Posted by: Jeff | April 15, 2010

Chart of the Day

From The Fourth Branch (via Ezra Klein):

The red states in the map below are states which received more than $1.00 in federal money for every $1.00 in taxes paid by residents of that state. Blue states are states which received less than $1.00 in federal money for every $1.00 paid by residents of that state in taxes (information from a 2005 study by the Tax Foundation).

If that map looks familiar, perhaps it is because it closely resembles the red and blue state divide from the 2008 presidential election (red states voted for McCain, blue for Obama).

2008 Presidential Election Map

There is a very strong correlation, then, between a state voting for Republicans and receiving more in federal spending than its residents pay to the federal government in taxes (the rust belt and Texas being notable exceptions). In essence, those in blue states are subsidizing those in red states. Both red and blue states appear to be acting politically in opposition to their economic interests. Blue states are voting for candidates who are likely to continue the policies of red state subsidization while red states are voting for candidates who profess a desire to reduce federal spending (and presumably red state subsidization).

All of this makes current Republican rhetoric frustrating, to say the least. Republicans tolerated spending under Republican presidents for 30 years, accounting for 59% of our total national debt, all the while benefiting from federal spending at the expense of their counterparts in blue states, only to then go bananas when a Democratic president and Congress spend money to rescue a floundering economy.

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