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The eXile Solution to Middle America

Myth #3: Middle Americans hate Big Government. The truth is that Middle Americans are Welfare Queens. White, bigoted, ignorant welfare queens. The statistics don't lie. North Dakota, which voted for Bush 63%-36%, takes in $2.03 for every dollar it pays into the federal budget, making it first among states. New Mexico just switched to Bush 50%-49%, seeing as he did such a bang-up job, and not coincidentally they're the second biggest welfare queens, skimming $1.89 for every dollar they fork over. After that, well, you can guess: Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska, all welfare queen states. And don't be fooled into thinking this money goes to local minorities -- that gig ended years ago. These federal funds go to white projects -- subsidizing tobacco, big farming subsidies, bogus construction projects, bridges, roads, and every other big government project that the fat white welfare queen bigots can squeeze out of the liberal elitists. Even the few Middle Americans who "work," that is those who join the military, still have to be paid by the same "big government" they hate, even long after they retire. Middle Americans are the deficit, folks. And which states pay more into the federal budget in order to subsidize the Bush-voting welfare queens? Yup: eight of the top 10 states who pay more than they receive voted for Kerry. Massachusetts, for example, receives just $0.79 for every dollar it gives to Bush's little government, while California and New York get just $0.81 back for each dollar they pay in. Stop paying them, you're thinking, and that'll teach 'em? Don't be a fool. Gas em, and they'll learn. Gas is the only language these baloneyheads understand.


At 6:23 PM, Blogger Trevor said...

I don't necessarily agree with him, but I hadn't seen any stats like those in the "myth" I quoted above. I really like the eXile.

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

There is a problem with this, of course, in that highly populous states probably receive far more absolute funds, but by percentage of population is smaller.

Either way, it is a fairly emotional attack, in that I find it extreemly difficult to believe that the majority of actual welfare payments don't go to urban areas.

I think we can all agree that everyone in America is a special interest, and the government is huge and pays out loads to all sorts of things that it shouldn't.

Another point: 'big government' isn't government spending (which everyone but tax payers and principled folks like), but government regulation. If you are talking about gun control, regulation for small businesses and farms, etc., then yes, Middle America (and lots of the rest) don't like Big Government.

The thing is that I don't see why they are correlated. Why should subsidies to businesses and poor people be related to the ammount of regulation in that business?
... except that it proves Reagan maxim "a government powerful enough to give you everything, is powerful enough to take it away"

ot just the general rule that with funding comes control, and 'funding' goes to way too many things.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

Ivan, I think you mean that federal spending on (say) military technology, medical research, or growing useless corn should not be considered welfare compared to checks and food stamps given to individuals in urban areas. Your representatives in the Senate surely disagree, as they know that every federal dollar given to their state increases their prestige and is more than likely going to be spent in the local economy. The numbers in The Exile article are not "emotional" in the sense of being wrong; they are the actual numbers of dollars the government spends in various states compared to how much it receives from those same places. Here's an anti tax groups' webpage with the same findings. The fact that red states get much more money from the federal government than they pay it makes perfect sense when you consider 1. how Congress (and the electoral college, too, to a lesser degree) is skewed toward representing rural states and 2. How red states are incredibly unproductive in terms of wealth generation compared to blue states and federal revenue comes largely from the wealthy.

These statistics are ones you should recognize as an honest effort by libertarians to convince Blue Staters not to vote for increased government spending.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

Trevor, I wouldn't "necessarily agree" either -- I know some folks in red states I'd just as soon not see gassed!

At 10:09 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

"Middle Americans are Welfare Queens. White, bigoted, ignorant welfare queens."

not emotional.

personal incentives for mediocrity are associated with welfare income payments.

that is a bit different than, say, ethonol research.

there is no argument that most federal funding goes to red states, just that many red states are less populous, and distributions are even.

i'll be the frist to say that the government should neither restrict trade nor promote it. government, especially ours, is remarkably bad at picking the winners.

the prestige argument only works because the money is already collected, so there is a real cost to not getting it spent in your state.

a better way to look at it is that the states would have been better off if most of the money were not collected to begin with (this shares some rational with the idea that the poor are better off, as an aggregate, if they aren't 'helped')

BUT, for more on the left's new found federalism, now that they aren't a majority party, read this.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

I said the numbers weren't wrong, as I thought you implied that they were.

I can't understand much else of the comment, although I can say that deficit spending is not "already collected." I think there's competition to fund local programs which is basically unrelated to the larger budget.

I should point out that I think we're in almost complete agreement on the issues of corporate welfare and transfer payments to the poor, based on previous discussions.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

" I said the numbers weren't wrong, as I thought you implied that they were."

if anything, i'd say they are worse. it isn't like just one part of the country loves the drip feed. that would be better :)

"I should point out that I think we're in almost complete agreement on the issues of corporate welfare and transfer payments to the poor, based on previous discussions."


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

More on this here.[follow the link to read the comments]
Why we should not expect to much from the Republicans: Or the lessons of 1936
Paul Marks

The Republican party is normally presented by the media and academia as the anti Welfare State party - the 'liberal' (i.e. statist) establishment denounce the Republicans as the party of cuts in government spending and wicked deregulation.

And yet when the Republicans win an election, most libertarians are not very pleased. Of course we are happy to see the media people upset or the academics in despair, but we do not really expect the Republicans to roll back the entitlement programs or slash and burn the mass of regulations. The reason for this, many libertarians tell themselves, is that Republicans are no good - they talk the language of freedom, but when put to the test they fail the voters who supported them.

However, there is another point of view and this is that most voters (including many people who vote Republican) just do not support liberty and would turn against the Republicans if they ever seriously tried to roll back government.

Take the example of the most recent election. Florida voted Republican for President and sent a new Republican to the United States Senate. And yet, at the same time, the great majority of voters in Florida supported a new State minimum wage law.

Is this because the Republicans did not oppose this minimum wage law? No they did oppose it (if you wish check, look at the web site of the Florida Republicans), but the people voted for it anyway.

People do not tend to support deregulation - when they think a regulation will (by magic) give them something they want (higher wages, cheaper medical care, whatever).

And people may vote for lower taxes, but they are not in the habit of voting for less government spending.

Deep down most Americans are not much different from the people in my own country (Britain), they do not care about the traditions of liberty - at least they do not care enough to give up some nice government program they think would benefit them.

Have we yet to understand the lessons of 1936? The Constitution of the United States was never perfectly enforced, but it was only really with F.D.R.'s administration (1933 onwards) that it was treated as a bit of toilet paper, with Welfare State programs, the voiding of private gold contracts, massive regulation...... and all the rest of modern statism.

In 1936 the Republicans put up the moderate Governor of Kansas (Alfred Landon) as their candidate for President and such organizations as the Liberty League, whilst unhappy with Alf Landon's moderation, supported him as a way of getting the statist monster out of office.

In November 1936 F.D.R. destroyed Landon 60% to 40%. Landon did not even take Kansas (just Maine and Vermont - every other State went for Roosevelt).

Would if be different today? I doubt that someone standing against the basic structure of statism would do any better (although, I admit, a Republican candidate would do better than the 1% or so that libertarians tend to get).

So when we grind our teeth that President Bush (or some other Republican) is not fighting the programs of the New Deal and Great Society we should ask ourselves "and would the people support him if he did fight these programs"?

My guess is that they would not.


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