Slate magazine has put pen to paper on a trend I’ve always wondered about: The states – or counties, for that matter- with the highest anti-government spending sentiment are often the largest beneficiaries of government spending.
I have no problem with this; I just find it ironic in light of the “Tarzan-like” rhetoric from the tea party and extreme right nowadays.
“Republicans have a near monopoly on complaints about government spending. Dozens of new Tea Party candidates were elected to Congress on a promise to clean house. But data going back two decades—to stick to (Senator Alan) Simpson’s crude metaphor—show the ‘milk’ is mostly coming from Democratic states, and the sucking is being done by Republican states,” the magazine writes.
“The ‘red’ states up in arms about government spending receive the largest share of it. This is not a new finding, but research by economist Gary Richardson at the University of California-Irvine backs it up. Richardson provides insight into how the paradox came about and what it means for the future.”
“No sane person would argue that every state should get precisely as much as it puts in. Different states will need larger or smaller benefits at different points of time. But Richardson’s data don’t just show that the redistribution of resources correlates with a state’s political orientation. They show that the amount of money being collected from Democratic states and redirected to Republican states has systematically grown over time.”
The article, including Simpson’s crude metaphor, is here.