Saturday, March 20, 2004

Red States: the New Welfare

The Carpetbagger Report: 'Givers and Takers': "Givers, Pink explains, are those states that contribute more to the federal government in taxes than it receives in federal spending. In other words, for every dollar a taxpayer in Minnesota sends to Washington, he or she receives only 77 cents in return. Takers, meanwhile, are the opposite, receiving more in federal spending than it pays in federal taxes. North Dakota, for example, has a return of $2.07 for every dollar paid in taxes.
There are 33 'Taker' states, 16 'Giver' states, and one -- Indiana -- that breaks exactly even with a one-to-one ratio.
But that's not the fun part. The angle Pink emphasized is how Givers and Takers vote. Pink explained:
The Democrats' electability predicament comes into focus when you compare the map of Giver and Taker states with the well-worn electoral map of red (Republican) and blue (Democrat) states. You might expect that in the 2000 presidential election, Republicans, the party of low taxes and limited government, would have carried the Giver states -- while Democrats, the party of wild spending and wooly bureaucracy, would have appealed to the Taker states. But it was the reverse. George W. Bush was the candidate of the Taker states. Al Gore was the candidate of the Giver states.
78 percent of Mr. Bush's electoral votes came from Taker states.
76 percent of Mr. Gore's electoral votes came from Giver states.
Of the 33 Taker states, Mr. Bush carried 25.
Of the 16 Giver states, Mr. Gore carried 12.
Juxtaposing these maps provides a new perspective on the political landscape.... Republicans seem to have become the new welfare party -- their constituents live off tax dollars paid by people who vote Democratic. Of course, not all federal spending is wasteful. But Republicans are having their pork and eating it too. Voters in red states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are some of the country's fiercest critics of government, yet they're also among the biggest recipients of federal largess. Meanwhile, Democratic voters in the coastal blue states -- the ones who are often portrayed as shiftless moochers -- are left to carry the load...

Is there a way out for Democrats? Maybe not. With Republicans holding the purse strings, it's the Democrats who are being taken.

Wait, does this mean that conservatives and GOP activists who rail against government, taxes, and federal spending are actually shameless hypocrites who enjoy feeding at the public trough? "

...or is it just a quirk and red states have been sucking on the public teat at the expense of blues year in and year out, in Democrat and GOP administrations? In other words, has the imbalance changed since Dubya took office?

No comments: