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For most liberals, the Constitution's aspirational goal for "We the people" to "form a more perfect Union" is a guiding statement of American national purpose. Nevertheless, these days many blue staters are growing exasperated with their red state brothers and sisters. After all, the "Southernization" of American politics has helped give conservative policies and politicians an outsized national influence for years. Almost 150 years after the Civil War resolved the issues once and for all, some Republicans still casually traffic in talk of nullification, secession and insurrection. And "states' rights," that pernicious ideological bludgeon first used to deny millions of Americans their freedom for the first century of the Republic and ignore their rights in the second, is now being redeployed to justify preventing a new generation from accessing health care and the ballot box.

But almost as galling for many Democrats is the persistent phenomenon of red state socialism. That is, despite Republican paeans to "small government" and "rugged individualism," red states benefit from a one-way flow of dollars from Washington, a federal gravy train disproportionately provided by blue state taxpayers. But hypocrisy or no, that is as it should be. Because when it comes to health care, education, public safety, needed infrastructure and so much else, Americans' mutual commitment to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness cannot end at the state line.

To be sure, red state socialism is real. As a 2007 analysis by the Tax Foundation (above) of federal spending per tax dollar received by state shows, the reddest states generally reaped the most green. (As Politifact rightly noted, the rankings are based on 2005 data. The Tax Foundation is planning an updated study.) Eight of the top 10 beneficiaries of federal largesse voted for John McCain for president. Unsurprisingly, all 15 states at the bottom of the list—those whose outflow of tax revenue is funding programs elsewhere in the country—all voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Alaska's number three ranking was particularly ironic, given Gov. Sarah Palin's farewell message warning her state to "be wary of accepting government largesse; it doesn't come free."

But the ironies don't end there. A 2010 map of personal government benefits received versus taxes paid showed secession birthplace South Carolina to be one of the big winners. And as the New York Times documented earlier this year, "even critics of safety net increasingly depend on it." Even, it turns out, Tea Party die-hards  Dartmouth Professor Dean Lacy's research concluded that this development has been underway for some time now:

Support for Republican candidates, who generally promise to cut government spending, has increased since 1980 in states where the federal government spends more than it collects. The greater the dependence, the greater the support for Republican candidates.

Conversely, states that pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits tend to support Democratic candidates. And Professor Lacy found that the pattern could not be explained by demographics or social issues.

Apparently, to those who complain loudest about government, much shall be given.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Of course, the comparative wealth of blue states and the relative poverty of red states has a lot to with it, too.

That's especially the case with federal education aid to reliably Republican redoubts, even if conservatives are loathe to admit it.  That dynamic came to the fore during the 2011 battle in Wisconsin over collective bargaining rights for public employees, including teachers. The right-wing blogosphere made the mistake of complaining that Wisconsin received millions of dollars in federal education aid when solidly Republican red states get much, much more. Then, the Republican union busters whined that Badger state students can't read. As it turns out, Wisconsin students outperform their counterparts in those reddest of states where collective bargaining rights are few—or non-existent.

For example, Terence Jeffrey of CNS News protested that "two-thirds of Wisconsin eighth graders can't read proficiently." The implication, of course, is that the unacceptable scores are the fault of overpaid, undeserving public school teachers. Sadly for Jeffrey and his right-wing echo chamber, the data show that Wisconsin schoolchildren out-read the kids in states where Republicans poll best and public workers have the fewest collective bargaining rights. Those know-nothing red states also happen to be where the federal government most heavily subsidizes the local education systems.

The numbers—and the electoral map—tell the tale. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Wisconsin does in fact spend more per student than some of its Midwestern neighbors even as its pupils score less well. But with 34 percent of its eighth graders students at or above the target reading proficiency, Wisconsin far outperforms the Republicans' solid south (and the national average of 30 percent). Only Kentucky, which receives substantially more money from the feds, can match Wisconsin's scores. Florida and Texas? Not so much.

Just as telling (as the table above reveals), the woefully inadequate per student spending levels are propped up only by generous federal spending provided by blue state tax payers. If anything, GOP bastions like Mississippi and Louisiana need more help from Washington, not less. Meanwhile, the bluest of states in the Northeast spend more and get what they pay for. In Connecticut, 43 percent of eighth graders are at or above reading proficiency. The Nutmeg state spends $14,610 per pupil per year. New Hampshire (39 percent, $11,951), Vermont (40 percent, $14,421) New Jersey (42 percent, $17,620), Pennsylvania (40 percent, $11,741) and Massachusetts (42 percent, $13,667) pay the price for better educational outcomes.

The same pattern holds for health care as well. In a nutshell, health care is worst in those states where Republicans poll best. And the good people of those states need help, whether their politicians want it or not.

That point was reinforced with a recent Gallup poll on the uninsured in America. With almost 28 percent of respondents uninsured, Texas far and away led the nation as well as the "uninsured belt" that stretches across the solidly red south. Led by Massachusetts, 9 of the top 10 performing states voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

But tallying up the ranks of the uninsured understates the magnitude of the unfolding health care horror story in Red State America. Two years ago, the Commonwealth Fund released its 2009 state health care scorecard, which measured performance in providing health care access, prevention and treatment, avoidable hospital use, equity across income levels, and healthy lives for residents. Again, while nine of the top 10 performing states voted for Barack Obama in 2008, four of the bottom five (including Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Louisiana) and 14 of the last 20 backed John McCain. (That at least is an improvement from the 2007 data, in which all 10 cellar dwellers had voted for George W. Bush three years earlier.)

The "America's Health Rankings" project echoed those findings. And in 2009, another UnitedHealth Group funded study similarly showed that red state residents are the unhealthiest in America. With Vermont topping the list and Mississippi bringing up the rear, Americans would do well to listen to Dr. Howard Dean and not former Gov. Haley Barbour when it comes to the health care debate.

In May 2009, the Washington Post ("A Red State Booster Shot") explained how national health care form would ultimately have to work—and have to be funded:

Health-care reform may be overdue in a country with 45 million uninsured and soaring medical costs, but it will also represent a substantial wealth transfer from the North and the East to the South and the West. The Northeast and the Midwest have much higher rates of coverage than the rest of the country, led by Massachusetts, where all but 3 percent of residents are insured. The disproportionate share of uninsured is in the South and the West, the result of employment patterns, weak unions and stingy state governments. Texas leads the way, with a quarter of its population uninsured; it would be at the top even without its many illegal immigrants
Which is what came to pass. With the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act beginning in 2014, federal assistance to under-served red states will only increase. (Today, the federal government on average picks up 57% of the tab for Medicaid, with poorer states like Mississippi and Alabama getting 75% of their funding from Washington. Medicaid not only pays for a third of nursing home care in the United States; it covers a third of all childbirths. In Texas, the figure is one-half.) The coming expansion of Medicaid to families earning 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and the availability of subsidies to those at four times the FPL will enable coverage for over 30 million more people nationwide. (Of these, the Urban Institute estimated that 8.1 million Americans would have their insurance paid for in full by the expansion of Medicaid. Another 10.9 million people would receive subsidies to buy private insurance in the new state exchanges, while only 7.3 million, 2 percent of the total U.S. population, would be required to purchase a health plan using their own resources alone.)

