Red State Socialism

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

One of my favorite economics bloggers, Jon Perr over at Crooks and Liars blog, posted this provocative report:


In just their latest posturing for the 2012 Republican presidential race, governors Sarah Palin (R-AK) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) joined Texas' Rick Perry, Mississippi's Haley Barbour and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal in announcing they would reject some of the federal stimulus funds allocated to their states. But as the steady one-way flow of tax dollars and earmarks spreading the wealth from Washington to their states shows, de facto red state socialism is alive and well.

As a 2007 analysis (above) of federal spending per tax dollar received by state shows, the reddest states generally reaped the most green. Eight of the top 10 beneficiaries of federal largesse voted for John McCain for President. Unsurprisingly, all 10 states at the bottom of the list – those whose outflow of tax revenue is funding programs elsewhere in the country – all voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

To read the rest of the post, Red State Socialism and the Politics of the Stimulus

And where did Arizona rank in 2005? Federal spending received per dollar of federal tax paid was $1.19, for a rank of 21, in the middle of the pack. The Tax Foundation – Federal Taxes Paid vs. Federal Spending Received by State, 1981-2005

This is a paradox of modern American politics. Those conservative Republicans who complain the loudest about those "socialist" tax and spend liberal Democrats are among the largest recipients of federal tax dollars. "Just put the money in my pocket while I pretend to be offended."

Arizona probably would fair better in receiving federal largesse if we did not have two drama queen Republicans who get the vapors over federal "earmarks" – Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jeff Flake. (Federal earmarks are less than 2% of the federal budget).

Arizona's Republican delegation would rather see your federal tax dollars go to other states to pay for things like oh, I don't know, a "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska, than to bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan right here in Arizona. If it wasn't for the military bases and defense contractors here in Arizona, we would be receiving even less return on our federal tax dollars thanks to these slackers. Why can't they be more like Republicans in other states who take the money and feign offense?

0 responses to “Red State Socialism

  1. What would be the reason for a new civil war preventing Montana, Alabama or Arizona from seceding? The USSR oppressed its satellite countries for many years but in the end people found the cost of the Union to be greater that the benefits it offered.

  2. AzBlueMeanie

    So Thane is suggesting secession? That issue was decided by the Civil War. Damn Neo-Confederates, you lost, get over it.

  3. Exactly. The economic muscles that drive America are ultimately in places like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, not in Mississippi or Alaska (or even in Arizona for that matter.)

    We all benefit from their heavy lifting (including taxation) and sometimes red staters act like a bunch of spoiled kids, sitting in a room full of almost-new toys and pouting because we’ve been asked to pitch in with the chores.

  4. I certainly agree when this comes to earmarks. I believed for a long time that earmarks were an evil influence on the US government. I always wondered though why wunderboy Jeff Flake, often spoken in the same sentence with Ron Paul had opposite views on earmarks.

    As for red states getting more federal government subsidies than blue states we can all thank the varied and multitudinous performance criteria the federal (or rather national) government has when it comes to these things. Since federal government spending is commonly thought to be an unalloyed benefit and it is a rare state indeed that has the gumption to turn down money with stings you get states that are basically vassals to the feds 99.9% of the time.

    I’m still waiting for the day when some state realizes that we pay far more in costs maintaining a federal affiliation than if we cut loose our ties to the vampires in Washington, DC.

  5. right on! thanks for exposing them for what they are.