spheres of governmental authority to prevent tyranny. The Federalist Papers demonstrated that and encapsulated the importance of states’ rights in Federalist 45. Federalism is ultimately needed because of man’s sin nature. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). It is important to keep that biblical framework in mind when discussing federalism and the structure of government as a whole.
In conclusion, the model of intergovernmental relations most similar to the United States’ is that of the Overlapping-Authority Model. This model takes into account the state of cooperation and competition that occurs among the different levels of government and also takes into account how there is bargaining that occurs as a result of this (O’Toole and Christensen 2013, 58). In the end, federalism is designed to prevent tyranny and power diffused along the different levels of government helps secure that and restrain men’s sin nature as outlined in Romans and as discussed in the Federalist Papers.
O’Toole, Laurence J., and Robert K. Christensen. 2013. American Intergovernmental Relations Foundations, Perspectives, and Issues. 5th ed. Washington, DC: SAGE CQ Press.
Meni, David and Michael Wiseman. 2017. “The TANF Resources Problem.” Poverty & Public Policy 9, no. 1: 28-41.
Post # 2: Keaton
Bargaining for Power: Overlapping-Authority Model
Scholarly writings regarding federalism and intergovernmental relations in the United States are replete with suggested theories and models of federalism. The overlapping-authority model, named by Deil Wright, seems to best represent the current American intergovernmental system especially when compared to the coordinate-authority model and the inclusive-authority model discussed by Wright (O’Toole 2013, 47).
Before considering the topic of intergovernmental relations, one must first understand the idea of federalism. Federalism is a type of constitutional framework that allows for the division of authority among central and regional governmental entities (Elazar1987, 34; O’Toole 2013, 3). In the United States, the central government is referred to as the federal government and regional governments are the states. Both the federal government and state governments exist interdependently of one another – neither have the legal right or authority to do away with the other. As such, the governments must work together in an attempt to solve common problems in a united manner (Elazar 1987, 3; O’Toole 2013, 3). During times of national turmoil and political division, the Constitution has provided the United States with stability that has ensured personal and economic freedoms for its citizenry through constitutional checks and balances (Mofitt 2020, 74).
Federalism is rooted in the natural law which springs from the reality that each human is a product of God’s creation. Each member of mankind shares a common human nature while also each having his own distinct personality. It is these principles of unity and diversity that are recognized in the U.S. Constitution (Moffit 2020, 75). Federalism also recognizes that relationships between political entities are best formed through the use of covenants (Elazar 1987, 33). Covenant is a Biblical idea that is referred to in both the Old and New Testaments. A covenant “is a morally informed agreement among various parties to ratify and establish a long-term, mutually-affirming relationship.” (Fischer 2010, 8). A covenant agreement protects the rights of all members of the agreement since power is shared among all of the members and there is an expectation of mutual accountability. A covenant relationship is evidenced by participatory decision-making, teamwork, shared responsibility and non-centralization of power (Fischer 2010, 9).
Dual federalism, also referred to by Wright as the coordinate-authority model, has been determined to be obsolete by almost a unanimous number of intergovernmental scholars. Despite the decision in National League of Cities v. Usery (1976), the idea of dual federalism was halted when Usery was overturned by the United States Supreme Court in 1985. Dual federalism presupposed that the national government and state governments were independent and autonomous having distinct spheres of power (O’Toole 2013, 48-49). In Usery, the court found that the national government acted in violation of the Commerce Clause when it required states to adhere to minimum-wage and maximum hour laws. The decision was seen as protective of state-local sovereign interests, but it was not long that the Supreme Court reversed course in Garcia and withdrew itself from the process of creating limitations on federal power. The Court suggested that political processes could serve to restrain federal power relating to the Commerce Clause which happened in 1985 when Congress enacted legislation easing implementation of the Fair Labor Standards Act for state and local entities (O’Toole 2013, 50-51).
On the opposite end of the continuum, Wright discusses the inclusive-authority model. In this model, referred to by Wright as “enlarging the pie”, any gain in power by national, state or local government would result in the loss of power by one or both of the remaining entities. This model implies a pattern of hierarchical power similar to Dillon’s Rule which stands for the proposition that states and localities are minions of the national government (O’Toole 2013, 47-48). Some philosophers and politicians see this model as the most dominant at this time in intergovernmental relations recognizing that the references to ‘The Great Society” – one society and that objectives were centralized within the national government (O’Toole 2013, 52-54). Four approaches to the inclusive-authority model suggest that state and local governments have no ability to counter the power of the national government and that previously powerful state governments are existing only nominally in today’s administrative structure (O’Toole 2013, 55-56).
A review of the overlapping-authority model suggests that the current relationship between national government and state-local entities best reflects this IRG model. There are 3 characteristics of this model that are clearly evident in current IRG relations. First, governmental operations occur simultaneously between national, state and local polities. Secondly, governmental units have limited areas of autonomy in this model. Lastly, bargaining is the best way to describe a jurisdiction’s power in this model (O’Toole 2013, 57).
A great example of the overlapping model is the national child support enforcement program. The child support program is one of numerous grant-in-aid programs operated simultaneously by all levels of government and where the autonomy and power of any one level of government is limited. In these types of programs, the national, state and local governments involved are working on various aspects of the program daily. The child support program was created over 40 years ago by Congress at the behest of Senator Russell Long of Louisiana. The child support program is regulated by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and allows states to create and operate a program which allows them to recover taxpayer monies provided to the caretaker of children through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children and recover Medicaid costs incurred as to children from absent parents. The child support program allows for legal actions by state programs to establish paternity and/or child support against absent parents with the monies being reimbursed to the state when public assistance has been paid. The federal government reimburses each state for 66% of all appropriate costs associated with operation of the child support program, allows the states to keep all monies paid towards public assistance arrears, and also rewards high-performing state programs with incentive monies on a yearly basis that can be invested in the child support program. In Louisiana, the state child support program enters into cooperative agreements with District Attorneys across the state to provide the legal work necessary to operate the program at the local level.