All told, the nonpartisan CBO forecast the states would be on the hook for $60 billion in new costs over the first decade. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained:

Claims that states will bear a significant share of the costs of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) Medicaid expansion -- and that this will place a heavy financial burden on states -- do not hold up under scrutiny. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis indicates that between 2014 and 2022, the ACA's Medicaid expansion will add just 2.8 percent to what states spend on Medicaid, while providing health coverage to 17 million more low-income adults and children. In addition, the Medicaid expansion will produce savings in state and local government costs for uncompensated care, which will offset at least some of the added state Medicaid costs.

It's no wonder Ezra Klein called the Affordable Care Act "an incredibly, astonishingly, unbelievably good deal" for the states. Especially for the red ones:

Nevertheless, in the wake of the Supreme Court's health care ruling in June, many Republican governors declared they would fight to preserve their states' dismal health care systems. Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, who warned the "frightening" Court decision could lead to penalties for those who "refuse to eat tofu," insisted "we're going to do what we can to fight it." In Texas, a spokesman announced that Gov. Rick Perry "has no interest in fast-tracking any portion of this bankrupting and overreaching legislation." Rick Scott also said no nearly 1 million Floridians who would gain insurance, proclaiming that "since Florida is legally allowed to opt out, that's the right decision for our citizens." And in South Carolina, tea party darling Nikki Haley said of 330,000 potential beneficiaries in her state, "We're not going to shove more South Carolinians into a broken system." As Think Progress lamented:

Not a single Republican governor has pledged to accept the new Medicaid funds and three Democrats are also considering turning down the money. In total, these states would give up $291.4 billion in federal funds and leave 10,297,221 Americans uninsured.
As it turns out, the Republican Party would make things worse where their strongest supporters reside. Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, whose own 2006 Massachusetts health care reform would have been impossible without expanded federal funding, has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash Medicaid by over a third and give the funds to the states in the form of block grants:
"What I would do is keep--as we have today--state responsibility for those that are uninsured. You see I believe in the 10th Amendment. I believe the states have responsibility to care for their people in the way they feel best."
Unfortunately, recent history shows that even relatively more affluent states have failed to deliver universal coverage when they try on their own. Writing for the Washington Monthly back in 2007 ("Over Stated"), Ezra Klein looked at the grim fates of efforts in California, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee and Illinois. Thanks to their small markets, limited resources, unique populations and unsustainability in the face of recession-induced budget cuts, susceptibility to recessions, he concluded "the laboratories of democracy' can't achieve universal health care":
Letting states continue to take the lead would be disastrous, for one very simple reason: providing health care for all citizens is one of those tasks, like national defense, that the states are simply unequipped to manage on their own. The history of state health reform initiatives (and there's quite a history) is a tale of false hopes and great disappointments. The deck is stacked from the start, and the house--in this case the insurers, the providers, and other agents of the status quo--always wins....Over the years, states have tried programs of many different ideological and economic persuasions. All of them failed, and not because the programs were insufficiently inventive, but because states are structurally incapable of sustaining them.
Especially in states home to representatives like Georgia Congressman Paul Broun.  After all, it was Broun who took to the House floor just days before its passage to decry the Affordable Care Act that would help so many of his constituents:
"If ObamaCare passes, that free insurance card that's in people's pockets is gonna be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the War Between the States -- the Great War of Yankee Aggression."
For Chuck Thompson, that kind of talk was the final straw. The author of the new book Better Off without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession, Thompson argues that "We - meaning this group in the north as we might identify ourselves - could take the country we want into a direction that we think is befitting of America without this push and pull that comes from the Southern states. At the same time the South could do the same thing."

But even in jest, that cannot be the answer to our dissastified countrymen.  That's just not the American way. After all, the Constitution still calls on us to "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" for all Americans, everywhere. Red states may be "takers, not makers" and leaders in just about every category of social pathology you can imagine, but that doesn't make their residents any less (or blue staters any more) American. Lincoln's calls to "the better angels of our nature" and for us to act "with malice toward none, with charity for all" was not a one-time request, but a continuing obligation. Americans everywhere should want Americans anywhere to have the resources for the education, health care and anti-poverty programs they deserve and may badly need. Even if some of their politicians say no to the help.

As for the red state socialists whose cognitive dissonance prevents them from acknowledging the flow of blue state dollars into their hands, I have only one request. Don't confuse losing an election with tyranny. Please drop the talk of secession, insurrection, "Second Amendment remedies" and watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots. When the American people through their duly elected representatives commit their combined resources to your aid, consider this response instead.

"Thank you."

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Got Your "Redistribution Of Wealth" Right Here (34+ / 0-)

    Probably one the reasons that GOPers resent Democrats so much is that Democrats in the blue states are the source of the massive cash subsidoes that keep red states afloat.  

    For this reason, they have to create an elaborate fantasy world where they built the economy all by themselves.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:06:13 PM PDT

    •  Don't forget... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, kyril, nominalize, Leap Year, splashy, Terri

      Republicans are morally superior to Democrats.  And, they have their own "facts" to support, well, whatever they believe.  

      I got snookered into a conversation with a Romney supporter this afternoon.  Fine.  She asked and I told her that I don't have children. Well, case closed: I don't care about the future.  And that, my friends, is the reason I'm voting for Obama.

      •  Such insight & intellect the Willardites possess. (6+ / 0-)

        I'm watching Gloria Borger fawning all over Willard & the Mrs. in a CNN bio.

        Willard in such danger in France in 1968...comparable to his peers in Viet Nam. BS.  You'd think the entire country was in flames (it wasn't) and that Willard was splat in the middle of it all (he wasn't).

        Anyone who believes you cannot care about the future unless you have children is revealing themselves to be a shallow, callow human being.

        "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

        by 417els on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:46:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow - that's pretty hilarious. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          417els, blue denim, TKO333

          Mitt was in such danger in France in 1968! Kind of like all those other millions of people who were in France at that time! Which is to say, not any danger at all. Especially not compared to Vietnam. Who produced this dreck, I wonder?

