Saturday, March 18, 2017

Red States Cutting Off Their Own Noses Part CXXIV: The "Who Lives Off The Federal Teat" Paradox

So trump dumped his proposed budget this week, and amid all the wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of hair about how sharp the spending cuts are I am willing to bet a lot of trump-voting Republicans in the Red States are all thinking to themselves "Well, these cuts couldn't possibly affect ME after all. I'm sure the budget-slashing is only gonna hurt the urban poor in Blue States, or programs that I don't ever use, or..."

Yeah, the disconnect is gonna be strong on this one.

Still, just a reminder about how ALL federal domestic spending works:

Usually through grants towards the states, at various levels of funding per state depending on the program. The grants come with certain requirements to ensure each state plugs the money into the appropriate state-level agency and thence to the masses. For those programs not fully funded, the state fills in those gaps with their own revenues.

But where exactly does the federal money go?

Per the Tax Foundation site, a link.

O Irony. Some of the Reddest of states - anti-government, railing against "lazy bums" AKA the dreaded "Other" living off the taxpayers' largesse - are the ones taking most of the federal money.

Granted, there are exceptions like North Dakota which takes the lowest amount of fed money. And for a Liberal hotbed, New York takes a middling chunk (likely due to the financial cornerstone of NYC taking a lot of national security/legal funding).

But four of the Top Five are traditionally Deep South Conservative states (Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky). Missouri's 6th and Georgia's 8th. The only consistently Blue state of the past 5-6 election cycles in the Top 10 is Oregon (wait, maybe Maine, except they still vote in too many Republicans to office).

You'd think Virginia, right there at the hub of government power, would be a major player for federal aid, or at least similar to Maryland. But no, they're not on the hook for a lot of Benjamins.

If there's any consistency between the Dependent States, it might be due to a lack of diversified industries. That is, a lot of the top needy states are reliant on Agriculture/Farming, Ranching, OR Fishing. Georgia still sticks out as an odd duck because of Atlanta being a massive business hub: Mayhaps those businesses are reliant on federal funds as well.

State-level taxation doesn't show any consistency: Louisiana has a high corporate tax rate but Mississippi and Georgia do not, yet they are in the Top 10 for Federal Aid.

Thing is, in the end the neediest states for Federal Aid tend to be the ones with the angriest citizenry screaming for the Feds to stop supporting "the wrong kind" with Federal Aid.

Do you think they'll keep screaming that if trump's Budget passes?


dinthebeast said...

The most hard-core of the racist wingnuts tend to answer this charge by saying that the states of the deep south that require all of that federal money do so because they have large black and immigrant populations. When I counter that with the demographics of California (majority-minority, 37% Hispanic, 7% African American) they start lying and trying to tell me what a hell hole the state I've lived in my entire life is. So I guess there has to be a massive dose of fear served up in the indoctrination they operate with. Whether their own imminent deaths will be enough to jar them free of some of their programming remains to be seen.

-Doug in Oakland

Paul said...

Texas has a high Hispanic/Latino and African-American population, and that state's in the middle of the pack. Maine has about 1 percent African American and almost no Hispanic/Latino, and yet it's 9th on the list.

Paul said...

Montana is 92 percent WHITE and 4th on the list. The next demographic on the list is Native American at 6 percent. You can't tell me that 6 percent is what drives the state to getting ALL that federal aid.

Mississippi may be 37 percent African-American to 58 percent White, but that still doesn't explain the lack of internal state economics - which is pretty much just agribusiness and fishing - to drive its own revenue building.