Welfare States

The Fourth Branch recently posted two interesting maps. This one shows, in red, the states that get more than $1.00 back for every dollar they send to the federal government.

This one should look familiar:

Perhaps Wolf Blitzer could project the first map on one of the Situation Room screens the next time some Southern Republican is bloviating about federal handouts.

(via Ezra Klein)

137 replies
  1. 1
    El Cid says:

    I’m sure that if we pointed out to our good neighbor conservative American patriots in our red states that this federal welfare soshullism is tainting their moral virtues and interrupting their lives as successful 18th century yeomen farmers in Revolutionary cosplay outfits, they’ll hop to it, tie orange pekoe on their heads and head to Washington that the fedrul gubmit stop takin’ their freemarket incentives away with their generous monies.

    After all, if there’s one thing that Southern and Western states are famous for, it’s for not wanting any federal dollars.

  2. 2
    anonymous says:

    I like “Revolutionary cosplayers” as an accurate label of the teabaggers.

  3. 3
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    That must be why they’re always going on about “elites”.

    They hate us for our freedoms.

  4. 4
    Kristine says:

    As a sidebar, a neighbor came by yesterday to ask if I would sign petitions to add two Constitution Party candidates–for Senator and Governor–to the Illinois ballot. She’s a very nice lady who suffers from a chronic illness, as does her brother. They live in their mother’s home–they are still able to get around, but their mother cares for them and works a day job. Overall, it is a stressful situation. I don’t know them well enough to inquire whether Social Security disability plays a role in their lives, but I wonder. Why are these stay-at-homes so prone to buying into the Tea Party line?

    Anyway, I said I was a progressive, and that these were not candidates I could support. Neighbor replied that she used to be a progressive, but her views changed over time. I didn’t ask why. I didn’t want to get into an animated discussion on my front step. We talked about gardening for a few minutes, then she went on her way.

    I should probably have signed the petitions in the hope that those candidates would get on the ballot and split the Republican vote. But I didn’t want to risk getting all those mailings.

  5. 5
    db says:

    Bad map. Bad conclusions. Ecological fallacy.

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    They just don’t want any of that federal handout money going to the “wrong sort” of people. It is very kind of them to think of this, really.

    One could argue that this type of parasitism is an essential component to the South’s confederate heritage. After all, slave owning is the ultimate expression of deadbeatism.

  7. 7

    Yeah. Noticed the map a couple of years ago. The situation has been that way for a while.

    Texas is the real exception to my rule: If they disapprove of government handouts, they must live in a welfare state.

  8. 8
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    This map (the first one) is a couple of years old, and it has been popular as a sort of shorthand for the arguments Tom Frank made in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” all along. It’s always fun to take an easy poke at the supposed hypocrisies of the opposition. I do my fair share of that.

    But a couple of things. First, I’d like to see a version of this map with DOD contracts and farm subsidies broken out separately. Not because those sorts of spending back into “red states” don’t count, but because that’s not the sort of spending that “conservatives” tend to see as “wasteful.”

    I’d also call out the idea that this map, flawed though it may be, suggests that there are a lot more welfare recipients in “red states” than their are in “blue states.” If that is true, then it’s not shocking that a lot of the middle class leaners in the red states think “we spend too much money on the poor” because they *see* a disproportionate amount of that spending. A middle class leaner in the bluer states wouldn’t see a lot of welfare spending personally, and thus might not consider it to be a big issue.

  9. 9
    beltane says:

    @Kristine: The stay-at-homes are vulnerable to the tea party line because they have an infinite amount of time on their hands to watch Fox News and read up on various conspiracy theories on the internet. The meds used to treat most chronic illnesses may also have a part to play.

    When I worked in the pro se department of a federal appeal’s court, it was amazing to see how each and every mentally ill appellant has conservative political views. All of them. One particularly disturbed individual was even a delegate for Steve Forbes in 1992.

    There is something about conservatism that is profoundly attractive to the mentally ill in our society.

  10. 10
    Tomlinson says:

    I would really like to see a variant of that map: what a citizen of each state owes to pay off the federal debt, on a per capita basis, taking into account where the various federal monies have been flowing and where the taxes are coming from.

  11. 11
    Third Eye Open says:

    @db: Eh, Bad map, debatable conclusion. Debatable if only because we are looking at the improper scale to assess what is very likely very localized spending. But, lets not get all righteous here, its obviously a free GIS software, shrunk down to handy-dandy jpeg, k’know?

  12. 12
    GregB says:

    Cole, you are a socialist, fascist, communist, athiest just for pointing this out.

    Plus you’ll only make the red state tea-baggers more angry with your fact based smears and innuendo.

  13. 13
    Rey says:

    Perhaps Wolf Blitzer could project the first map on one of the Situation Room screens the next time some Southern Republican is bloviating about federal handouts.

    That will be a cold day in hell. Hence, the continuing fall of CNN’s ratings.

  14. 14

    I’d like to see the map with a control for population density.

  15. 15

    @anonymous:

    I like “Revolutionary cosplayers” as an accurate label of the teabaggers.

    Funny, but I read that as “Revolutionary cop slayers.”

    I think it’s probably equally fitting.

  16. 16
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Wait a minute; less than 20 states get less than a dollar back for every dollar they send to the federal government?

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    @beltane: Yes, what the heck is it?

    There is something about conservatism that is profoundly attractive to the mentally ill in our society.

    Sadly, there are two men in my circle of family/friends who suffer from dementia… and have only become more rabid fans of Faux News as a consequence.

  18. 18
    kay says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Yup. As a welfare-stater, I say – thanks!

  19. 19
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I’d like to see the map with a control for population density.

    I think that’s what those are basically.

    Oh wait you probably didn’t mean “density” that way. Never mind.

    To be fair, this whole thing has been fairly heavily explored with the “purple maps” that I first saw at GOS just after the 2004 debacle. People were making lots of jokes about Jesusland and all the rest of it, maps with the Northern and coastal states merged with Canada, and all of it was pretty funny and cathartic at the time.

    But then people started doing maps by county, by lots of other criteria and it was pretty revealing. I found myself having a special sympathy with what it must be like to be a progressive in a “red” state when everyone is calling your entire state a bunch of right wingers, because I’d been through it so many times with certain Europeans characterizing all Americans as basically George W Bush.

    Of course, as conservatives like to point out, we are in fact a collection of states whose rights they’re always going on about, so there’s that.

  20. 20
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Quit ramming your federal tax dollars down our throats!

  21. 21
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @WereBear: It’s because the right are the ones loudly preaching extremism right now, and it attracts both crazy and non-crazy people.

    There was a time when “the left” was more predominant in promoting extremism, and lots of crazies caught that bug also, for all the wrong reasons in other words.