          •  CNN I presume. Borger is a Willard groupie. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue denim, Leap Year

            Watch her fawning facial expressions, body language and syrupy tone of voice when talking to Willard & the Missus.

            Compare it to her slack-faced expressions when talking to less Mitten-smitten Democratic interviewees (there were a couple I think).

            I was in Paris around the time Willard was.  It was no war zone.  There were some demonstrations, property damage and police batons getting a work-out in specific locations.  The report asserts transportation closed down, banks all closed and phones cut off, postal service shut down, electricity cut off - as if these things happened all over France and lasted a long time.  BS.  And contends that Willard was in the thick of it fearing for his life. Huge BS.

            "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

            by 417els on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 10:56:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  A brilliant Daily Show sketch (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      palantir, kyril, stvnjon, blue denim

      perfectly illustrating this point.

  •  Perhaps (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, keetz4, kyril, wasatch

    Perhaps there is much corruption and unfairness in the disbursement of federal money in the Red States.

    That would explain the paradox that the average voter is angrily against the government, while the officials there still feed off the teats of government.

    •  I think it's historical/sociological (5+ / 0-)

      I think you have to look at the original Euro settlers in South and southern Midwest, and the take on education, religion, government, and authority they brought with them; the economic and social outfall of slavery, emancipation, the evil Compromise of 1877, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights struggle; and the psychological and economic trauma and devastation the South suffered in and following the Civil War.

      New Jersey, New York, and Illinois (Maryland used to be in there, too, iirc) -- some of the nation's bluest AND most corruption-riddled states.

      !! Four more years !!

      by raincrow on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:29:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're very right. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Leap Year, wasatch, blue denim

      If you look at some of the other stats..........infant mortality rate, poverty, educational levels, lifespan, etc........the red states tend to be at the bottom.  

      It looks like their pols don't believe in doing a good job.

  •  ever wonder? (5+ / 0-)

    After freeing the slaves, and bringing them north, maybe we should have let the South secede.   Seriously, the people are different--I moved from NY to NC--and the locals are not at all similar to my former neighbors.  Even their accent makes them unintelligible at times.  I have only made friends with other "ex patriots."  It would have been better to merge with Canada and let Dixie go its own way.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:11:43 PM PDT

  •  Don't worry, widespread firearms ownership (13+ / 0-)

    will make up for all the red state's deficiencies.  

    Oh, and God.  

    Also gays.  Or the bashing thereof.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:11:47 PM PDT

    •  Your wonderfully snarky/ironic comment (8+ / 0-)

      is the very reason I don't put pro-Democratic bumper stickers on my vehicle (I live in Mississippi).

      Yes, I am genuinely frightened of the possible repercussions.

      "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

      by Lorinda Pike on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:17:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, unfortunately I was a bit too snarky with gay (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, Lorinda Pike, kyril, terabthia2

        bashing which is both a serious problem and something which the Republicans not-so-tacitly supported during all the years they fought the Mathew Shepard-James Byrd hate crimes act.

        You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

        by Cartoon Peril on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:30:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I understand (5+ / 0-)

        my bumper sticker consists off the U.S. flag and large type that says, "Another patriot for Obama".
        Let 'em chew on that.

      •  Really? I thought that Dems (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lorinda Pike, kyril

        still made of the majority of registered voters in Mississippi.

        •  Perhaps, but, assuming the poster is white, (0+ / 0-)

          s/he is subject to different social expectations than most Mississippi Dems.

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:05:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not really sure how to reply to your comment. (3+ / 0-)

            I'm a white female, and old enough to remember separate waiting rooms and drinking fountains...and the last lynching in my home county.

            The bumper stickers I have recently seen advocating "kill liberals" sort of put a damper on overtly displaying my political leanings, however. I took my Obama/Biden '08 sticker off after my vehicle was keyed just under said sticker...

            We're still working for change. We just sometimes feel the need to watch our backs while doing so - possibly more than would be necessary in a bluer state.

            "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

            by Lorinda Pike on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:24:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Basically what I'm saying (0+ / 0-)

              is that being white in the South carries with it not only some significant degree of social privilege, but also a set of social expectations.

              If you're black, you're already subject to discrimination and some (thankfully waning) amount of threat of violence. Announcing you're a Democrat doesn't appreciably increase these risks above the baseline - the baseline already includes the assumption that you are a Democrat. If some crazy decides he wants to go out and kill some Democrats, you're already on the target list.

              If you're white, though, your baseline privilege includes the assumption that you're Republican (or some flavour of Republican-aligned independent). And so that privilege - which is bestowed by mostly-Republican whites, not by mostly-Dem blacks - is put at risk when you announce that you're a Democrat. It's entirely reasonable and probably correct to expect an elevated risk of discrimination and possibly violence.

              "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

              by kyril on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:08:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I have no idea of the current breakdown. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The old white guys were once "Dixiecrats" (see Southern Strategy) which meant bigoted KKK asshole then, bigoted KKK Repub asshole now.

          We have Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS-2nd) in Congress, and one Democrat in statewide office - Attorney General Jim Hood. His power is continually under assault from the GOPer-ALEC legislature/SOS/Lt. goober and the Fundie-Goober.

          President Obama had a decent showing here in 2008, and Johnny DuPree (the Democratic mayor of Hattiesburg) made a strong run at the governor's office, but trust me, this is still a really red state.

          But we're working hard to turn it bluer...

          "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

          by Lorinda Pike on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:14:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, the posibilities (7+ / 0-)

    Am I alone in considering that the situation described above gives the Federal government considerable unutilized leverage?

    •  Not after the ruling on the ACA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, wasatch

      A real devil's bargain, the devil in the details being the following, from

      The Court also upheld the Medicaid expansion provisions but only on a cooperative basis.  The Court concluded that, under the Spending Clause of the Federal Constitution, Congress cannot engage in “economic dragooning” by empowering the Secretary of Health & Human Services to withhold all existing Medicaid funds, and not merely federal funding for the new coverage requirements, from states that did not agree to the expansions of coverage.  In so holding, the Court reasoned that the Spending Clause only accorded the Federal Government the power to establish cooperative federal-state programs.  Threatening a state with the loss of over 10% of its budget by threatening to withhold all existing Medicaid funds from states that did not wish to engage in the Medicaid expansion amounted to coercion of the states, rather than the cooperation envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution as they created  the American system of federalism.
      This was a significant advance of states' rights (of which I am NOT an advocate), and almost certainly Roberts' buy-in price as Vote #5.

