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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.

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