Devolution as practiced in much of the world is decentralization of program authority and responsibility to achieve greater administrative efficiency or program standards. Devolution as practiced by the Bush administration and the Republican Congress is not that, nor is it a diminution of federal power and the strengthening of states’ rights. Rather, it is a radical restructuring of government to prevent the expenditure of funds for traditional Democratic programs of the New Deal and the Great Society, and to prohibit states from being either more generous in social programs or more stringent in regulating industry than this administration desires.

This article originally appeared in a 2004 issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy (Volume 20, Issue 1): http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol20/iss1. For this reprint, the author has prepared an update, which is included after the conclusion of the original article.



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