      !! Four more years !!

      by raincrow on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:46:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nullification and interposition (7+ / 0-)

    From the Iowa GOP platform:

    16.1 We support constitutional state sovereignty including nullification of federal oversteps.
    18.3 ...we call for nullification and interposition by state and county officials and law enforcement in regards to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
  •  And Cities Are Nothing But Jobless Ethnic People (22+ / 0-)

    Seriously, they think that cities contribute nothing to the economy, that every dairy farmer supports a hundred welfare mothers.

    A theme of all white supremacist race war porn is that they will quarantine the cities until everyone (comprising exclusively jews, brown people, eggheads) is dead.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:12:31 PM PDT

  •  Get your govt hands off my Medicare (13+ / 0-)

    You don't understand. Benefits like Medicare that go to old white people aren't really government programs. Government programs are for colored people. Everyone knows that.

  •  Just downloaded Thompson's book. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, US Blues, kyril

    The title fascinated me.

    I live in the #1 state for federal largesse, and the cognitive dissonance here regarding said funding is absolutely deafening...

    "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

    by Lorinda Pike on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:14:04 PM PDT

  •  Don't buy your "defense" argument (3+ / 0-)

    These are people who want to CUT federal spending and they want to punish and destroy candidates who do not believe in weak, ineffectual government but they take take take take. I don't believe any given individual deserves to suffer, but these people need to somehow be made to understand just how dependent they are on what they attack and asked "Are you willing to give it up?" Until we confront this and, yes, ram it down their throats, we're going to continue to see this absurdity of welfare states believing that government assistance should be eliminated because it's primarily benefiting some "unworthy" other people. And it needs to be done because these destructive ideas are spreading. And once we are ALL Mississippis, who is going to pay for anything?

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:19:26 PM PDT

    •  "The United States of Mississippi" (12+ / 0-)

      Just to follow up on your point, from "Welcome to the United States of Mississippi":

      In the wake of her state's vote to ban marriage equality last week, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue caused quite a stir when she declared "We look like Mississippi." In response, Mississippi's Republican chief executive Phil Bryant call Perdue's remark "disappointing" and warned "I think she'll regret that after she's had some time to reflect on it."

      If so, that regret will pale in comparison to the remorse Americans will feel if they deliver the White and Congress to the Republicans in November. After all, from the state's union-busting right to work law and draconian curbs on women's reproductive rights to its under-funded education system and shameful Medicaid policies, Mississippi is the laboratory for the radical Romney-Ryan agenda Republicans aim to implement nationwide.

      The frightening results of the Republican experiment there are now in. As the numbers show, incomes, working conditions, educational performance and health care are worst where Republicans poll best. And by almost any of those measures of social dysfunction, it is Mississippi - the most conservative state in the nation - where the GOP race to the bottom leads.

    •  Only the federal spending which does not come (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, wasatch

      to their state in the form of military industrial contracts, military bases, the roads they offer to right to work employers but don't themelves pay for , etc etc. That is all sacrosanct and a big reason that the Rs do not want the sequestration to go forward, since it will cut the amount of DOD money they receive, in preference to other states.

    •  Um... ramming hasn't worked yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      nor has the day-to-day reality of cashing all those checks and spending all that money.

      We DO need to keep saying it, if for no other reason than to nod reassuringly to ourselves for sanity's sake, but I won't hold my breath waiting for the blind to suddenly see just because I yell, "LOOK!"


      !! Four more years !!

      by raincrow on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:51:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More on corruption (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, xanthippe2

    ranks the states by corruption.

    Let us look at the first 10 states in the first table (federal spending in each state per dollar of federal taxes FY 2005)

    New Mexico - ranks 39 - D- grade
    Missisippi - ranks 6 - C+
    Alaska - ranks 27 - D+
    Louisiana - ranks 15 - C-
    West Virginia - ranks 27 - D+
    North Dakota - ranks 43 - F
    Alabama  - ranks 17 - C-
    South Dakota - ranks 49 - F
    Kentucky - ranks 18 - C-
    Virginia - ranks 47 - F

    MO, LA, AL, KY are the anomalies (low corruption ranking).
    Still, this index is young.

    •  These states + MO avg 3 pts below the national (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      average score, and the top 7 states* were 4 pts above the national avg, and all 3 gps had a std deviation of 9-11 pts. Lot of overlap, not IMO such a huge deal compared to the differences in school performance, poverty, and quality of health care.

      Plus, at least as concerns TN, my state, I'm not sure how they rated judicial and executive integrity as high as they did, considering we have pretty much no effective ethics investigations, judicial and executive officials receive all but absolute immunity (as long as they commit their crimes under color of law and not as private individuals). So while the process appears to be very rigorous, there's a HUGE difference in the reality content of the evaluations that begin with the qualifier "In law...," and the ones that begin with "In practice...."

      Also, there was no attempt to estimate the incidence and $$ amount of procurement fraud.

      *{I pulled out the top scorers in health care, reading proficiency, poverty <11%, and fewest benefits-to-taxes; and selected states that were on all 4 lists (only CT), 3 lists (NJ and NH), and 2 lists (MN, NE, VT, and MA).}

      !! Four more years !!

      by raincrow on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:18:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So .... (7+ / 0-)

    ... Blue states are donors and Red stakes are takers, did I get that right?

  •  I come from NJ, where I have spent most (10+ / 0-)

    of my adult life. We are a big donor state. For every one dollar we pay in federal taxes, we get back $.60. I understand that the red states are poorer and have higher numbers of uninsured. However, there are days that I think that we live in two different countries. Here in NJ we spend a lot of money on education, but we have great public schools. I remember looking at some data last year. Our local public high school outperformed all but one high school in the state of GA, and that was a magnet science high school. It is hard for me to watch my money go to folks who don't believe in evolution and talk about the "war of northern aggression." I know this sounds horrible, but there are some days that I think that the biggest mistake Lincoln made was not letting the south go. When I see restrictive voter legislation, it's like seeing Jim Crow and poll taxes all over again. Why should I make it easier for the red states to elect the likes of Haley Barbour and Nikki Haley?

    •  BJM, (8+ / 0-)

      as I argue above, there is not a state in the former Confederacy that's not at least 40 pct Democrat, and all of them are trending bluer every day.  Even Mississippi.  It is a fact of demographic life.  Don't forget the millions and millions of liberal and moderate Southerners including quite a few people of color.  

      Still enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:00:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gov. Cartman will make us Louisiana (0+ / 0-)

      without jazz or gumbo.

      so, wait a little while and that problem will go away on it's own

      It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

      by sayitaintso on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:05:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Small historical note: (0+ / 0-)

      One of the reasons not to let the Confederacy leave was that slavery was by no means confined to those states.  In fact, Missouri almost left as well, and Kentucky ended up with two governments, a secessionist one that voted to leave, and a Unionist one  (That's why there are 13 stars on Confederate flags--- they count MO and KY).  

