Republican states generally pay less in federal taxes than they get back in federal spending
One of the dirty little secrets of American politics is that the states where Republicans rule the roost are more dependent on income redistribution than the states where Democrats predominate.
Putting it another way, Republican states are more likely “taker” states, while Democratic states are more likely “giver” 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.
For example, here in Illinois, a Democratic state, we get 92 cents back from the feds for every dollar we pay in federal taxes. Mississippi, perhaps the most solidly Republican state in the nation, gets back $2.73 for every dollar it pays. Hence, Illinois is a giver state while Mississippi is a taker state.
Now, let’s look back to the 2008 presidential election campaign. You may recall that Republican John McCain and his running mate, 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. They called it “income redistribution,” and they likened it to Marxism.
Ah, but when the votes were all counted, an interesting pattern emerged. The Republican ticket carried 22 states, 21 of which were 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?