Tuesday, May 04, 2010

They Were Just Kidding

Dana Milbank really surprised me with his latest column. He's not one I'd expect to indulge in schadenfreude, yet the snark in the column is filled with just that as he analyses the sudden postural shift of the "small government" Southern politicians facing the Gulf oil spill and what it means to their states and their citizens.

What is so wonderful about the column is Mr. Milbank's recitation of some facts about the states these small government bozos represent:

An analysis of data from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation by Washington Post database specialist Dan Keating found that people in states that voted Republican were by far the biggest beneficiaries of federal spending. In states that voted strongly Republican, people received an average of $1.50 back from the federal government for every dollar they paid in federal taxes. In moderately Republican states, the amount was $1.19. In moderately Democratic states, people received on average of 99 cents in federal funds for each dollar they paid in taxes. In strongly Democratic states, people got back just 86 cents on the tax dollar.

If Sessions and Shelby succeed in shrinking government, their constituents in Alabama will be some of the biggest losers: They get $1.66 in federal benefits for every $1 they pay in taxes. If Louisiana's Vitter succeeds in shrinking government, his constituents will lose some of the $1.78 in federal benefits they receive for every dollar in taxes they pay. In Mississippi, it's $2.02.

That may explain why, as the oil slick hits the Gulf Coast, lawmakers from the region are willing to swallow their limited-government principles as they dangle federal aid before their constituents. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he would "make sure the federal government is poised to assist in every way necessary." His colleague Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) said he is making sure "the federal government is doing all it can" -- even as he added his hope that "industry" would pay.


Those extra dollars didn't just happen, by the way. It's taken those politicians years of earmarks and pork barrel legislation to get all that money funneled to their respective states, federal money...taxpayer money.

The money that will be poured into those states over the coming months and years as a result of this man-made tragedy, however, should still be sent. That's what government is supposed to do when some of its citizens--no matter where they are located--are hit by tragedy. Even the small government bozos are having to face up to that.

Good.

And good on you, Dana Milbank.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Soprano said...

Credit where credit is due, I suppose.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's true as far as it goes. But red states don't get the money because their representatives are such good hagglers. They get it because the money goes--as it should--to people who need it more, and red states tend to be poorer than blue states.

This is not a coincidence. The GOP's Southern Strategy turned into their Complete Fucking Idiot Strategy long ago. People who are not complete fucking idiots tend to do better economically than those who are. People who are complete fucking idiots tend to vote Republican.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can liberals in blue states start a letter writing campaign asking for people to take personal responsibility and send the money back?

5:21 PM  

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