      In addition, Maryland and Delaware were slave states, and if everyone else could leave, they would have too.  Well maybe not Delaware, which was phasing out slavery, but MD would have eventually left.  

      Then there were the territories.  Kansas had served as a prelude to the war as pro- and anti-slavery forces fought to game the referendum on the matter (the anti-slavery forces were much worse, fwiw).  Arizona and New Mexico were slated to be slave states eventually, and many Indians in Indian Territory had borrowed the plantation system,  Black slaves and all, from their white neighbors before removal.   Most Indian nations in the future OK, as sovereigns, elected to fight with the Confederacy.  The territories were fought over, and held by the rebels for a while.

      All that to say, just letting the eleven seceders go would have been the start of a lot more problems, even at the time.  

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:13:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Final on corruption (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abarefootboy, MrJersey, raincrow


    That’s the depressing bottom line that emerges from the State Integrity Investigation, a first-of-its-kind, data-driven assessment of transparency, accountability and anti-corruption mechanisms in all 50 states. Not a single state — not one — earned an A grade from the months-long probe.  Only five states earned  a B grade: New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, California, and Nebraska. Nineteen states got C’s and 18 received D’s. Eight states earned failing grades of 59 or below from the project, which is a collaboration of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity, and Public Radio International.

    The F’s went to Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Georgia.

  •  And yet again... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, nominalize, terabthia2

    ...I'm reminded of why I absolutely love that old "Fuck the South" rant.

    Sometimes I think it; more often than I care to confess to.  But I'd never do it, and neither would any of the good liberals I know.

    Yes, the Red States seem to "bite the hands that feed them"...but watching people go hungry sucks more.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:25:03 PM PDT

    •  Very true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but you won't find this liberal family who is very much about ending hunger - going to the South to feed people any time soon.  

      They only  go hungry because they have a belly full of hate.

      I won't risk my life of the lives of my children to feed a bunch of people who would likely shoot of me and my family due to the bumper stickers on the ass end of my car.  We have had many discussions about this as a family.  Many.  And we always come up with:

      We'll go with UNICEF to Africa instead.

      "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

      by Damnit Janet on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:02:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  most of the people (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marjmar, Damnit Janet

        who need that food aid are poor. Really poor. And that won't improve until the states they live in improve: they need better education, better opportunities - no hi-tech industry will stay in a state where they have to run everyone through school just to train them for the jobs - and yes, better government. What they have is barely updated from the 19th century.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:16:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Extremely poor (0+ / 0-)

          Children with distended bellies and their teeth are not coming in.

          Well aware of the excruciating poverty there.  Sadly, also aware of the extreme hate there.  

          Good friend, one of my best - went to Mississippi after Katrina to help out.  She has tats, piercings and blonde dredlocks.

          She went full of good intentions.  She came back saying she'd never go back there again.  She was spat on.  Called all sorts of horrible names as she was spooning out food and handing out soap and sanitizers...   She radiates love and warmth and she insists we go to Africa on our sabbatical instead of the South as she would fear for us each moment we were there.  

          She went with a church group, too.  

          I think at some point UNICEF is going to have to be called in to help with the hunger in the South.  

          "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

          by Damnit Janet on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:26:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As an Alabama Democrat, may I say... (0+ / 0-)

            good riddance.  We neither need nor want you or your family here, not with that attitude.  Enjoy Africa, and you will have my prayers that AQIM is a better host for you than Southerners would have been.

            •  And may you keep your Southern "hospitality" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and "Bless your heart".    Slamming the door is always easier than opening one isn't it.  

              My attitude? My oh my.   But thanks for the clear reminder to steer clear of hot heads.

              No where did I say money shouldn't go to feed people in the south or build their schools or shelter their children.  Actually those are the very tools on how to stop terrorism and other casualties of hate and extremism.

              Nor did I South Bash.  I was sharing my dear friend's experience of attempting to help feed and clean some in the South after a horrific hurricane and openly sharing my families clear concerns of whether or not to go to the South or go to Africa in order to stave off hunger.

              I was relaying why me and mine would be safer in Africa feeding the hungry than in the South.  

              I will continue to keep you and yours in my thoughts that one day people will not vote against the very needs of their own children so as to punish others simply because of the color of their skin, how they pray or who they love.


              "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

              by Damnit Janet on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:26:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  You're doing good somewhere in the world. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Damnit Janet

        That's what matters.  And you wouldn't seek to hurt anybody.  And that matters even more.

        No way should you have to risk the personal safety of your kids or yourself to help anybody, and nobody has the right to ask you otherwise.

        Sometimes we make some hard choices.

        Better to keep on living and helping that die trying.

        "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

        by Marjmar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:18:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My husband does the majority of hunger work (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but my daughter works in the kitchen of Loaves and Fishes, too.  My spouse does Meals on Two Wheels once a week one week and then twice the next.  

          My son works with the Oregon Food Bank with his program.

          We do risk.  But when it comes to helping... I can't risk it with those who would bite the very hand that feeds them.  

          We need to build schools
          Feed the hungry
          Shelter those without houses.

          That's how you stop terrorism.  But I don't know what it will take for the majority of the South.  I just don't know.  

          "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

          by Damnit Janet on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:30:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Lots of fairly damning statistics (5+ / 0-)

    about the "family values" Red states.

    Highest child-desertion rates. Highest divorce rates. Highest obesity rates (highest per-capital healthcare spending). And so on.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:25:44 PM PDT

  •  A Note on the Data (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril

    It's worth noting that the table at the top reflects all federal spending, including national defense.   That means that the military bases and national security installations like in Texas, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina are reflected in these ratios.

    Again, as noted in the diary, the Tax Foundation's assessment is a little dated.  The general contours likely still apply for the same reasons.

  •  When you say, "Apparently, to those who ... (0+ / 0-)

    "Apparently, to those who complain loudest about government, much shall be given."

    You are mis-reading the situation, in a way that makes me want to tear my hair out!

    1. With all of the talk about "dog whistles" here at DKos and other Liberal-friendly online venues

    2. With the obvious insanity of 30 years of voting for those whose Plan is to stop send you, personally, a SS check or a Medicare public insurance plan offering...

    3. Something unspoken is happening here, what it is exactly clear.

    What is going on is that the Base gets to hear all of the racist-and-bigotry-based fear and hate rhetoric from their elected Officials, which is what their racist-and-bigoted-upbringing tells them is good; calling for decades now to "reverse course" and put paid to social safety net programs and only reward the "Jobs Creators" and "hard-working Americans".