    That’s why this false equivalence-seeking that’s the regulation basically in the corporate media is so wrong, there have been times when it wasn’t the right that was screaming extremist things the most loudly, but it certainly is right now. And to crazy people it’s a bright and shiny object, plus radios are fairly cheap.

  22. 22
    dr. bloor says:

    Perhaps Wolf Blitzer could project the first map on one of the Situation Room screens the next time some Southern Republican is bloviating about federal handouts.

    You could roll those maps up, line them with lead, and smack Wolfie upside the head until doomsday, and he still wouldn’t see the correlation.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    And this is why Texas wants to secede. They figure they can take their money and oil with them when they go.

  24. 24
    mistermix says:

    @Sam Hutcheson:

    But a couple of things. First, I’d like to see a version of this map with DOD contracts and farm subsidies broken out separately. Not because those sorts of spending back into “red states” don’t count, but because that’s not the sort of spending that “conservatives” tend to see as “wasteful.”

    I’d also call out the idea that this map, flawed though it may be, suggests that there are a lot more welfare recipients in “red states” than their are in “blue states.” If that is true, then it’s not shocking that a lot of the middle class leaners in the red states think “we spend too much money on the poor” because they see a disproportionate amount of that spending. A middle class leaner in the bluer states wouldn’t see a lot of welfare spending personally, and thus might not consider it to be a big issue.

    I agree with all of this, and agree that by-county counts are also important and interesting. I’d also like to see newer data, since the study that forms the basis for the first map is from 2005.

    In addition to farm subsidies, there’s also much more federal land in the low-density plains and Rocky Mountain states, so there’s more federal money going there to maintain that property.

    But we go to blog with the data we have, not the data we wish we had.

  25. 25
    PTirebiter says:

    @Sam Hutcheson:

    suggests that there are a lot more welfare recipients in “red states” than their are in “blue states.”

    I would wager there are more welfare recipients in Los Angeles and NYC than most any single red state on the map. And whether DoD spending is wasteful or not, they’re patronage jobs that could be done anywhere.

  26. 26
    dr. bloor says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    I’d like to see the map with a control for population density.

    Obviously, you’d see a big change, but of course that then leads us back to the issue of why any particular state in that sea of red gets the same representation in the Senate as does California or New York.

  27. 27
    Sly says:

    And its not even efficient welfare spending either. I guarantee you that the biggest chunk of that disparity is because of Federal contractors setting up shop in states where they get a favorable tax structure and don’t have to pay union scale.

    If all those people in red states were getting actual welfare spending, in the form of programs like TANF or the EITC, I would actually have no reason to complain. A lot of those states have relatively low household median incomes compared to donor states, so of course the bulk of the money would go there. Its designed to.

  28. 28
    PeakVT says:

    I’d like to see the map stapled to the forehead of every Republican senator.

  29. 29
    Moses2317 says:

    I haven’t looked up the data, but I bet the disparity is even greater if you evaluate the distribution of government spending by county. For example, here in Illinois, downstaters constantly rant about “big government” and all the government spending in Chicago. Yet, on a per capita basis, far more spending goes to Republican, downstate areas of Illinois than to Chicago. In fact, it is the taxpayers of Chicagoland and a few other urban areas in the state that support the rest of the state.

    As a liberal, I have no problem with this in theory as I believe that government should exist to help those most in need. What does bother me is to hear downstaters and teabaggers ranting about “socialism” while accepting far more government support than blue areas of the state.

  30. 30
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    The Bobble has Spoken:

    Leahy: Celibacy leads to bad things greggers

    Gregory: like molesting?

    Leahy: that Gregorian Chant CD

  31. 31
    bemused says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    Population density…that’s very funny.

  32. 32
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    @mistermix:

    But we go to blog with the data we have, not the data we wish we had.

    Aye, I’m sympathetic to that. But I think it’s worthwhile to call out the limitations of the data regardless. I like the idea of breakout by population density too, but I still hesitate at the narrative that is typically built around this presentation of the data. Yes, it seems pretty clear that the “states” who complain most loudly about the public trough line up first to feed from it, but there are cross tabs in that data that need to be explored.

    DOD spending, as I understand it, is pretty evenly spread across the states, blue or red. (The DOD is full of strategic thinkers who know well the benefit of spreading the pork around, so that any cut at any point in the spending can be leveraged with any Senator and overridden.)

    Farm subsidies, quite obviously, pay out to the rural states. I’d bet money to odds that if you could get the data behind that map and break out corn and cotton subsidies – leave every other ag payment intact – you’d see a huge swing in the “receiving” states. I suspect the only “blue” state, politically, that receives heavy farm subsidy is California. Maybe Illinois.

    All of which is to say, this sort of map is a good conversation starter, but too often it is used as a conversation ender. Too often those on “our” side of the debate throw this out not to use as a leverage to discuss the real tranches of federal spending – and why farm subsidies and DOD spending has to be on the table if anyone really wants to talk about national spending/debt – but rather too get that visceral moral high that comes from calling someone a hypocritical poopyhead and then walking away all high and mighty like.

    If you see my point.

  33. 33
    cleek says:

    @dr. bloor:

    but of course that then leads us back to the issue of why any particular state in that sea of red gets the same representation in the Senate as does California or New York.

    (raises hand)

    because the intent of the Senate is to represent the States, not the People.

    which leads us to different questions: why do States need representation ? and, what does this representation afford us that the House does not ?

    i vote: they don’t.
    and: nothing good.

  34. 34
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    @PTirebiter:

    I would wager there are more welfare recipients in Los Angeles and NYC than most any single red state on the map.

    I’d take that wager, if you like. I’m sure there are beneficiaries in the cities, no doubt. But the entire southern half of GA, as with most of the rural south, are either on Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, or farm subsidies. Add in the huge block of DOD spending in the southern states and I’ll take those odds.

  35. 35
    Kristine says:

    @beltane:

    My neighbor isn’t mentally ill. But her physical disease has progressed over time, and it is the type of disease that I suppose could take her mental/emotional state along for the ride. Which is both depressing and scary.

  36. 36
    CalD says:

    This is basically the same conclusion that the Kennedy school of government at Harvard reached in an annual report that they did every year until D.P. Moynihan retired from the Senate, and that the Tax Foundation has reached in a report they’ve done almost every year since. All the figures are a matter of public record and are open to no serious dispute. So if anyone were ever going to take any interest in this fact, they’ve had 30 or 40 years to do it. The list hasn’t changed much since the 70s.

    But I’ll state once again for the record that as a Blue State liberal, I’m damned sick and tired of my tax dollars being spent on keeping right-wing, gun toting, bible-thumping, red-state, white trash, trailer park welfare monkeys supplied with all the government cheese they can eat.

  37. 37
    Craig says:

    @beltane: There is something about conservatism that is profoundly attractive to the mentally ill in our society.

    With respect, you should visit Boulder, Colorado once.

