Friday, December 28, 2012

Red State Moochers - Analyzed by Paul Rosenberg

Red States are net "takers."
Blue states are net "donors."


Red-State Moochers: Federal Taxes Favor Those Who Complain the Most About Federal Taxes

This post originally appeared on the Daily Kos.
Living in a state that gets more federal money than it gives in federal taxes is a powerful political factor in influencing voting for a Republican for President.

In response to  Tuesday's Morning No, I took up the matter of treason in Oklahoma ( "The Season of Treason"), in which I quoted from an  AP story in the  WaPo that Digby linked to, "Okla. tea parties and lawmakers envision militia ".  The last paragraph I quoted read [emphasis added]:
But the militia talks reflect the frustration of some grass roots groups seeking new ways of fighting recent federal initiatives, such as the health reform plan, which requires all citizens to have health insurance.  Over the last year, tea party groups across the country have staged rallies and pressured politicians to protest big government and demand reduced public spending.
After which, I wrote:
If it's government spending they are all het up over, I repeat my admonition from last weekend that they  just stop using it in their personal lives.And since Oklahoma was the focus of this story, I checked out how much Oklahoma gets from the federal government.  I know the figures on these tend to lag a few years, and the most recent multi-year figures I could get quickly  showed this:
Adjusted Federal Expenditures Per Dollar of Taxes
Over Time by State
Fiscal Years 1994-2003
State   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003
Oklahoma   1.28   1.29   1.32   1.33   1.36   1.40   1.44   1.43   1.47   1.48
A rising trend that had Oklahomans getting $1.48 from the federal government for every $1 they  sent to the federal government.
I knew Oklahoma wasn't alone.  I knew, in fact, that Red States have long been net takers, while Blue States have been net donors.  So I decided to take another look at that phenomena.  On the one hand, I took a look at some of the raw data myself, and on the other hand, I went looking to see what social and/or political scientists might have written about it.  And I hit paydirt with the 2006 paper, "Taxing, Spending, Red States, and Blue States: The Political Economy of Redistribution in the US Federal System" by Dean and Donald Lacy, then of Ohio State University. Dean, in the Department of Political Science, and Donald in "Community Development".  I discovered that Dean had since moved to Dartmouth, and when I contacted him, he sent me an update,  "Why Do Red States Vote Republican While Blue States Pay the Bills? Federal Spending and Electoral Votes, 1984-2008"

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