    Knowing, all the while, that those same Republicans, once elected to office, will be writing letters and Laws, which will send more and more Federal Dollars their way in the form of SS checks and super-cheap Medicare health insurance premiums for the actual working-poor portion of the #GOP and for those on the other end of the fiscal ladder, there will be more and more Tax Cuts to look forward to.

    The only people the #GOP don't really bring anything to is the declining Middle Class. Because chances are, if you are Middle Class your family was supported by a Union Member or two; your family got a college education (with the help of Pell Grants); your family votes Democratic for the past three or four generations.

    So yeah, the #GOP candidates and duly electeds say one thing, and then do another, and their Base has more than 30 years of experience with this, and they are happy to do their share of inciting their fellow low-information-voters to only hear what they want to and vote how they're told to - knowing that personally, they will never have to pay any price for doing so. Paying for shit is for those stupid Democrats, right?

    Another way to describe a bunch of serial liars.

    Yeah, that sounds about right to me.

    "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
    -- Angie in WA State

    by Angie in WA State on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:30:55 PM PDT

  •  I experienced this (0+ / 0-)

    during the last presidential election with a white family member( I'm black & from the south)living & working in the south at a Kroger grocery store, you know where the deli women actually fry awesome chicken.  She was complaining about how hell would freeze over if Obama was elected and all that socialist healthcare & death panels, blah, blah, blah & we had to pray that he wouldn't be elected, blah,blah,blah.  

    Then I reminded her that her daughter was on welfare in the socialist republic of Massachusetts & she agreed that but for the state healthcare plan her daughter & grandson never would have made it. I knew then that those red-state republicans were simply crazypants!

  •  Obamacare: a turning point of sorts... (0+ / 0-)

    With Obamacare in particular, now you have states such as Texas openly rejecting federal dollars to make an ideological point and screw the poor:

    Even though the new women’s health program will send pregnant applicants to Medicare, that program as well is being restricted by the lone star state, with Gov. Perry vowing to refuse more than $164 billion in federal aid intended to expand coverage for low-income people.

    Perry’s act of political defiance will ultimately deny coverage to more than 1.2 million low-income Texans who would otherwise be eligible under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

    I wonder if this sort of thing is finally going hurt scumbags like Perry at the polls.

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:40:17 PM PDT

    •  my guess is ..."NO" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anastasia p

      But Texas is a really different place.   It takes a day and a half just to drive through the place, and that's with your foot on the pedal.  The two most beatiful signs I have ever seen on a cross country trip are "Welcome to New Mexico" and Welcome to Louisiana."  

      Note that I did not list "Welcome to Oklahoma."

      Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:48:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's an amendment for you... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, howd, my pet rock

    not quite a balanced budget amendment, but it is along the same lines...

    Federal monies will be disbursed upon a "one dollar dollar out" basis to the states.

    What could be more fair than that?  Find me one single Conservative who can argue the logic of that.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:42:31 PM PDT

  •  I applaud you for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Perr, Americantrueandblue

    the defense of progressive values. However -- and I know we've talked about this before -- there's an additional piece of data that I consider to be the most compelling rebuttal to the "don't support the red states" mantra often found here: in red states, there's a very strong individual-level relationship between income and partisanship. The wealthy are FAR more likely to be Republicans, while lower-income residents are more likely to be Democrats. (It's often pointed out that the relationship isn't as strong if you look only at whites -- but why would we do that?)

    So, while the "poor southerner railing against federal spending" is one of the foundational stereotypes of progressive blogger lore, it's far less common than many here believe. The folks railing against federal spending are far more likely to be doing so from McMansions in exurban Atlanta and Dallas, rather than from a farm in rural Alabama.

    Thus, the entire empirical foundation of their alleged hypocrisy is vastly overstated. At the individual level -- which is really the only one that means anything -- the money is flowing from wealthy citizens to poorer ones who want and need it. What part of that are we supposed to be angry about?

    Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

    by cardinal on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:42:52 PM PDT

    •  The problem is that red state socialism, combined (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, howd

      with a healthy dose of voter suppression, makes it easier for those deep red states to keep electing Republican governors, members of congress, and senators.

      •  How does (0+ / 0-)

        federal largesse lead to voting Republican?

        Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

        by cardinal on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:53:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For a starter, it allows them to keep (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Leftleaner, howd

          taxes low, especially on the white upper middle class Republican base.

          •  True; but that's not a function of (0+ / 0-)

            party. The South was reliably Democratic for the first 80 years after the Civil War, and the same dynamics were at play.

            Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

            by cardinal on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:09:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yup, but they were Dixiecrats. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              highacidity, TiaRachel, terabthia2

              Even though I have been a Democrat my entire life, my mom was an old-fashioned liberal Republican. She wanted nothing to do with the Dixiecrats. She was pro-civil rights and pro-public education. She supported folks like Jacob Javits who, along with the northern Democrats, made it possible to pass the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. The Republican party left her beginning with Nixon and the Southern Strategy.

              As an northerner, I have a really hard time with folks who are still talking about the "war of northern aggression." As an anthropologist, I have a big problem with a party that is anti-science and anti-evolution. My niece, who is a smart woman, received most of her K-12 education in the SC and AL public schools. When she moved to NC, she was in for a rude awakening. My kids received a far better education in the local NJ public schools.

      •  I agree...but what should, and Can, be done about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Damnit Janet


        That's a serious question.  Why should Blue states "spread the wealth" to Red States?  Without significant input into how the money is spent?

        Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

        by Keith930 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:54:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wish that I had a good answer. (0+ / 0-)

          I want people to have a good education and healthcare. My congressman and both my senators voted for the ACA which will help far more folks in the red states than in NJ. However, it pisses the hell out of me when I see the older, white, tea partying southerners with signs like "keep the government out of my Medicare."

        •  But we do have (0+ / 0-)

          significant input into how it's spent, since we're only talking about federal taxation and spending here.

          Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

          by cardinal on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:22:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not just the poor benefit from spending (0+ / 0-)

      The poor are just conduits for Federal spending. Food stamps are used to buy food from the local grocer who buys food from the local warehouse delivered by local delivery companies and so on, who all employ workers who live in the area.  The same for medical benefits and housing, etc. The profit from Federal spending goes to the folks in the McMansions, the poor only get something to eat.  The community gets jobs, spending, profits, investment and in general is better off.  

      The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

      by Do Something on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:09:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting point. I agree with (0+ / 0-)

        that empirically; but I don't see how it undermines the basic point that we, as progressives, should favor redistributive taxation and spending (even if the "wrong" people benefit collaterally from the enhanced well being of the poor).

        Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

        by cardinal on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:20:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A Few Follow Up Points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cardinal, howd


      You're absolutely right to note that many of the red state Republican voters are necessarily not the same people receiving the benefits of federal spending.  The demographics of income, race, religion play a key role here.