  38. 38
    Onkel Bob says:

    Couple of problems with the map. The first is how are payments to federal government calculated? States with Ports of Entry are going to collect tariffs on goods brought from overseas, but they themselves are not paying those duties. The there’s outlays – how is that calculated? Golden Gate Park in SF is a wonderful city park that is, for the most part, a federal reserve.
    BTW- the federal government doesn’t give out welfare payments per se; it is the state governments that pay them out. While some of the outlays are subsidized by the federal government, quite a bit is from state coffers collected from state residents. Much of your federal dollars go to public expenditures – subsidizing education, police, highways, etc.. Those high profile extensions of UEI are but a small portion of individual outlays, Medicare is much bigger.

  39. 39
    demo woman says:

    It surprises me that Texas does not receive more benefits from the Federal Government than in pays out. They have military bases, Nasa and farm subsidies.

  40. 40
    Alan says:

    Maybe when the south secedes, Florida can trade it’s land for a few western states leaving Texas to support a new extended southern country. Being a Florida resident would suck if I couldn’t escape to the north because I’m financially tied to my property.

  41. 41
    Ogami Itto says:

    But we go to blog with the data we have, not the data we wish we had.

    And we readers will greet you as liberators elucidators.

  42. 42
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Craig: Made me laugh.

    Or Berkeley, California. Not now, but circa 1972.

    “Insanity? That was the style in those days. We used to tie a paranoid schizophrenic episode on our belt and walk down Telegraph avenue…”

  43. 43
    misterarthur says:

    Curious that the state that, one could argue, needs it most, Michigan, is a continual pays-out-more than gets back state.

  44. 44
    jcricket says:

    I think the problem with this map (detail issues notwithstanding) is that it’s not going to convince anyone of anything.

    Right Wingers live in a tautological world these days. The government is always wrong, always bad, and always the source of evil. If it does a shitty job, that’s proof of that. If the government does something “well”, it’s because we overpaid (probably damn union workers too). If you point out that “they” are net recipients and that “their” lifestyle is the one being subsidized (i.e. same cost to deliver mail to rural areas) – you hate “real Americans”. Even the best “loved” examples of the government working (Social Security, Medicare) are touted as proof the government sucks at everything (“where’s my private account”, “Medicare is dooming the whole national financially”), despite the fact that no real people (pundits do not count) want either program touched in the slightest.

    There’s always an answer, and never one that involves re-thinking their fundamental world-view.

    The only way out of this is for two things to happen:

    1) Entire generation of old people has to die off – along with their backwards attitudes and professed love of “rural” living.

    2) Democrats have to stop beating around the bush and start articulating the positive/affirmative case for government and taxation. If we don’t, I expect the entire nation to turn into the mess that is California.

  45. 45
    jrg says:

    But I’ll state once again for the record that as a Blue State liberal, I’m damned sick and tired of my tax dollars being spent on keeping right-wing, gun toting, bible-thumping, red-state, white trash, trailer park welfare monkeys supplied with all the government cheese they can eat.

    Amen, brother. How much you want to bet we’d be having a public debate a little more substantial than “man on dog sex” if we stopped giving free money to these inbred fucktards?

  46. 46
    Onkel Bob says:

    @demo woman: I suspect Texas is in the “blue” because of royalties paid to the federal government for oil extraction and for the oil import duties. Foreign oil isn’t simply shipped to the US, it needs to be processed – refined, and those facilities are numerous along the coast. Which is why maps such as this are poor representations of reality. They take gross data and use it to portray events that simply cannot be properly examined at that level.

  47. 47
    jcricket says:

    @demo woman: I wonder how long we’ll be calling Texas a “red state”. I’m not normally one for demographic triumphalism, but I get a palpable sense that the coming immigration reform battle will cleave Hispanics off the Republican party the way that civil rights did the same for Blacks.

    If it happens the way Prop 187 happened in CA, expect Texas to be blue (at least as far as national elections go) within a decade.

    I wonder what stories the press will be telling us then.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    bemused says:

    Bob Herbert said it plain, the R party is a shameless advocate of the free lunch. The facts are there for anyone to find but you’ll never convince your republican brother, sister, dad, uncle….@jrg:
    Amen, also too.

  50. 50
    BFR says:

    @demo woman:

    It surprises me that Texas does not receive more benefits from the Federal Government than in pays out. They have military bases, Nasa and farm subsidies.

    On the flipside, Dallas and Houston are really large metro areas. I don’t think this map actually says anything useful – as a society we place a high value on pushing pieces of paper around and a low value on producing food. As a result, it’s always going to look like cities are subsidizing rural areas. They are, of course, but a lot of that subsidy goes directly back to urban areas in the form of lower food prices.

    Not to mention the effect of basing the military in rural areas which is preferable for any number of reasons (land value, impacts to local communities/environment etc).

  51. 51
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @jcricket:

    I wonder what stories the press will be telling us then.

    That it’s great news for McCain.

  52. 52
    WereBear says:

    This discussion points up the Catch 22 we have with present day Republicans of the Tea Party sort; anything they get is “deserved,” while anything a different type of person gets, is “not.”

    When a person’s self-image is bound up in this mindset, it’s just not going to shift. We have to marginalize them until they die off; it’s the only way most change happens, after all.

  53. 53
    PTirebiter says:

    @Sam Hutcheson:

    …farm subsidies. Add in the huge block of DOD spending in the southern states and I’ll take those odds.

    Moving the goal line a bit don’t you think?

    Total number of families recieving welfare assistance in 2003.

    # 1 California: 449,170
    # 2 New York: 149,947
    # 7 Tennessee: 68,517
    # 30 Alabama: 18,786

    Couldn’t find the city by city, but I still say, you lose.

  54. 54
    PTirebiter says:

    @Sam Hutchinson
    BTW I wasn’t being a red stater apologists. I was suggesting that the money is used to benefit to benefit of the GOP. Tax cuts for the wealthy while the rest of the country picks up their tab. They don’t use it to improve the lot of their lower classes.

  55. 55
    BFR says:

    @WereBear:

    This discussion points up the Catch 22 we have with present day Republicans of the Tea Party sort; anything they get is “deserved,” while anything a different type of person gets, is “not.”

    They’re actually inadvertently supporting a progressive position with this though. As it stands, this has the effect of shifting Wall St and Silicon Valley tax receipts to poor farm and service oriented workers in poorer areas.

    If you made the system more geographically equitable you’d really wreak havoc on rural areas.

  56. 56
    vhh says:

    Kudos for posting this. I figured out the correlation myself going into the last election and have been fuming that it has not been discussed more in public. This is something that simply has to go viral (it needs coverage form Steve Benen and Talking Points Memo) for the good of the country. I live in Tennessee, a net beneficiary state with nasty right wing fantasies. I think that if the present whacko right wing propaganda war escalates, the Administration will have no choice but to turn the financial screws on the red states in a targeted way—indeed, I am astounded why Rahm Emmanuel is not on this already. The fact is, if it were not for FDR and the Dems and the Rockefeller family, the entire southeast US would have the living standards of Central America. The Tennessee Valley Authority alone is probably the most successful government undertaking in US history. The last thing the South needs is for the Federal govt to get off their back.

