Since so many have mentioned that the federal government is involved in to many issues, let's look at some of them I posted.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing prints money. Money that can be used across any of the 50 states and territories. The states use to have their own currency but discrepencies in the value of each states money was a constant issue.
Central Intelligence Agency is a intellegence agency. So each state should have their own spy agency and they can spy on each state too.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a research and development agency group for the department of defense. Some of the success projects include today's internet. Here is a list of current DARPA projects.http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Technology-Article.asp?ArtNum=59
Federal Trade Commission was designed to prevent unfair business practices. This agency was created because of abuses by monopolies. The states have their own set of consumer protections and they vary from state to state. One of the items under the FTC is the United States National Do Not Call Registry. So that solicitors from one state calling to another state or within the state cannot call you without your permission.
General Accounting Office studies how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. It investigates how congress spends it's money and is actually doing with it's money what it is suppose to do. Several states have their own version of this.
Federal Emergency Management Agency is tasked with responding to all aspects of natural and manmade disasters. The federal government has been helping in this manner in some form or another since the 1800's.
United States Patent and Trademark Office provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. They have been doing this since 1791. As a federal power this is one of the earliest. this way the states can't say we choose not to recognize an invention and pay the royalities due.
Social Security was brought about during the depression when the poverty rate among seniors was over 50%.
The U S. Food and Drug Administration is a scientific, regulatory, and public health agency. States exercised the principal control over domestically produced and distributed foods and drugs in the 19th century, control that was markedly inconsistent from state to state. If we go back to that I would love to see the drug traffic that came about because of that.
United States Forest Service was created in response to Timber Culture Act of 1873 (allowing title to land to anyone planting trees) had resulted in fraud. Scientists and the American Forestry Association advocated better management of the nation's forest reserves. The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 had mixed purposes -- to protect watersheds from erosion and flooding, and to preserve the nation's timber supply from over exploitation. So the states would let the forests be decimated.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service was created for similar reasons as the USFS. Because the states were letting the fishing supplies be depleted.
United States Marshals Service from the history. When George Washington set up his first administration and the first Congress began passing laws, both quickly discovered an inconvenient gap in the constitutional design of the government. It had no provision for a regional administrative structure stretching throughout the country. Both the Congress and the executive branch were housed at the national capitol. No agency was established or designated to represent the federal government's interests at the local level. The need for a regional organization quickly became apparent. Congress and the President solved part of the problem by creating specialized agencies, such as customs and revenue collectors, to levy the tariffs and taxes. Yet, there were numerous other jobs that needed to be done. The only officers available to do them were the Marshals and their Deputies.
And while many of the agencies may have lost site of their orginal intent and become so burecratic that they don't function efficently. The original reason behind them was to fill a void that needed a function. But if you actually looked at many of the agencies you would find how many have been around since before the civil war and were part of the very early history of the United states and made by the founding fathers. back when state rights were a big issue. The problem was how does a federal governement deal with a state that is poorly handling an issue that affects it's citizens and those in other states.
The EPA v Mass. is again an example of that. States rights before the civil war were not suppose to infringe the rights of the citizens in that state or any other state. While the states had more autonomy in ages past the issues than and now were not allowed to conflict with the idea of this being a free country.
I am not saying that the federal government is an all good thing, but I understand the idea behind some of the actions it has taken. If you think that there aren't issues with state government still ask a NY cop how he feels about Virginia's gun laws.