Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tea Party delusions of autonomy

The recent success of Republican Tea Party candidate in Mississippi, Chris McDaniel, against more temperate incumbent, Republican Thad Cochran, in Tuesday's primary vote brings to light something odd about the far right wing Tea Party.

One of the Tea Party's main themes is to cut government spending, to take away the debilitating government teat and push people out into the cold cruel world and make them fend for themselves.  This is to make them tougher people, more Manly, more self sufficient, more like the ideological champion of hyper-masculinity, the woman Ayn Rand.  This is to force the United States to become the kind of fierce and independent place that the Tea Party imagines themselves to be, and imagines to be the future of an ideal America.

But, an odd thing happens when you look at some data.  When you look at how much money the federal government gives each state compared to how much money the federal government gets from each state, a funny things shows up.

The hard core Southern Red states are on the dole. They take much, much more money from the federal government than they give it.  

According to, Mississippi receives $3.07 for each $1.00 it gives.  That ranks them as no. 45 out of the 51 states as the most dependent on the federal government.  Here are the five biggest moochers of the states:

  • 51.   South Carolina receives $7.87 federal dollars for every $1.00 sent to the federal government
  • 50.   North Dakota receives $5.31 federal dollars for every $1.00 sent to the federal government
  • 49.   Florida receives $4.57 for every $1.00 sent
  • 48.   Louisiana receive $3.35 for every $1.00 sent
  • 47.   Alabama receives $3.28 for every $1.00 sent
I don't think there is anything wrong with the federal government spending more in states than they receive, but to hear the Tea Party candidates talk, you would think that they think it is a major sin.

A Mississippi Democrat makes it very clear that Mississippi deeply needs the federal government:

“If Mississippi did what the tea party claims they want . . . we would become a Third World country, quickly,” said Rickey Cole, the state Democratic chairman. “We depend on the federal government to help us build our highways. We depend on the federal government to fund our hospitals, our health-care system. We depend on the federal government to help us educate our students on every level.”  Cole noted that the hospital he was born in “wasn’t built by the taxpayers of Mississippi, it was built with federal money that was collected from taxpayers in New York and Chicago and L.A. and San Francisco.”

And, oh yes, which are the five states that pay the most to and get the least from the federal government?

  • 1.  Delaware receives $0.50 for every $1.00 sent
  • 2.  Minnesota receives $0.56 for every $1.00 sent
  • 3.  Illinois receives $0.56 for every $1.00 sent
  • 4.  Nebraska receives $0.57 for every $1.00 sent
  • 5.  Ohio receive $0.66 for evey $1.00 sent
If you click through to the link you will see that the conservative solid South is very much on the receiving side, and the liberal states are much more on the giving side.  Well, in a way, I guess that fits the stereotypes of each - liberals think it is good to give and conservatives want to get as much as they can get.  

Looks like both sides are getting what they want.