  57. 57

    @beltane: Do you think that perhaps failure to integrate successfully into society leads one to the more conservative views?

    A sort of variation on The Doors, Strange- “Women are wicked when you are unwanted.”

  58. 58
    Jennifer says:

    Both what Sam Hutcheson said @ 8 and what Bill E. Pilgrim said @ 19.

    But even a breakdown by county wouldn’t tell you the whole story. I suspect a county-by-county analysis of my state (Arkansas) would show the bulk of federal money being expended in the eastern part of the state and Pulaski County. And it would signify different things in both cases – Pulaski County (Little Rock) would reflect social welfare spending, while east Arkansas would reflect farm subsidies. Not to mom-and-pop farmers, but to corporate farms of thousands of acres, many collecting millions in subsidies per year. Meanwhile, that area of the state remains mired in desperate poverty – though there’s some social welfare spending going on there, too. It’s just that the amounts going to a couple of thousand people in the area are larger by an order of several magnitudes than the amounts going to several hundred thousands of other people in the area, collectively.

    So things start to look a little less inexplicable if you really break the data out – your average redneck racist from other areas of the state would zero in on the higher federal spending in east Arkansas and immediately conclude it was due to the much higher percentage of black population in the area – ridiculous because the white mountain rednecks are pretty much all on the dole, too – and it would never occur to them that the money’s pretty much all going to a bunch of corporate farms and wealthy landowners who farm or lease out thousands of acres – all, or nearly all of whom are white. So it just feeds their narrative of being victimized by evil socialist government. It matters not a whit if they’re getting government aid themselves, or whether they’ve ever paid taxes – someone else is getting more, and obviously it’s because they are black and liberals are reverse-racists and ARGH BLARG BLARG etc.

    I think a full analysis of the data would show a similar pattern in ALL states where agriculture is the primary or one of the primary economic bases – you’ll see big federal spending in rural, lightly-populated areas. But while there’s rural poverty in all of these states, it’s much more prevalent in the south, where it’s also more likely to have a darker face. There’s a number of historical reasons for that pattern – the legacy of plantation and sharecropper agriculture in the south vs. the homesteading in the north and midwest, the fact that there never really were many black farmers in the north or midwest to begin with vs. in the south where most blacks were agricultural workers up until the 1950s or so.

    Facts be damned, your average southern wingnut would look at federal expenditure by county and conclude that the rural areas were getting so much of it because they’re full of poor black people. It would never occur to a northern conservative or even wingnut to reach such a conclusion, because they don’t have poor black people in their rural areas and so don’t have to worry about all that sweet, sweet federal cash going to the “wrong types.”

  59. 59
    licensed to kill time says:

    @beltane:

    There is something about conservatism that is profoundly attractive to the mentally ill in our society.

    I would guess that it has to do with fear of change and rampant paranoia, seasoned with a dash of conspiracy theory.

  60. 60
    Shalimar says:

    @PTirebiter: It’s not just welfare. I live in southern Alabama, and it is amazing the number of people in my rural 3-county area who get early social security for one disability or another. It has to be at least 5% of the population around here. Some of them have legitimate major disabilities, but quite a few seem to have nothing that would prevent them from working. I assume some local lawyers are very good at gaming the system and word spreads, but I don’t know the details.

  61. 61
    WereBear says:

    The whole message of “It’s not your fault, it’s the Islamocommies who are giving all your money to welfare queens driving Cadillacs” has powerful Loser Fu from the get-go, too.

  62. 62
    Jennifer says:

    BTW, I posted an awesome post a few comments upthread that is “awaiting moderation” but it would be a shame for it to go unread so deep were its insights, so do please check back for it later, after the “moderating” is completed.

  63. 63
    jeffreyw says:

    @Moses2317: Thanks for paving the blacktop for me.

  64. 64
    Phoebe says:

    @Kristine: I really wish you would ask. I know she’s your neighbor and all, and you want to preserve niceness because she’s right next to you. But shoot, just be nice. I know it’s doable. She was totally nice to you once you confessed your progressivism. No pitchfork. She seems like she can handle it. And she’s not mentally ill. I really would be curious to know what moved her from progressive to teabag, and while we can speculate all we want, why not just ask? She’s right there.

    And then come back and tell us what she said. This would be investigative journalism of the sort I would really want to read.

  65. 65
    Joel says:

    @db: The map isn’t wrong, but the inferences drawn from it (partially) are.

    However, if you’re going to parrot Yglesias, you should credit him.

  66. 66
    joe from Lowell says:

    There is one – one (1) – Republican-leaning state that pays its share.

    One.

    You know, in the words of Phil Gramm, “I don’t mind pulling the cart, I mind it when the people riding in it keep complaining.”

  67. 67
    colleeniem says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Thanks for reminding me. I especially like this bit, in light of my upcoming vacation!:
    Gregory: [ fluffs hair ] what’s to stop North Korea from occupying Wyoming?

    Gates: the Grand Tetons

    Gregory: Tweetons?

  68. 68
    joe from Lowell says:

    db

    Bad map. Bad conclusions. Ecological fallacy.

    What conclusions? I didn’t see any conclusions in the post. Could you quote them?

    For my part, I think this map is most useful for refuting certain theories of spending and politics, rather than making any.

    Total number of families recieving welfare assistance in 2003.

    Since New York and California are paying for their welfare recipients – as well as for Alabama’s and Tennessee’s – you really have nothing to say beyond “Thank you.”

  69. 69
    Keith G says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Texas is the real exception to my rule: If they disapprove of government handouts, they must live in a welfare state.

    Texas may be a bit of an outlier due to the great amount of tax $$ paid by energy concerns, but relatively small amount paid by anyone else. Take away Exxon and Texas goes go bright red on the first map.

  70. 70
    colleeniem says:

    @misterarthur: That struck me too. And that Maine is a welfare state. Any BJers from Portland? I will be moving there this summer for my job, and don’t know very many people up there.

  71. 71
    Kristine says:

    @Phoebe:

    We don’t see one another that often, but when I do see her again I will ask if the opportunity presents.

  72. 72
    Jennifer says:

    Joe from lowell @ 66:
    But that’s the thing – you aren’t pulling the cart for the people who are complaining. (Again, I wish they hadn’t “moderated” my upthread comment.) The bulk of those welfare dollars aren’t going to the poor people in those states – they’re going to the usual suspects.

