“Republicans are right to aim big if they mean to reduce the deficit through cuts alone. By most measures, seniors are the major spongers on taxpayers, chiefly through their insistence on not working productively once they hit 65, 78, 92 or whatever,” according to the Washington Post. “But for the sake of argument, suppose we don’t want to put that burden on our mothers, fathers, grandparents and ourselves. Where else can we identify a comparably large group of drainers of the public till?
“Happily, the Tax Foundation — a conservative Washington-based think tank — has, however unintentionally, provided the answer. In 2007, the foundation published a survey of 2005 federal spending in each state and compared that with each state’s contribution in federal taxes. In other words, the foundation identified the states that sponge off the federal government and those that subsidize it. The welfare-queen states and the responsible, producing states, as it were.
“The list, alas, hasn’t been updated — in part, no doubt, because conservatives didn’t like what it revealed: that those states that got more back from our government than they paid in were overwhelmingly Republican. The 10 biggest net recipients of taxpayers’ largess were, in order, New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky and Virginia. The 10 states that paid in the most and got back the least were New Jersey, Nevada, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Illinois, Delaware, California, New York and Colorado.
“Now, that list has surely changed since the middle of the last decade — Virginia has probably gotten richer and paid in more; Nevada has surely gotten poorer and paid in less. But today’s ranking are probably much the same, unless farming and manufacturing suddenly pay more than finance and high-tech. Even allowing for cyclical variations and political transformations, it’s patently clear that the states that drain the government also constitute the Republicans’ electoral base, while those that produce the wealth constitute the Democrats’. Far from strengthening our moral character, the red states plunge us into the slough of dependency.”
The rest of the article is here.
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