The hypocrisy of socialism in the red states


In the final days of their ill-fated campaign, John McCain and Sarah Palin ran around the country warning everyone that Barack Obama’s tax plan amounted to a socialistic scheme to take money from certain groups of people and give it to certain other groups.

McCain is not so stupid that he actually saw Obama’s plan as Marxism or anything of the sort, but he seems to have figured that the booboisie would buy it.  After all, some people just don’t understand that every tax at every level amounts to redistribution of wealth. Call it socialism, if you like, but it’s an inescapable fact of all forms of government.

The U.S. government, for example, takes in boatloads of tax revenues and then spends all that money on various projects and programs. The money, in effect, gets redistributed.  In that sense, McCain was not entirely wrong when he said that Obama was running for the job of “redistributionist-in-chief” (a line that prompted great chortling among McCainiacs who considered it a deft put-down).

But there’s one way of looking at this federal redistributionism that’s never mentioned by the likes of McCain or Palin. I refer to the division of the 50 states into separate groups of giver states and taker states.

The giver states are those that pay more in federal taxes than they get back in federal spending. The taker states are those that get back more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes.

According to the latest available data from the Tax Foundation, Obama’s home state of Illinois  is a giver state. It gets back only 75 cents for every dollar it pays in federal taxes. On the other hand, McCain’s home state of Arizona is a taker state. It gets $1.19 back for every dollar it pays in federal taxes.

Now, here’s where this dichotomy becomes even more interesting: Of the 22 states McCain carried in the recent election, 21 of them are taker states. Obama carried 11 taker states (about half as many as McCain), but he also carried 16 of the 17 giver states.

Looking at it another way, 139 of McCain’s 173 electoral votes came from taker states while 243 of Obama’s 365 electoral votes came from giver states.

Similarly stark patterns pertained in the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. George W. Bush won most of his electoral votes from taker states while Al Gore and John Kerry won most of theirs from giver states.

So, there you have it. Republican presidential candidates, with all their scary rhetoric about the Democrats’ socialist agenda, do much better among voters in states that reap the lion’s share of benefits from the federal government’s redistribution programs. The conservative states generally are leeching off taxpayers in the more liberal states.

How’s that for hypocrisy?



  1. Hey Geraldo can’t you find some thing better to talk about? You must be one miserable unhappy person with all the crying and whining you do. Its weeks later and your still looking for things to cry about. Like Geraldo …still looking for that illusive Al Capones safe. When actual there is nothing there and no substance to your report.

  2. Orlando Clay

    Wow, Roger, what a comeback! You sure put Pat in his place with your passionate response. Just one small problem — you fail to provide a single lick of credible evidence to support your argument that there’s no substance to Pat’s message.

    I realize that, for the majority of conservatives, a formal education takes a back seat to NASCAR, professional wrestling, and gun shows, but I urge you to take a moment and consult a dictionary for the proper usage of “illusive” versus “elusive.” You might find the experience to be somewhat illuminating.

  3. Billybeermonicagar

    Pat, are you saying more people are on welfare in Arizona than in Illinois? Or are you saying there are more wealthy people in Illinois than there are in Arizona?

  4. Milton Waddams

    Not necessarily welfare, Federal assistance to the States comes in many forms.

  5. Billybeermonicagar

    You are right Milton. I wonder what it is. Roads, schools, Indians, water projects? Maybe they just don’t have the tax base that we do.

  6. Orlando Clay Bite Me

  7. REPLIES: 1) I don’t know what the hell Roger is talking about. (Big surprise, right?) 2) BillyBeer’s inquiry about welfare is pretty pointless. Federal expenditures in the various states go well beyond welfare (unless, of course, you’re talking about what amounts to corporate welfare). The bottom line in all of this, Billy, is that red states are far more likely than blue states to reap more from the federal kitty than they pay in federal taxes. And then, the red-state boobs prattle on and on about socialist Democrats. They’re idiots who spend way too much time listening to talk radio.

  8. echo4charlie

    Wow, Orlando really thinks that residents of the Midwest truly are gun-toting NASCAR rednecks! Although I personally don’t enjoy NASCAR, Pro Wrestling, and am not a frequent gun show attendee, I’ve got to say that I think he’s got us pegged wrong.

    It’s like someone judging the citizens of Orlando after visiting nearby community Bushnell, FL.

    Although, some of the sillier Obama rumors, such as he wants to take American citizen’s rights to own a firearm away, are great for the local economy. Since his election, firearm sales are through the roof in our area. Yes. it’s hunting season, too. But, you should hear how many are convinced of that. C’mon. How many congressmen and senators are NRA members? Many. And how many hunt for game? Many.

    That will never happen.

    I also heard that if you sign on to Barack Obama’s website, that they’ll monitor your e-mails to view what you are saying about him. I also heard that he wants to “shut down” conservative media, and propgandize liberal media only.

    C’mon. Really?

    Some of this stuff is getting out of hand, if you ask me.

  9. Billybeermonicagar

    Looks like the pols from red states are just smarter at working the system to get money from the federal government–or they carry more influence.

  10. Milton Waddams

    OC: “I realize that, for the majority of conservatives, a formal education takes a back seat to NASCAR, professional wrestling, and gun shows.”

    It is stereotypical generalizations like this that has really lowered the level of political discourse in this country. Both sides do it and unfortunately people have begun to believe the stereotypes.

  11. shawnnews

    Booboisie? An H.L. Mencken term? In the 21st century? I guess if your mention Will Rogers, you can mention Mencken too.

  12. Craig Knauss

    I live in the red end of a blue state. The conservatives around here are always complaining about government handouts and excessive government spending (by the Democrats). The words socialism and Marxism flow frequently. But they don’t say a word about the federal money that’s spent here by the Dept. of Energy, Bureau of Reclamation, Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Highway Admin., Veterans Admin., Bonneville Power Auth., etc., etc., etc. DoE’s Hanford Site alone rakes in over a billion dollars a year. Not bad for an area where only a few hundred thousand people live.

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