    The southern economic model has never really diverted from feudalism. Plantation agriculture, sharecropping, “right-to-work” laws, etc. – this region has always been one step ahead when it comes to keeping the serfs in their places. If the federal social welfare spending coming into these states was examined, they’d probably be below par – higher federal Medicaid spending but much lower whatever-today’s-equivalent-of-AFDC is.

    If the numers were really broken down, I think you’d see the majority of the money going into a relatively few pockets. It’s the poor rubes who labor under the lash of the whip who are doing the complaining, and they aren’t riding in the cart.

  73. 73
    db says:

    @Third Eye Open:

    Debatable if only because we are looking at the improper scale to assess what is very likely very localized spending. But, lets not get all righteous here, its obviously a free GIS software, shrunk down to handy-dandy jpeg, k’know?

    Sorry. I guess writing in fragments can sound righteous. I have no problem with freeware or handy-dandy jpeg. I do have problems with putting two maps like this up side-by-side primarily because Electoral College is winner-takes-all and federal receipts vs outlays by state is not. I would also add that both maps do not convey relative contribution (e.g., percent contribution to Electoral College contribution, percent above/below $1.00). That latter concern may sound “righteous.” But I don’t know of any other way to say that this sort of analysis should require figures appropriate for the data. Scatterplots are really simple to do on freeware and could more accurately describe the data.

    My bigger concern is that this the tendency to lead to erroneous conclusions at the individual level. I do not dispute that there may be a high correlation between being on government assistance and attending a tea-party rally. However, at best, these maps do not marshal that data and can be dismissed for that reason. And, at worst, leads to the sort of analysis that the other side can be used to convey their point (i.e., copying and pasting some jpeg image from the internets to prove that blue states have lower levels of “morality” than red states, etc).

  74. 74
    kay says:

    @Joel:

    I don’t think Yglesias has it right either. He’s not taking state and local taxes into account. The “welfare” states aren’t funding programs at the state level, so they’re eligible for federal funding. That furthers the conservative myth that people don’t have to pay taxes to receive services. They’re running (and winning) at the state level on not raising taxes, and then qualifying for federal subsidies, in education, for example, because they didn’t collect taxes. They’re continuing state policy to promote a low-wage workforce with “race to the bottom” attractions to industry and then relying on the fact that they have a low-wage workforce to get a higher federal match per state dollar spent.

  75. 75
    db says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    What conclusions? I didn’t see any conclusions in the post. Could you quote them?

    Sure. This comes from the fourth branch post:

    There is a very strong correlation, then, between a state voting for Republicans and receiving more in federal spending than its residents pay to the federal government in taxes (the rust belt and Texas being notable exceptions). In essence, those in blue states are subsidizing those in red states. Both red and blue states appear to be acting politically in opposition to their economic interests. Blue states are voting for candidates who are likely to continue the policies of red state subsidization while red states are voting for candidates who profess a desire to reduce federal spending (and presumably red state subsidization).

    States don’t vote. People within states vote. To say that a state is voting against its interests is an incorrect conclusion to reach based on these maps. There may be millions of individuals within a red state “voting correctly.” However, they may be outvoted by others in that state.

  76. 76
    rollSound says:

    @PTireBiter:

    Total Per capita number of families recieving welfare assistance in 2003.
    1. 1 4. California:449,170 1.243 per 100
    2. 2 15. New York:149,947 0.779 per 100
    3. 7 5. Tennessee:68,517 1.149 per 100
    4. 30 43. Alabama:18,786 0.412 per 100

    Fixed. You also missed #8 WV on the high side and #51 on the low side.

  77. 77
    MikeJ says:

    Actually with the electoral college, people don’t vote, states vote.

  78. 78
    Uloborus says:

    This is anecdotal, and I’m not at all sure he’s real, but… on the ‘crazy people are conservative’ meme, don’t we have our own example here in good ‘ol BoB?

    It’s not his conclusions, it’s his arguments. Agree with him or don’t, PT above is at least making coherent arguments. BoB talks like someone who’s severely mentally ill, in disjointed non-sequiters that only he thinks lead anywhere, and always trails back to some unrelated point (women drivers?) that he’s obsessed with.

    I mean, there’s clearly snark involved, but that’s ALL he does. You can’t tell the serious from the sarcastic. It’s just gibberish.

  79. 79
    PTirebiter says:

    @rollSound: Per capita wasn’t relevant to the particular conversation. Going down that road, you’d then have to start factoring in points of entry for immigrants, racial make-up etc…

  80. 80
    debit says:

    @Uloborus: I’m pretty sure BoB is one of the regulars having us on. The obsession with women driving forklifts and cream puffs as tokens of affection is just a little too silly.

  81. 81
    Redshift says:

    @jcricket:

    2) Democrats have to stop beating around the bush and start articulating the positive/affirmative case for government and taxation. If we don’t, I expect the entire nation to turn into the mess that is California.

    Yes, we need a hell of a lot more than this. If the argument is about taxes in the abstract, we will lose every time, the same as any argument where only costs are discussed, not benefits.

  82. 82
    furioso ateo says:

    @Keith G: Where does this information come from? Texas also has the biggest manufacturing base, after California, and a huge technology base there too. Dell and Texas Instruments are there.

    Cherry picking industries is disingenuous. I’m sure if I plucked manufacturing out of Illinois or finance out of New York they’d belly up bright red too.

    I know Texas doesn’t fit the “red states are moochers” narrative, but them’s the breaks.

  83. 83
    jcricket says:

    @Redshift: Perhaps we can start by making the connection between taxes and services. Only in this country to people think we can have low taxes and high services. In other countries there are, usually, more sensible arguments about lowering both services and taxes, or fiddling with who pays the taxes, etc.

    Services require taxes. Lots of services require lots of taxes. And we have a huge deficit (figuratively) of unpaid for services (infrastructure, schools, unfunded pensions, groaning consumer debt related to healthcare issues, etc.).

    You can decide where the taxes come from, and who they fall most heavily on, but that’s your only choice short of gutting services.

    But I give us very little hope. In California the nearly 2/3rds majorities of Democrats in the state legislature can’t get that idea across to the public. This is what happens after 40 years of uncontested government bashing.

  84. 84

    @furioso ateo:

    If you were to look at the FY2004 map it almost directly relates to the 2008 Electoral map. TX is only quite recently a net plus on the Fed scale as are a few of the net negative states only quite recently in that category. TX is historically a Federal money pit – nice try though.

  85. 85
    furioso ateo says:

    @Chuck Butcher: How long ago is “recently”? Texas has been a net plus since 1981: http://www.taxfoundation.org/r.....22685.html

    Nice try though.

  86. 86

    @jcricket:
    For popular enthusiasm for budget cutting and the actual effect see this graph.

  87. 87
    Geeno says:

    Unlike Alaska, Texas has a shitty agreement with the Feds regarding oil there. Alaska gets to keep 90% of its oil revenue – only 10% goes to the Treasury. Texas only keeps 50%. That’s why Alaska is red on the first map and Texas blue.