      But some things to keep in mind:

      1.  The "red state socialism" phenomenon is about ALL federal spending.  This includes defense spending and agricultural subsidies which not only go to red states disproportionately, but to likely more Republican-leaning voters.

      2.  The popularity of "entitlements" like Social Security and Medicare remains very high among Republican voters.  And majorities of them oppose privatization of either program.

      3.  GOP governors like Rick Perry have boasted about balancing state budgets while trying to avoid acknowledging that in 2009 and 2010 they were able to do so only virtue of receiving stimulus money.

      4.  Republicans are strong supporters of "block grants" for Medicaid, a program which now represents about 20% of state budgets.  That is, they want the $$ from Washington, no strings attached.

  •  This posting leaves out one critical measurement (4+ / 0-)

    Ranking of states by hypocrisy.


    by msobel on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:44:13 PM PDT

  •  A lot of that money is farm subsidies (0+ / 0-)

    I was looking at the Environmental Working Group's Farm Subsidy Database and just guess which state received the most (in Billions) in subsidies over the last 10 years -

    1. Texas - $25,876,426,340 in subsidies.

    Most of the top congressional districts to receive money have Tea Party Congresscritters too.  Maybe we should cut the farm welfare out of the budget.

  •  New Mexico (0+ / 0-)

    Does anyone have an explanation for why New Mexico consumes so much federal spending? It is certainly not the poorest state...

    •  Federal Labs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      owlbear1, bartcopfan

      We have Sandia and Los Alamos, and a tiny population. We have very little water for industry, so not a lot of midwage production jobs to collect taxes from.
      We also have two of the major interstates out of Southern California to the rest of the country, including between Texas and California, though I don't know how much their maintenance really costs in comparison.

      Also, all the alien bases near Roswell :)

  •  You know, it would be nice IF.... (3+ / 0-)

    Our blue state representatives would make these points forcefully in Congress every time their red state colleagues start having conniptions over 'out of control spending' and 'deficits will kill us all' hysterics. Tell them if they really believe that stuff, they can prove it by refusing to accept all that evil federal money, or STFU already.

    On the other hand, there's something to be said for paying them to stay where they are....

    I think the Daily Show got it about right.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:54:12 PM PDT

  •  red & blue (0+ / 0-)

    What a civics lesson.  Speechless.

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity

    by mailman27 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:05:57 PM PDT

  •  ONly on Daily Kos (2+ / 0-)

    I've been writing about this for years, urging our side to start a campaign for a constitutional amendment banning state welfare.  Only on DKos would it be called "red-state socialism."  It's iike we're allergic to incendiary or hyperbolic language even when it's in our interests.

    This, my friends, is why we lose.  We're aren't playing for keeps.  That, and too many grad students...

  •  Red Alaska really is Communist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leftleaner, blue denim, terabthia2

    everyone gets a yearly handout from the government... damn near everyone works for the governtment... we pay billions to keep the place moving....

    no wonder they can see Putin out the back yard... he's probably collecting the Annual Fund check for his great grandpa from Sitka.

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:08:26 PM PDT

  •  If we ran this country like a business (0+ / 0-)

    the way Romney seems to think we should, then any prudent business leader would definitely cut those states loose and sell off the assets  to some other country.  Which, IMHO, might not be a bad idea given their stupid propensity to vote Republican.

    However, given that I'm a progressive business leader, then I think the problem with those states is that we haven't invested in training and education for their "employees" and therefore they really can't be faulted for their poor production numbers.

    Therefore, they are all, effective immediately, on a 6 month shape-up-or-be-sold plan.   They can either wake up and start producing or at least coming up with an employee development plan or I think there are some non Fortune 500 countries we could sell them to.

    That would get their attention.

    The GOP -- Hating Women, Gays and People of Color since 1854

    by Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:12:23 PM PDT

    •  Romeny want to run it like Bain, that's different (0+ / 0-)

      The Bain model is to suck all the wealth out of an institution and leave its shrunken hulk for someone else to clean up.  Borrow trillions for tax cuts for the rich, let them invest the money in other countries and then when the whole thing collapses again, move somewhere else.

      The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

      by Do Something on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:17:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But, don't you understand? (5+ / 0-)

    We deserve the help, not like N     * s, feminist sluts, terrorist ragheads, wetbacks, uppity young folk, anti-Christian Secular Humanist signtists, and the rest of the riff-raff that is dragging down Our Country.



    For myself, I am glad that the education, health care, and other money going to the old Confederacy and the Bible Belt is helping in the decline of racism, bigotry, and the Religious Right more generally that shows up in poll after poll. Just as we passed the tipping point on DADT and are closing in on DOMA, so with these other issues as well. You cannot poll racism directly, because most racists won't admit it, but the rate of intermarriage has been increasing ever since Loving v. Virginia enabled it. There are many other such measures, and they agree on this.

    Here is some of the evidence that I have cited in the last few years.

    Gay Marriage Tipping Point

    Second Civil War or Tipping Point?

    The Young South is Ours

    Neil Gaiman on Anti-South Prejudice

    Let's be clear: We do want to destroy their culture


    The culture of the slave South and the more recent Southern Aristocracy, of White supremacy ordained by God, of slaves or sharecroppers or uneducated free persons, who were told that they were better off and happier as slaves, and of the purity of Southern Womanhood enforced by lynchings…
    not peach and pecan pies, banjo picking, and Southern hospitality.

    See, for example, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who represent a long-hidden but worthy part of Southern culture.

    We received a severe setback in 2010 in Congress. Can we resume forward progress? The better statistical sites, particularly Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog and Princeton Election Consultants, say yes, we should be able to take the House and hold the Senate, both by thin margins.

    Hey, Mitt! Thanks for ObamneyCare.

    by Mokurai on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:13:05 PM PDT

  •  Your last 2 paragraphs are downright stirring!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Excellent diary!!

    !! Four more years !!

    by raincrow on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:17:14 PM PDT

  •  Don't lump New Mexico with red state socialists. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Something that needs to be clarified is that New Mexico is not a red state.  Both senators and two of three representatives are Democrats.  Also, the state went for Obama in 2008 and should do the same this year.  The reason the federal government spends so much per capita in NM is that the state is home to two national laboratories (Los Alamos and Sandia) yet has a small population (approx. 2.1 million).

  •  We should propose a constitutional amendment which (0+ / 0-)

    ...stipulates that each state can only receive federal funds which matches what they paid in taxes.

    Talk about a handy way to neuter the plutocrats' bullshit about a federal balanced budget amendment!

