America’s system of constitutional federalism is rooted in the common-sense belief that power is best kept as local as possible, rather than wielded by officials in a distant national capital. Too often decision makers and their constituents are unaware of the strings attached to federal funds coming into a state. Practical reforms are needed at the state level that shine a light on the impact of federal funds and chip away at the myth of free DC money. SPN think tanks have developed a framework for seeing the federal funds coming into a state and the strings that come with them, measuring the impact of losing some or all funds during a federal spending crisis, and acting to ensure that spending is prioritized where it is most needed.