  88. 88
    PTirebiter says:

    @jcricket:

    This is what happens after 40 years of uncontested government bashing.

    Amen to that. It’s the major reason I get so bent at the firebaggers. The narrative has become the super-tanker that Obama speaks of rerouting. And making common cause with the likes Norquist over Rahm just adds detours. Keep it up and eventually we’ll circle back to were we began.

  89. 89
    TruculentandUnreliable says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I found myself having a special sympathy with what it must be like to be a progressive in a “red” state when everyone is calling your entire state a bunch of right wingers, because I’d been through it so many times with certain Europeans characterizing all Americans as basically George W Bush.

    This is why I get really, really pissy with liberal bluestaters sometimes. Saying “LOL stupid redstaters” does nothing for anybody, and it alienates people who are liberal or sympathetic to liberal causes in more conservative states. It also erases the work that my family and friends and I have done to advance liberal causes, and the shit that we’ve gotten for our viewpoints. Cons are often off-base regarding charges of elitism, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like they’re right sometimes.

  90. 90

    @furioso ateo:
    Next time read the asterix, assumed load isn’t tax load paid – duh.

  91. 91
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @jcricket: Absolutely right. It’s a particularly US viewpoint, this idea that’s taken hold, I actually think it’s a kind of consumerism gone wild.

    One aspect of the US that stands out when you spend time away from it is how this “power to the consumer” aspect has just taken off in comparison to other places, with an attendant deep fear that one is always going to be cheated, and paying taxes is just one of the ways you might get cheated.

    That’s really where the double-edged idea of wanting all of the services but not being willing to pay the price comes from, the American model has developed to this rabid sort of demand that everyone give you better and better service, and lower the prices while doing it.

    So the idea that the government can deliver your mail, pave your streets, teach your children (and on and on) and still give you a massive tax break on your house so you can keep buying bigger ones starts seeming like just a birthright, rather than an impossibility.

    People feel this way somewhat all over the world of course, but it’s extremely pronounced in the US, from what I experience. In other countries people bitch and squirm about the services and the taxes, but this basic idea that paying taxes at all is like being cheated, that’s very strong in the US compared to elsewhere.

  92. 92
    Geeno says:

    In fact, Alaska is only state with a deal like that. Other oil producing states would shift (even more) red if they had Alaska’s deal.

  93. 93
    furioso ateo says:

    @Chuck Butcher: So where are the numbers that split the difference? The asterix doesn’t let you weasel out and assume that means Texas is in the red.

  94. 94

    What? You can’t read? They assume a tax liability that does not exist as assumed debt. Their data also pushes OR into the more positive column than it is which is very nearly a push and has been for quite some time.

    You quoted a source with a wiggle number and ask me to back up their fucked up data? You fix your own damn quote.

  95. 95
    Geeno says:

    @furioso ateo: See my above comment regarding Texas’ “blue” status. The rest of us pay them more directly in sales taxes and the like when we buy their oil.

  96. 96
    superdestroyer says:

    Does anyone really believe that if alabama suddenly elected Democrats that their government spending would change very much or if Oregon elected Republicans, the consumption of federal tax dollars would change very much?

    The problem is that the U.S. will soon have only one relevant political party and that is will maintain power by vastly increasing government spending. So will the private sector be able to produce enough economic output to fund every increasing spending while the demographics of the U.S. become more like a third world country?

  97. 97
    furioso ateo says:

    @Geeno: Sure, but again it’s cherry picking industries to turn a state from one column to the other. The majority of taxes on financial transactions end up in NY’s coffers, but nobody says “well, take away finance and really it’s a welfare state.”

  98. 98
    furioso ateo says:

    @Chuck Butcher: This affects all the states the same, and you still haven’t shown me how this pushes Texas into the red.

  99. 99

    @superdestroyer:
    In the case of OR, probably so but OR & TX ought to be purple as near pushes in Fed expenses. Oregon regularly runs $.98 – $1.00 and the economic changes the ORGOP favor would push tax receipts via income down and increase Fed expenditures.

    OR is a queer case in the Fed balancing act. Huge land areas of the state are Fed owned but get little fed spending and there is essentially nothing DoD. PILT can make a difference, but USGOP hates it – for some obscure reason (welfare?). A little wing of Boeing doesn’t make much of defense industry.

    (PILT=Payment In Lieu of Taxes: ie property taxes)

  100. 100

    @furioso ateo:
    You are incredibly dense, aren’t you? It is an assumed debt per tax payer with a progressive tax system and you can’t figure out the consequences? What – you live there do you?

    OR is pushed more blue by lack of a large really rich contingent and not much of other Fed taking other than income taxes.

    Then if you were to consider the indirect Fed taking by lack of PILT on Fed lands OR would be hugely blue.

  101. 101
    furioso ateo says:

    @Chuck Butcher: I understand the consequences, but what are you saying makes up the difference?

    And, yes, I’m from Texas. And nice ad hominem.

  102. 102

    @El Cid:

    It’s not a bug, it’s a feature — they pride themselves on “bleeding the beast”, as the Mormon Fundies and the Nazis at Stormfront call it.

    Nonwhites ripping off the government: Bad. Whites ripping off the government: Good. Neo-Confederates and their Nazi spiritual kin ripping off the Union: Double Plus Good!

  103. 103
    Onkel Bob says:

    @furioso ateo: Apparently you do not understand the consequences. CB points out that Oregon is considered blue; however, the only contributions that OR makes is in the form of income tax, and the expenditures are minimal. Yet, OR state government is forced to maintain lands (such as fire protection and other services for logging industries) on which it does not collect taxes. Nevertheless, your source “equalizes” the national debt, that is the amount of money the people of OR owe on national debt. That equalization is distorted by the amount of takings the federal government already imposes on OR.
    To the contrary, I wonder how much money TX contributes to the federal treasury that are not theirs to contribute, rather the circumstance of having low environmental standards, which encourage refineries and establishing. The people of TX do not contribute the tariffs collected from oil imports, nor do they pay federal taxes/royalties on oil energy extraction; those payments are spread across the consumers as the costs are passed through to the end user.
    The map is wrong, but not for the reasons you complain. And an ad hominem is a refutation based on the standing of the person, CB’s offhand comment was pointing out that your understanding of the situation is poor and yet you exhibit Dunning-Kruger tendencies. It was not a refutation of your argument, it was an inquiry why do you fail to understand a basic argument in economics while professing complete understanding.

  104. 104
    middlewest says:

    I’m surprised so many of you haven’t seen these maps before. Red welfare statism was a popular topic a few years back, and the debate was pretty much the same; see the Urban Archipelago.

  105. 105
    Ecks says:

    It is an assumed debt per tax payer with a progressive tax system and you can’t figure out the consequences?

