Thursday, November 6, 2008

Another way of looking at redistribution of wealth

I had seen this study and similar analysis a few years ago, but thought it worth re-examining in light of our recent election. Sure enough, the story holds again. In fact it's even more pronounced now.

Take a look at the Tax Foundation's 2005 analysis of how much states receive in federal funding versus how much they pay out in federal taxes. Any state above $1.00 is getting out more than it is paying in and is, therefore, being subsidized by other states. Conversely, states below $1.00 are subsidizing other states. Not that complicated.

Anyway, what's interesting about this is that, of the top 10 subsidized states, 8 voted Republican in yesterday's election (and the exceptions, New Mexico and Virginia, were red in 2004) . And of the top 10 subsidizing states, all 10 voted Democrat. In fact, only one of the 17 subsidizing states, Texas, voted Republican. In other words, the people who ostensibly believe in smaller government are the biggest beneficiaries of government largess. (So wouldn't they want to vote for larger government?) And, conversely, the people who say they believe in larger government spending do not get a dollar-for-dollar return on their tax dollars. Instead, they end up subsidizing people who, ideologically, seem to imply that they don't see the need for the subsidy.

Strange circular logic. I don't know whether it's hypocrisy, meaningless, or "just plain fucked up."

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