Wednesday, April 23, 2008

 

GOP Wealth Redistribution; Spring Sprung

Further Evidence that the GOP Isn't What It Says It Is


A discussion with friends about how much a particular state has paid into the federal highway fund and gotten back from it (Oklahoma, which over the past 50 years has gotten back only 91¢ for every $1 it paid into the fund) made me start to wonder how the states' Congressional delegations compare with how they feed at the overall federal trough. (The "good" news for Oklahoma: federal highway spending aside, the state get $1.36 in federal spending for every $1 it pays in taxes, ranking it 15th. And it should be noted that 85 percent of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation are Republicans.)

These facts come from the Tax Foundation's annual reports and are for FY2005, the last full year they've analyzed as of this post.

So time for a quick red/blue analysis of the top 10 and the bottom 10 states that are feeding at the pork trough. (I should hasten to point out here that, "bridges to nowhere" notwithstanding, I'm not connecting the earlier discussion of highway construction and maintenance to pork — infrastructure is something we actually should be investing in in this country. But as it isn't possible to separate the fat from the lean in the federal budget, thanks to earmarks, this is just a look at federal spending per state overall, with the assumption that some major part of that is pork barrel politics rather than needed investment.

States' Federal Spending to Taxes Paid; Congressional Delegations
RankState Fed Spend/$1 in Fed Taxes Paid # Cong D's # Cong R's % Republican
1 New Mexico $2.03 2 3 60%
2 Mississippi $2.02 2 4 67%
3 Alaska $1.84 0 3 100%
4 Louisiana $1.78 3 6 67%
5 West Virginia $1.76 4 1 20%
6 North Dakota $1.68 3 0 0%
7 Alabama $1.66 2 7 78%
8 South Dakota $1.53 2 1 33%
9 Kentucky $1.51 2 6 75%
10 Virginia $1.51 4 9 69%
$Avg | Total $1.73 24 40 63%
41 Colorado $0.81 5 4 44%
42 New York $0.79 25 6 19%
43 California $0.78 36 19 35%
44 Delaware $0.77 2 1 33%
45 Illinois $0.75 13 8 38%
46 Minnesota $0.72 62 4 40%
47 New Hampshire $0.71 2 2 50%
48 Connecticut $0.69 6 1 14%
49 Nevada $0.65 2 3 60%
50 New Jersey $0.61 9 6 40%
$Avg | Total $0.73 106 54 34%


I know it's not so cut and dried as simple party affiliation: the top 10 states include West Virginia (thanks to Robert Byrd), with a delegation that is only 20% Republican, and North Dakota, which has no Republicans in Congress at the moment. And the District of Columbia isn't even among the rankings (at $5.55/$1), for obvious reasons, given where the federal government is itself encamped, and without any voting delegation in Congress. But by taking both the top 10 and bottom 10 as a group, as shown above, it does seem to further belie the claim that the GOP is the party in favor of "fiscal responsibility" and against "the redistribution of wealth."

(My previous red/blue analysis from past election years here and here.)




Spring in Manhattan. Yes, Manhattan, New York.



Spring has hit New York City with a happy vengeance. Here's the view from my apartment as of last Thursday, compared with that same view today:

View from window, April 17View from window, April 23
April 17, 2008April 23, 2008


The early blooms (including the cherry trees and tulips) were already in full force last Thursday around sunset. Here's a further look at my corner of Manhattan in springtime.

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Comments:
Obama's first, second, and third priority is to get elected. If that means pandering to large numbers of unemployed, under employed, those on welfare, illegal aliens, and malcontents, he'll be happy to throw them a few crumbs as a way to get their votes. He will also turn democracy and capitalism on it's head, and villainize the affluent and successful in our society, in order to rally the masses behind him. With evangelical zeal Obama will convince his followers to replace reason with hope and belief ... to blindly follow him ... never challenge him ... and embrace his words as gospel. In the real, and unforgiving world of economics however, when you immediately gratify everyone by feasting on the goose that lays the golden eggs, the economy looses it's ability to continue generating growth and wealth. Obama is promising everyone a piece of the pie, whether they helped bake it, or not ... but, only in a socialistic, or communist state do the non-contributors demand to share equally in the property that belongs to others. Immediate gratification is like a drug to the malcontents, but in the big picture, every farmer knows that you never eat your seed crop. If Obama gets elected, America will turn into a third world country, with massive government welfare programs, unable to generate jobs for it's citizens, and unable to compete in the global markets. Keep America safe, free and strong ... elect McCain/Palin on November 4th.
 
I'm not sure why you chose this old post on my blog to spew that typical line of drivel, but it's all based on pure comic book fantasy on your part. Obama's economic advisors are people like Austan Goolsbee, Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Warren Buffett. That's hardly the kind of "socialists" you seem to be afraid of. (And how, exactly, is John McCain's top tax rate of 33% "capitalism" but Obama's top rate of 36% "socialism"? Seems quite a leap for 3 points.)

And you obviously haven't been paying attention to the news lately. We're already "socialists," with government paying going into the financial industry, which we now find is getting redistributed (in part) in executive bonuses and dividend payments to shareholders. This is just the logical extension of the kind of corporate socialism the Bush administration practiced with no-bid contracts to KBR and Halliburton.
 
Correction: those 33% and 36% comparisons aren't either candidates highest tax brackets, they're the second highest. McCain's proposed highest tax bracket is 35% and and Obama's is 39.6%. But the question still stands: did we hit "socialism" at 36%? Or was it 37.5%? Maybe 38%? That's just a big leap from "country first" to "socialism" if we're only moving the very top bracket from 35% to 39.6%.
 
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