    Sorry, don’t understand a blind word of this accountant-speak.

    The general point that you can’t cherry-pick industries is a good one (Michigan minus auto? Actually right now that might be a plus), but I think if you are going to do it, oil is a pretty good one to cherry pick – mostly because wealth from oil isn’t really about what you do or how hard you work, it’s about an accident of geography making you lucky enough to be able to set up a small rig and drill money out of the ground. We tend to be somewhat snide about middle-eastern petro states making all kinds of money off of oil, but when Texas or Alberta do it, all of a sudden it speaks to their virtues as hard working entrepreneurs.

    Now obviously many industries are somewhat geographically based – you can’t farm a whole lot in Arizona, or set up a shipping port in Nebraska, but generally none of htose other industries are nearly as profitable as oil, and they require far more labor and effort from a much greater number of people in order to extract the wealth.

  106. 106
    furioso ateo says:

    @Onkel Bob:

    That equalization is distorted by the amount of takings the federal government already imposes on OR.

    I’ve never debated what would happen to OR’s standing if you remove the “equalization” distortion. I don’t know much about OR to say one way or the other.

    I wonder how much money TX contributes to the federal treasury that are not theirs to contribute

    My argument isn’t that Texas’ status as a net-plus state won’t change if you adjust for the same distortions, I’m merely saying that it won’t neccesarily turn Texas into a welfare state. All have so far failed to show the numbers that would back up that assumption.

    The map is wrong, but not for the reasons you complain

    I have never said the map is wrong. It’s hard to take your reply seriously when it’s obvious you haven’t been paying attention to my own posts.

    And an ad hominem is a refutation based on the standing of the person, CB’s offhand comment was pointing out that your understanding of the situation is poor and yet you exhibit Dunning-Kruger tendencies. It was not a refutation of your argument

    The intent of CB’s comment is vague, and I took it as an ad hominem. Your interpretation of his intent is not any more valid than mine, unless CB was to clear it up. And it’s not entirely clear that you even understood what my argument was, considering that you attributed to me statements I never even made.

  107. 107
    furioso ateo says:

    @Ecks: I recognize that the income Texas derives from oil production isn’t a good indicator of whether it is a productive state. That’s why I included that we are the second largest Manufacturing state, and also have a strong technology sector. Tax revenue from oil production only accounts for 3% of the state budget. It is not a one trick economy.

  108. 108
    Ecks says:

    @furioso ateo: Fair enough. Though I notice that if you look at the by-county map of Texas some chunks of it are fairly blue – primarily the south-western border bits (immigrant driven?), and some of the cities. Squinting at it now, it looks like Dallas and Huston went at least somewhat blue in the last election (how long this lasts?) and Austin certainly is….

    You will have better info on this than I, but I wonder how red some of that Texas manufacturing base really is.

  109. 109
    Geeno says:

    My point is Texas’ “blue” status is dependant on a contract between the state and the federal government, not on any taxes individuals in Texas pay.
    Different agreement = different results.

  110. 110
    Geeno says:

    @Ecks: That’s another issue. I saw one of these maps by census district with shading by population density. You had dark blue cities surrounded in pale pink, even in red states.
    To be precise, it was a voting patterns map, blue=democratic, red=republican.

  111. 111
    furioso ateo says:

    @Geeno: OK, but you still haven’t shown how much the difference would be, or if it would push TX into the red. If we had Alaska’s deal, it might bump our return per dollar from $0.94 to $0.98 or $1.98.

    Considering that revenue from Oil only makes up 6% (I put 3% upthread and didn’t realize my mistake until too late) of the State Tax Revenue, I’m not convinced that a more favorable oil deal would push Texas into the welfare column. But if you have the numbers to show that either way, I would be glad to see them.

  112. 112
    Ecks says:

    Also, someone upthread says (paraphrasing heavily) “this whole discussion overvalues money and undervalues what food does for us. So don’t knock the money-absorbing agricultural areas, because they’re sending cheap food to the rest of you.” Which is all well and good and worth remembering – but if the conversation is going to revolve around taxes and deficits and welfare payments and the evuls of teh Fedural moneys, then we are de facto talking about money and finance, and not the moral or life-sustaining worth of places. If rural areas chose to contain themselves to hectoring cities over their busy busy lives and their not-making-things-you-can-touch, then we wouldn’t be having this whole debate.

  113. 113
    Kyle says:

    In the words of Phil Gramm, “I don’t mind pulling the cart, I mind it when the people riding in it keep complaining.”

    That’s rich, coming from the GOPig crony-capitalist chief legislative architect of the financial meltdown who then called America “a nation of whiners” for not sucking up his self-made rig-the-system disaster while he sat fat and happy as a VP of Union Bank of Switzerland.
    Phil Gramm, and his wife Wendy ‘Enron’ Gramm, are Texas Repig scum of the dirtiest kind, who between them have cost the US economy over a trillion dollars. They both belong on a glue trap in the sun.

  114. 114
    russell says:

    I would wager there are more welfare recipients in Los Angeles and NYC than most any single red state on the map.

    The population of the city of Los Angeles is not quite 4 million. That puts its population as greater than 12 of the 22 states that voted for McCain.

    The population of New York City is about 8 and half million. That puts its population as greater than 20 of the 22.

    Los Angeles county is not quite 10 million people. That’s neck and neck with GA, the second largest state to go for McCain.

    Greater NYC is about 22 million, just short of Texas, the largest state to go for McCain.

    Both NYC and LA are also fairly expensive places to live, so lots of folks who are “on welfare” in those cities are employed, many of them working more than one job. They’re just poor enough to qualify for food stamps.

    So yeah, there are probably more people on welfare in NYC or LA than there are in almost any state that went for McCain in 2008. That’s because there are more people of every kind in both of those places than in almost any state that went for McCain.

    If you combine the populations of LA county and greater NYC, there are more people than are found in *any* state in the US, red blue or polka dotted.

    And both cities are in states that, welfare income included, contribute significantly more to the feds than they get back. So somebody in NY and CA is doing some freaking heavy lifting.

  115. 115
    russell says:

    In the words of Phil Gramm, “I don’t mind pulling the cart, I mind it when the people riding in it keep complaining.”

    If I ever have the misfortune to meet Phil Gramm, I really and truly do hope to punch the m****rf****r in the mouth.

    My apologies for the language.

  116. 116
    Ecks says:

    @russell: Apologizing for language here is like apologizing for being too pushy in the ring at Wrestlemania.

  117. 117
    Bill D. says:

    Golden Gate Park in SF is a wonderful city park that is, for the most part, a federal reserve.

    Correction- that’s the Presidio, a former Army base. Golden Gate Park itself is owned and operated by the city with its own funds. Or maybe you’re thinking of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes the Presidio and the western shoreline of the city, but which is mostly located outside of the city in other counties.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @russell:

    So yeah, there are probably more people on welfare in NYC or LA than there are in almost any state that went for McCain in 2008. That’s because there are more people of every kind in both of those places than in almost any state that went for McCain.

