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writing for godot

Republican-Red State Democratic Socialism

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Written by Leonard   
Friday, 24 April 2020 07:36

Senator Bernie Sanders as a declared Democratic Socialist just ran a second unsuccessful Presidential campaign. Democratic socialism is a political philosophy supporting democratic control of economic institutions within a market socialist economy.  Given the mixed history and forms of “socialism,” as it has been implemented in many countries worldwide, many Americans remain fearful that the Senator’s democratic socialism would somehow destroy the American economy.  In actuality, almost all national economies, including the US,  and Senator Sander’s political-philosophy are a blend of capitalism and social service programs.

Interestingly, when we view the Federal Government’s Republican dominated major policy agendas, we can make the case that they support socialist agenda’s for the wealthy and “Red States” through taxation and direct support policies that are actually more socialist than most of Senator Sander's proposals, because he tends to focus on specific social service programs such as healthcare, public schools, equality and fair taxation. We examine the economic performance of Red States and the US and Republican supported “socialist programs” that demonstrate when it comes to the poor performance of Republican Governors and large corporations, Republican Senator’s led by Mitch McConnell are quick to endorse “Red State Democratic Socialism.”

Last week, Senator McConnell suggested that States should declare bankruptcy rather than expect a federal bailout for unexpected expenses during the Covid-19 virus crisis, stating that poor performance by Democratic Governors has led to their own financial problems.  Governor Cuomo responded by stating that New York is the biggest net donor to federal support in the form of taxes sent to the federal government each year as compared with the amount New York gets back via federal spending (actually, California seems to have that dubious honor). Cuomo believes that McConnell’s home state of Kentucky is the third biggest taker from that same pot (perhaps 6th is more accurate), Cuomo also said good performance by New York is paying for the deficit’s generated by poor Kentucky governance and business practices.  We extend Governor Cuomo’s argument to show that almost every red state receives more in federal support than they pay in taxes to the federal government, while most blue states pay billions more in taxes than they receive in federal support.

A review of Table 1 shows that Blue States contribute $404 billion more in taxes to the federal government than they receive in support, while Red States receive more than $50 billion in federal support than they contribute to the US in taxes. These facts support Governor Cuomo's argument that it is the Democratic run states that contribute positively to the US federal budget.  More specifically, McConnell's Kentucky receives $13 billion more in support than it pays in taxes, while New York pays $85 billion more in taxes than it receives in federal support.  The argument:  New York is contributing a $13 billion welfare payment to the Senate Majority Leader's poorly run home state to help balance the State's budget.

Table 1. Federal Taxes Paid Minus Federal Revenue by State (Red-Republican/Blue-democrat/Green-House Large Federal Agencies [1]

State

Fed Taxes      ($000,000)

Fed Spending ($000,000)

Federal Revenue ($000,000)

Alabama

26,724

56,762

30,037

Alaska

5,287

10,568

5,281

Arizona

46,226

67,306

21,079

Arkansas

32,029

28,514

-3,515

California

456,555

343,725

-112,830

Colorado

58,707

48,664

-3,515

Connecticut

53,729

41,452

-12,277

Delaware

19,038

9,047

-9,991

DC

28,443

47,785

19,342

Florida

205,694

190,831

-14,863

Georgia

92,805

88,532

-4,273

Hawaii

9,591

19,309

9,714

Idaho

10,858

15,139

4,281

Illinois

161,189

105,483

-55,346

Indiana

58,699

55,496

-3,203

Iowa

25,111

25,883

772

Kansas

25,814

24,243

-1,571

Kentucky

34,755

48,027

13,272

Louisiana

41,982

44,701

2,719

Maine

7,925

16,078

8,153

Maryland

72,561

92,987

20,426

Massachusetts

117,998

75,631

-42,367

Michigan

83,256

94,014

10,758

Minnesota

99,354

44,304

-55,050

Mississippi

11,460

34,308

22,848

Missouri

63,139

65,452

2,313

Montana

6,229

10,148

3,919

Nebraska

25,312

15,636

-9,676

Nevada

23,318

23,181

-137

New Hampshire

12,291

12,414

123

New Jersey

138,977

82,573

-56,404

New Mexico

9,002

27,554

18,552

New York

281,220

195,334

-85,886

North Carolina

82,539

93,907

11,368

North Dakota

6,579

6,805

226

Ohio

140,891

101,573

-39,318

Oklahoma

27,908

37,851

9,943

Oregon

33,802

32,713

-1,089

Pennsylvania

136,269

134,989

-1,280

Puerto Rico

3,443

-----


Rhode Island

14,726

11,549

-3,177

South Carolina

28,553

48,784

20,231

South Dakota

8,200

8,025

-175

Tennessee

68,888

64,508

-4,380

Texas

280,048

234,459

-45,589

Utah

23,401

20,620

-3,141

Vermont

4,417

6,915

2,498

Virginia

84,845

138,029

53,184

Washington

90,404

72,937

-17,467

West Virginia

6,911

21,317

14,406

Wisconsin

51,992

47,735

-4,257

Wyoming

4,931

5,177

246

TOTALS

3,444,039


+$50,126



-$404,223


It is instructive to also look at just a bit of the state's financial data to understand the relatively poor economic situation that Red States find themselves in vs. the generally better financial situation that characterizes many Blue States.  An economic performance indicator, the per capita Gross State Product,  shows that nearly every Blue State is performing above the US GDP per Capita level, while nearly every Red State is performing below the US GDP per capita average.  The federal support given to Red States can be termed "red state democratic socialism" because it helps the states improve their services and their standard of living, and today's "donations" come from the states run by their left leaning, liberal colleagues from across the aisle.

Table 2. Gross State Product by State (Red-Republican/Blue-Democratic/Green-States Housing Large Federal Agencies

State

GSP per Capita

DC

210,033

New York

90,043

Massachusetts

86,942

Connecticut

81,055

California

80,563

Washington

80,170

Delaware

78,468

Alaska

76,220

North Dakota

75,321

New Jersey

73,451

Maryland

71,838

Illinois

71,727

Hawaii

69,593

Colorado

68,828

Wyoming

68,757

Minnesota

68,427

Nebraska

66,737

Texas

66,149

New Hampshire

66,069

Virginia

65,824

United States (average)

65,515

Pennsylvania

64,412

Iowa

62,493

South Dakota

61,104

Rhode Island

60,830

Oregon

60,558

Ohio

60,464

Wisconsin

60,425

Kansas

60,310

Utah

59,892

Georgia

58,896

Nevada

58,570

Louisiana

57,445

North Carolina

56,862

Indiana

56,702

Vermont

56,525

Tennessee

56,451

Michigan

54,928

Missouri

54,879

Oklahoma

52,409

Florida

51,745

Arizona

51,179

Maine

50,915

New Mexico

50,201

Montana

49,540

Kentucky

48,697

South Carolina

48,547

Alabama

47,735

Idaho

46,043

Arkansas

44,808

West Virginia

43,806

Mississippi

40,464

We could continue to examine several other economic indicators, which show the current, better economic performance of Blue States over Red States. For example, examining Median Household Income for Red & Blue States we find the Red States at $57,233, while the Blue States are at $65,688 per household [3].  But there are many good reasons for these discrepancies and then the associated needs for support. Rather, we hope that this note will inspire a closer Congressional look at 1) which policies are currently providing better economic prosperity, 2) which policies best support social justice; and 3) how lies and deviation from political and social norms  by our current leadership has caused dangerous excessive partisanship in The USA.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_GDP

[3] https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/median-household-income-by-state/

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