Skip to main content

In the map below from Talking Points Memo, Mississippi stands out as the single biggest-beneficiary of federal government benefits compared to taxes paid:

United States map showing ratio of federal benefits received and federal taxes paid, by state
On one level, that's not so unreasonable, given how poor a state Mississippi is (it's last in GDP per capita). And that also explains why generations of Magnolia State politicians in both parties have forever stressed their efforts to bring home the federal bacon, including GOP Sen. Thad Cochran. But with the rise of tea party anger, Cochran's now being punished for the very largesse he's always prided himself in securing for his state and looks likely to lose Tuesday's Republican runoff to his ultra-conservative challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

The New York Times takes a close look at this unusual state of affairs and finds that a lot of Mississippians aren't fond of the kind of pork barrel politics that's long been a way of life for most elected officials there. To say the least:

“Everybody’s got their hand out like these damn people at the food stamp office,” Mr. Harris, 67, said between sips of coffee on Thursday at a local barbecue restaurant. “They’ve got to put an end to all of this spending.”

Others, like Jane Buehl Coln of Olive Branch, suspect that whatever benefits have come to Mississippi have come at a steep price.

“There’s no telling what kinds of liberal things he had to vote for to get those kinds of things for Mississippi — what kind of trading he had to do,” she said.

Yes, Cochran's helped secure funding for all manner of things the state would have had to do without, like new air traffic control towers, stretches of highway and sewer systems—not to mention billions in recovery aid after Hurricane Katrina. But who cares about any of that when someone somewhere might get a dollar they don't "deserve"? It even has the experts confused:
“It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Professor Wiseman, who considers himself a liberal by Mississippi standards. “It defies logic or reason for somebody to not only run on cutting off the supply of federal money to Mississippi, but to actually be winning the race.”
But since when is there anything logical about GOP politics? If Mississippi Republicans want to drown government in a bathtub filled with tea, that's their decision. Some day they may discover, deep down, that they don't like the choice, but logic has nothing to do with it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site