    That’s why it was, in fact, relevant for rollSound to bring up the per capita numbers. The population of California is close to 37 million. We are the #1 most populous state in the union. Complaining that more people get welfare in California than in Alabama when California has seven times the number of people than Alabama has is just silly.

  119. 119
    bob h says:

    Conservatives are upset that 47% of Americans pay no Federal income tax, on average. I would be willing to bet that the Red Zone figure is substantially higher.

  120. 120
    russell says:

    That’s why it was, in fact, relevant for rollSound to bring up the per capita numbers.

    Yeah, I saw that, and appreciated it. I wasn’t trying to jump on roll sounds comment, I just wanted to put the focus on the cities per se.

  121. 121
    El Cid says:

    @bob h:

    Conservatives are upset that 47% of Americans pay no Federal income tax, on average

    They need to take that up with Ronald Reagan and the Heritage Foundation, who pushed through the Earned Income Tax Credit so that the lowest paid workers were relieved of the burden of federal income taxation.

  122. 122
    PTirebiter says:

    @russell: & @Mnemosyne
    I understood the population disparity when I made the “wager” comment. It was an off the top response to a claim that Red States were disproportionately burdened with welfare payments. I should have said per capita wasn’t relevant to my conversation.

  123. 123
    BenA says:

    @bob h: Christ people need to stop quoting “The Tax Foundation” like it’s gospel. It’s a friggen right wing organization founded by the presidents of Standard Oil and GM. It’s not some friggen grass roots charitable organization. It’s fat cat assholes getting the plebs all riled up. It gets people mad about the income tax so they can push through tax breaks for huge corporations. It’s classic bait and switch.

  124. 124
    Phoebe says:

    @Kristine: That’s great! I hope I can see your report if/when it comes out. On a teabag thread, I suppose. Good luck!

  125. 125
    russell says:

    It was an off the top response to a claim that Red States were disproportionately burdened with welfare payments. I should have said per capita wasn’t relevant to my conversation.

    If “per capita” is not relevant, it’s hard to know what “disproportionate” means.

    If not in proportion to the population, then what? Acreage?

  126. 126
    Ginny says:

    @El Cid: Well said!!

  127. 127
    Ginny says:

    @russell: I think it means for every $ of taxes going TO the federal pot, the red states get more than $1.00 back & often lots back. Federal $ money includes highways, voc rehab, special education, grants, et al – lots of federal money sources support states’ public interests & responsibilities.

  128. 128
    Ginny says:

    @El Cid: Low income people NEED serious tax relief! The obscenely rich? No. And, GW expanded on the idea of cutting taxes for the wealthy! I hope Pres Obama lets those cuts expire – just keep moving; nothing to see here – no legislation to extend the “sunset” provision.

  129. 129
    Ginny says:

    @El Cid: @Ecks: Maybe it’s not either/or. All this is inter-connected. I think what we need is more sophisticated analysis of budgets & new questions asked that bring insight to the discussion, instead of the same bottom-line process. What is the cost if we don’t do this? What other budgets will be affected if we cut here? If we changed procedures would efficacy be enhanced? Cost implication? On & on. See the health “reform” debate for how not to proceed. Discussions were about defending positions about keeping insurance system. Never got to evidence that keeping insurance as the system is the driver of twice the cost for lesser outcomes. See: Drum Major Institute for a great book about “Why”.

  130. 130
    PTirebiter says:

    @russell: Okay, if you want to be an asshole, fine. I was trying to make a point off the top, that if correct would infer your later point that, “Complaining that more people get welfare in California than in Alabama when California has seven times the number of people than Alabama has is just silly”, apparently it didin’t. As I later said, if you want to go down the road of going of breaking down the data, per capita or otherwise, it would require a lot more data to probably make the same point. I wasn’t claiming per capita was irrelevant to the entire argument. If my language was imprecise, I stand ashamed. Or perhaps you had some other objection?

  131. 131
    russell says:

    Okay, if you want to be an asshole, fine.

    Seriously, WTF?

    If you’re going to argue that the number of people receiving benefits is disproportionate, in either direction, you have to account for how many people receive welfare relative to the total population.

    That’s what “proportionate” means.

    I’m an asshole for pointing this out?

    And this:

    Complaining that more people get welfare in California than in Alabama when California has seven times the number of people than Alabama has is just silly

    wasn’t me.

  132. 132
    PTirebiter says:

    Look, you obviously either didn’t read what I said, or you misinterpreted it. Which would have been difficult considering I added that I wasn’t being an apologist for the redstates, quite the opposite. So yea, you’re an asshole for taking something I said out of context, and then making a lame snark in response. Apparently, neither of the people I made my comments to thought I was struggling under a misunderstanding of disproportionate’s meaning, and given my subsequent comments, most (as in non-assholes) would consider that to be a rather silly assumption.

    …Complaining that more people get welfare

    you’re right, that was someone responding to your assertion of the obvious.

  133. 133
    russell says:

    Look, you obviously either didn’t read what I said, or you misinterpreted it.

    Could be I misinterpreted it.

    In which case an appropriate response might be “you missed my point and here is why”.

    An inappropriate response is “if you want to be an asshole…”.

    I did go back and re-read all of your comments here. Your original comment was a response to Sam Hutcheson’s claim that there were more welfare recipients in red states than in blue. In absolute numbers.

    Your response was likely correct. I misunderstood the thrust of your point. My bad.

    132 comments in this thread so far. Sometimes folks miss one.

    Wanna talk with me about something, leave the “asshole” language in the car. We’ll get along a lot better that way.

  134. 134
    PTirebiter says:

    “…an appropriate response might be “you missed my point and here is why”.

    Which was, more or less, my first and quite respectful response to you and Mnemosyne. A response to which you responded with inappropriate and presumptuous ass-holiness. Want to get along with me, leave the condescension in the car and try taking your own counsel.

  135. 135
    russell says:

    Want to get along with me, leave the condescension in the car and try taking your own counsel.

    If you read my comments I doubt you’ll find anything like condescension. Not even much snark.

    I was making a substantive reply to what I thought was the thrust of your comment. When it became clear that I had misunderstood you, I acknowledged that and owned the error.

    It doesn’t get much better than that here on the good old intertubes.

    But have it your way bro. Clearly I’m an asshole.

    Frankly you seem like kind of a dick, and I don’t much care if I get along with you or not.

    Have a nice day.

  136. 136
    John Cagnetta says:

    THE TRUTH HAS A TENDENCEY TO PISS PEOPLE OFF. MAKES ME LAUGH.

  137. 137
    John Cagnetta says:

    A BUNCH OF VICTUM BLAMERS

Comments are closed.