Although the federal government creates administrative regulations governing the program, the states are allowed to create its own specific policies for handling of child support cases as long as they do not violate broad federal regulations. Likewise, district attorney’s offices are allowed to operate the program at a local level in accordance with federal administrative regulations, state policies and local court rules. The state reimburses the district attorney’s offices for all necessary costs associated with operating the program at the local level.
In our current climate, it seems that the overlapping-authority model is best suited for where the United States finds itself today. Diversity among our more than 320 million Americans is greater than at any time in our history. By providing state and local governments a seat at the bargaining table, they are given the opportunity to make decisions about education, energy, health, housing and welfare that directly impact their constituents in a way that is reflective of the diversity of their area. Increasing the decentralization of federal power, as pointed out by Moffit, might allow for less polarization on sensitive issues (Moffit 2020, 83-84). The overlapping-authority model usage in intergovernmental relations makes decentralization possible while providing local and state governments with some ability to participate in decision-making on issues important to citizens. Ephesians 2:14-15 reminds us that unity is found in Christ as it states, “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations” (Bible KJV 2017). The United States would do well to remember diversity and unity as two themes of federalism and the importance that should be placed on respecting state and local polities.
Elazar, D. (1987). Exploring Federalism. The University of Alabama Press.
Fischer, K. (2010). A Biblical-Covenantal perspective on organizational behavior & leadership. Pearson Custom Publishing.
Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 469 U.S. 546 (1985).
King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/ (Original work published 1769)
Moffit, R. (2020). Revitalizing federalism: A brownsonian prescription for preserving national unity amidst growing diversity, Perspectives on Political Science, 49:2, 74-86. doi: 10.1080/10457097.2019.1703459.
National League of Cities vs. Usery, 426 U.S. 833 (1976).
O’Toole, J. and Christensen, R. (2013). American Intergovernmental Relations. Sage.
Post # 3: Turner
The United States operates under a Federalist system of government and within the modern era resembles a cooperative system, for the States and Federal government cooperate with each other, “to provide the same services.” For example, cooperation between the federal government and the states is seen through federal programs that also exist on the State level, as the States cooperate with the Federal government to provide the services the federal government implemented. An additional set of examples are seen with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education grants and federal highway funding in exchange for the states achieving a required federal goal. As a result, of the federal highway funding, that provides an example of how the federal cooperative system uses fiscal federalism to “encourage the States to achieve federally determined objectives.”
In the early days of the American Republic Federalism became a first ever to be experimented with on Earth, as America was the only nation to begin the new process of governance. The experience and formation began an experiment to determine the best method of handling intergovernmental relations across the vast Republic. Overtime, as the republic grew to have so many governments working together with the federal government it became apparent the best system to have under federalism is the cooperative with fiscal federalism attached to it to ensure the States do what the federal government wishes them to do. In fact, one method the federal government has to blackmail a state into doing its bidding is to withhold federal highway funding or other grants if the state in question does not practice what the federal regime wishes it to practice on various subjects to include education and infrastructure.
The ability of the federal, state, and local governments to cooperate with each other is known as “intergovernmental relations.” However, the roots of the cooperation go back to the early days of America’s founding, as America was set up as a federalist system of government. This type of government setup is good, for it allows all branches to work together in a cooperative format, ensuring the stability of the nation. Furthermore, the cooperative aspect of federalism enables governments from the local, state level to cooperate with the federal level more easily. The biblical principle of this is shown in a message Christ gave to the people, when he claimed that people are to give to Caesar what is his and God what is his (Mark 12:17, ESV). This reveals a biblical principle of cooperation, as long as the government in question is not a tyranny. For under a tyrannical system, it is the duty of the people to rise and depose of that system; revealed in the Declaration of Independence as reason why a declaration is often times justified against the nation that rules in a tyrannical fashion.
Elazar, Daniel J. (1991). Exploring Federalism. The University of Alabama Press. Tuscaloosa AL. 1-335.
Ferkaluk, Emily Dr. (2020). “Theories of Federalism: PLCY 804 Statesmanship, Federalism, and Intergovernmental Relations.” Liberty University. Helms School of Government. Lynchburg, VA.
O’Toole, Laurence J., and Christensen, Robert K. (2013). American Intergovernmental Relations: Foundations, Perspectives, and Issues. CQ Press. Los Angeles, CA. 1-423.
Schneewind, Sarah. (2012). “Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and King Wu’s First Great Pronouncement.” The Journal of American-East Asian Relations 19, no. 1 (2012): 75-91. Accessed October 30, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23613171.
 Dr. Emily Ferkaluk, (2020), “Theories of Federalism: PLCY 804 Statesmanship, Federalism, and Intergovernmental Relations,” Liberty University, Helms School of Government, Lynchburg, VA.
 Ferkaluk, “Theories of Federalism.”
 Laurence J. O’Toole, and Robert K. Christensen, (2013), American Intergovernmental Relations: Foundations, Perspectives, and Issues, (CQ Press. Los Angeles, CA), 2.
 Daniel J. Elazar, (1991), Exploring Federalism, (The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa AL), 16.
 Elazar, Exploring Federalism, 16.
 Unless Otherwise Noted all Biblical Passages Referenced are in the English Standard Version.
 Sarah Schneewind, (2012), “Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and King Wu’s First Great Pronouncement,” The Journal of American-East Asian Relations 19, no. 1, 77, Accessed October 30, 2020, http://www.jstor.org/stable/23613171.