    "We see things not as they are, but as we are." - John Milton

    by Jasonhouse on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:25:08 PM PDT

  •  Excellent Diary and Information (0+ / 0-)

    Not enough Americans are aware of this. It really needs to be promoted throughout this campaign and should be required reading for all.

    Tipped, Recc'd and Tweeted.

    "The real difference between democracy and oligarchy is poverty and wealth. Wherever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few or many, that is an oligarchy, and where the poor rule, that is democracy". Aristotle

    by MuskokaGord on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:26:56 PM PDT

  •  Not too strong a defense, but nice diary anyway nt (0+ / 0-)

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty

    by jeff in nyc on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:31:35 PM PDT

  •  many red states pay a signifigant amount of money (1+ / 0-)
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    to the federal govt in the form of royalties on natural resources out here in the west. Montana for instance is usually around 90 billion with a B. North Dakota around 300billion. Not sure how it balances out with the amount of taxes and the amount of federal expenditures but it might be worth checking out. Some of those welfare states might end up contributing quite a bit.

    There are up as well as down sides to having your state produce lots of coal or oil.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:33:29 PM PDT

  •  Sherman stopped too soon (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    Just sayin'...

    I grew up in the eastern red states. I hope to never need to move back.

    More Democrats really should make this case on the national stage. "You have been electing Republicans ever since the civil rights movement, and your states have continuously become more and more a drag on the country. You have worse jobs, worse houses, worse  schools, worse incomes, and worse health than many war torn European countries. If it wasn't for all the money the rest of the US has given you, you would barely be distinguishable from countries in South America or Africa. Many of you still wouldn't have electricity if it wasn't for Democrats and the generosity of the rest of the country.
    Aren't you tired of being the worst states in the union? Aren't you a little bit embarrassed when your children go to other states to get good jobs or good educations? Stop electing Republicans! They are holding you back!"
    It probably wouldn't be productive, but it would at least be fun!

  •  ugh (0+ / 0-)

    I hate seeing my state in so many of these lists.

  •  Explain New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan (1+ / 0-)
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    and other states led by right-wingers that are not southern; Romney's from Mass, or the West, take your pick.

    Arizona was not part of the confederacy, for instance.

    Wall Street has no geographic allegiance.

    Your argument is good, data explains allocations of federal dollars, but the problem with your argument is that the faults we face lie across the entire country, if not the world.

    "Out dam spot," no more red state or blue state.

    To form a more perfect union, we must breathe energy into Warren's understanding. We all love, live, suffer, and die; we are all in this together. "We all breathe the same air," Kennedy, and "That's matters.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:45:06 PM PDT

  •  Sometimes I think... (0+ / 0-)

    (and this probably isn't one of those times)

    that we should draw a line from North Carolina to Arizona and down to Mexico and encourage those states to secede.

    Perhaps being on the receiving end of government welfare makes them lazy and unable to appreciate the hard work and cost of good government. (conservatives seem to think that's how welfare works)

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by notrouble on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:48:02 PM PDT

  •  No. (0+ / 0-)

    It is not "as it should be." It's not what the voters in those states say they want. That's democracy. And this idea that people benefitting from something in New Mexico is more deserving than the person in California--that's not socialism at all. That's creating a privilege not based on need or equal distribution, but based on which senator gets reelected the most times.

    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:53:15 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for this (1+ / 0-)
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    Oh Mary Oh

    I had this discussion with my Kentucky-based Republican brother a few years ago and pulled some of the fact you have in your diary.  You have blown me away with the material here.  I have tipped, rec'ed and hotlisted this gem for later use.

    Thanks again!!!!

  •  The reason for a lot of the (1+ / 0-)
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    red state spending is that the congress critters won't vote for spending unless it is spent in their states.  So, in order to get a defense program going, it has to be located south of the Mason-Dixon, or in Utah or Arizona or some such.  I am sure they would love to move all of the west coast defense spending to Alaska, and will gradually do so if they have the chance.  I suspect Dems are not as good at blackmail and coercion, so don't get as much spending in the blue states.

    Not all those who wander are lost.

    by Leftleaner on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:01:20 PM PDT

  •  Not to be a buzz kill, but (0+ / 0-)

    besides this, aren't the red states doing better under every other economic measure than the blue states (not unilaterally of course, but most in general)?

  •  I have a cunning plan (1+ / 0-)
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    Rick Perry talks of Texas seceding?

    Let them.

    Then we can invade them, take their oil, install a puppet "democracy", imprison and execute religious leaders, ban firearms, and once it's all stable, make them accept socialized medicine. Just like Iraq.

    "Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice."
    The All-Powerful Nateboi

    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:35:20 PM PDT

  •  They aren't going to stop. (0+ / 0-)

        "Bite the hand that feeds you" is the adage that sums it up.  People who get the most help are most resentful of the help.  There's a link somewhere but these numbers do it justice as well.  Last place aversion is the guiding force at work.  People would prefer someone is lower than them at all times rather than being the lowest.
         There is also a new study (sorry can't find the link) about meta-cognition that says that people who aren't intelligent enough to "get it" don't know they aren't getting it, because they aren't intelligent enough to know they aren't getting it.  They tend to overrate their own performance as a result (and people with more meta-cog. also underrate their performance).  
         Take these all together, add an unhealthy dose of sectarianism, and you've got Republicans.  Since you can't make them see their failings and can't teach meta-cognition, this isn't going to stop - they're going to procreate and make it worse and not know, with their noses in the air the whole time.
         I agree with the constitution too, but not when agreeing with it happens at the expense of the entire constitution - you need some meta-cognition to see this viewpoint.  
         In short, push them into seceeding, we ARE better off without them.  What they want is the end of the constitution anyway, as well as complete state control with no federal government.  So give it to them.  Let them - force them - to leave.  If they beg to come back, those state lines get abolished and we join those states to other states in order to boost the region's tax rate and remove some of the onus from the higher taxed states.

    •  Yeah, this whole "We're better off without them." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      thing falls apart completely if you do a little actual research. Basing your view of economics and how things would be if these red states were gone based on this is faulty at best and delusional at worst. But, hey, whatever is best for your ideology.

  •  It might be crass of me to say this, but (1+ / 0-)
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    Oh Mary Oh

    I tell people that we liberals have a moral obligation not to stand aside and leave other states as festering shitholes of iniquity and suffering.  

    We can't let our fellow Americans live without basic human dignity and a modicum of security and comfort, for two major reasons.

    One reason is Biblical (even if a particular liberal is not Christian): Matthew 25:40's basic message, right from the mouth of Jesus, is that your true colors show in the way you treat the "least" among you.   The other is simple equality:  Parts of the population cannot be deprived of the basic necessities of modern life and the protections of the law.    

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:05:54 PM PDT

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