Federal Tax Redistribution And Voting Patterns – A Study in Hypocrisy?

January 3, 2012

I saw the picture below yesterday. (I apologize that I can’t find the link to the article, but I saw it on The Economist.  If I find it, I’ll link to it.) It shows the differential between federal taxes paid and federal spending within each state. The green shades represent more paid in federal taxes than the state received in federal spending. Shades of red represent states that received more in federal spending than their residents paid in federal taxes.  That by itself makes it an interesting graphic. I have enhanced the chart by overlaying it with the 2008 election results.  States shown with a “O” went for Obama; those without designation went for McCain.

The Givers in Green, the Takers in Red

What you notice is that most of the states shaded in green (the “Givers”) went for Obama.  Voters in states that pay more into the federal government than they receive voted for a guy that some caricature (then and now) as a “socialist” and “redistributionist”–their words not mine. Said another way, those people who already have wealth redistributed away from them and toward those in other states voted against a guy that professed to want to reduce the size of the federal government and cut their tax bills.  Of the 22 green states, only four (Texas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Georgia) voted for McCain, the professed tax-cutter and government-shrinker.

On the other side of the ledger are those states that are the Takers; those that get more from the federal government than they send in. These guys are already not paying their own way and benefit from the largess of the federal government.  There are 28 states than get more than they give. Of those, 18 of them voted for the Republican nominee.

Is this not biting the hand that feeds? If those states want the government to be smaller, I can think of 18 places to reduce the federal budget. But until you start paying your own way, don’t you owe it to those that are paying the bills to at least shut up?  This is like having your teenager tell you that the family wastes too much money dining out but then asks for money to go out for pizza with his friends.

As with many things, ’twas ever thus.

Obama: The Luckiest Politician Ever

June 9, 2009
Crazy like a Fox?

Crazy like a Fox?

It has to be true that no one in political life has been more fortunate in their choice of opponents than Barack Obama (i.e., Peter Fitzgerald, Carol Mosely Braun, Blair Hull and the seven dwarfs of the 2004 Democratic Senatorial primary , Jack Ryan, Alan Keyes, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and now the rest of the circular firing squad known as the GOP leadership).  How else to explain Newt Gingrich stepping into a Reagan-loving minefield with his comments today?

Reagan at the U.N. on 6/19/82: “I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world. … My people have sent me here today to speak for them as citizens of the world, which they truly are, for we Americans are drawn from every nationality represented in this chamber today.”

Newt today: “I am not a citizen of the world. I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous.”

Newt said this with no sense of irony.  As political theatre, it’s awesome to watch, in the same way a tornado is awesome to watch–that is, from a distance.  This may be Newt’s “Tonya Harding Moment”–one where he whacks an opponent, only to realize that doing it sinks himself and that the lunkheads that helped him do it, were, in fact, lunkheads.  Whoever writes Newt’s speeches or does his research should be handed over to Cheney and Addington for enhanced interrogation.  Does they not understand that people have access to the Google and can trace these things? If this was an accident, and he didn’t know that Reagan had said this, it may be the equivalent of Jerry Ford freeing the Poles from Soviet domination in the 1976 Presidential Debate with Jimmy Carter–the foot-shooting moment that everyone remembered as they went into the voting booth a few days later.

Perhaps I’m wrong.  Perhaps criticizing Reagan’s foreign policy is Newt’s new strategy to grab the mantle of leadership of the Republican Party.  After all, not many conservatives were comfortable with Reagan’s embrace of Gorby at Reykjavik.  Maybe he’s figuring that the best way to separate himself from the Republican pack is to separate himself from Reagan.  I doubt it, but can’t think of any other explanation (other than “oops, get me rewrite!”)

The good news for the Republicans is that it’s an eternity until anybody other than goobers like me start paying attention.  Time will tell.

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