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Bitterness

Daniel Gross feels it:

In decades past, increasing Republican dominance of the House and Senate would have meant more fiscal discipline. But Republicans increasingly dominate the states that are net drains on Federal taxes—the Southern and Great Plains states—while fading in the coastal states that produce a disproportionate share of federal revenue. (It's Republicans, not Democrats, who are sucking on the federal teat.) What Amity Shlaes quaintly identified in today's Financial Times as the "southern culture of tax cutting" has been married to the southern culture of failing to generate wealth and the southern culture of depending on federal largesse. The offspring is an unsightly deficit monster.
The joy of it being so far from the next election is that one can feel free to say what one means without undue worry about its electoral consequences. I wouldn't advise politicians to start talking like this, but for liberal journalists it's gonna be eighteen sweet months of elitist Dixie-bashing. Or at least it should be. See also Julian Sanchez. One of the silver linings in the dark cloud of Bushism is that I get to continue to agree about stuff with all my libertarian friends. Kerry's health plan might have put an end to all that.

November 4, 2004 | Permalink

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Matthew Yglesias takes a shot: The joy of it being so far from the next election is that one can feel free to say what one means without undue worry about its electoral consequences. I wouldn't advise politicians to start [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 4, 2004 8:18:32 PM

» That's riiiiiiiiiiiiight... from Nutbar
Daniel Gross per Matthew Yglesias: In decades past, increasing Republican dominance of the House and Senate would have meant more fiscal discipline. But Republicans increasingly dominate the states that are net drains on Federal taxes—the Southern an... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 5, 2004 1:29:02 AM

» Remember what Deep Throat said from City Comforts Blog
Anyone have facts on whether red states receive more Federal dollars that they contribute in taxes? There is a meme going around the blogosphere that the red states which so piously crow about their rugged individualism and morality are simultaneously ... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 6, 2004 1:04:43 AM

Comments

Just for the record, Georgia and Texas are two red states that produce more federal taxes than they consume.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough | Nov 4, 2004 5:09:28 PM

Atrios has the whole list broken out by who they went for in the election.

Posted by: Jeff I | Nov 4, 2004 5:12:54 PM

As a descendent of slave owners who fought in the Confederate Army and Union soldiers, let me just say that the USA - the real USA - would have been much better off to just let the whole bunch of backward, asshole rednecks leave the Union. And it would have been better if Texas had never joined.

These ignorant fucks were parasites on the rest of the country before the Civil War, and they have been ever since.

So, take me to task, or flame away, but I've been in the South, and the only non-assholes there are recent arrivals or people who had the good sense to leave and get educated before going back to try and change things. Count me in for the "Tax Fairness Act of 2005," and let's see how these pathetic losers manage without their whores in Washington sending them money all the time.

Posted by: stephen | Nov 4, 2004 5:15:08 PM

As a libertarian, the only thing I can really be happy about in this election is that I know have a rhetorical shooting gallery. As you said, 18 sweet months of elitisit Dixie-bashing. Anything that goes wrong is going to be placed squarely on the shoulders of Bush.

Posted by: Glenn Bridgman | Nov 4, 2004 5:17:27 PM

now, not know damnit.

I really need to get more sleep.

Posted by: Glenn Bridgman | Nov 4, 2004 5:20:27 PM

Let them eat Faith!

Posted by: andy g | Nov 4, 2004 5:21:19 PM

In as much as all that "federal largess" wasn't the Republicans' idea in the first place, I don't see what you've got to complain about. Just how hard ARE Republicans supposed to fight, when you insist on throwing money at them?

Now, you want to switch gears, and help the GOP get rid of all those wealth transfers, I say more power to you! Coming to your senses later is better than never doing it.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Nov 4, 2004 5:21:24 PM

A few thoughts.

1. There's no question that the Bush administration has been an absolute nightmare when it comes to fiscal policy. We can blame the fact that he was allowed to get away with this on Kerry and the Democrats for failing to articulate this in a way that would resonate, but honestly, much of it is probably due to intellectual sluggishness of voters. There's a reason that they were allowed to get away with passing tax cuts for the wealthy by disguising them as tax cuts for everyone else: they used basic math by averaging the numbers. Yet, people hear "tax cuts," and they scream with joy, even if that cut doesn't end up going to them. I don't believe that the American people are incredibly dumb, but I do think that if they actually sat down and thought some of these things through, Bush would be in big trouble.

2. I have no problem, outside of agriculutral subsidies, which are bad in so many ways, of giving money to poorer red states. That's the way the system will work. I do, however, have a problem of those states antagonizing the richer, blue states while also acting like a tax increase is the equivalent to the Dresden bombing.

3. If you want a good idea of where Bush wants to take us fiscally, read this piece from Daniel Altman. He used to be a professor of economics at Harvard and did work for The Economist and Thew New York Times, so he knows what he is talking about. That Slate piece is a primer on his book, Neoconomy, which is a description of what these people are trying to do. In a neoconservative economy, much is privatized and tax exempt, like Social Security. Medical insurance is controlled through the individual, not the third party way of insurance (although I don't think he discusses this that much). Basically, the only thing taxed is income or wages, not dividends, capital gains, corporations, or the estate.

Now, think for a minute. Hey, doesn't Bush want to privatize Social Security? Hey, doesn't Bush want Health Savings Accounts? Hey, didn't he propose guts in capital gains and so forth? Yes, yes he does. (He even mentioned the elimination of the third party in the second or third debates.)

(Full Disclosure: I haven't finished reading his book, but I have done enough outside reading to know that Altman's case is solid. And it's really amazing that few have managed to connect the dots like him. Paul Krugman and maybe a few from TAP have come close.)

4. I haven't a good idea if this sort of thing is possible unless it is done honestly. Nor do I have a good idea of whether it is going to cause the economy to crash if it is done dishonestly, like it is being done now. But even from people who would agree with many of the administration's goals, like Pete Peterson, the signs I am seeing are not encouraging.

5. Yes, they will try to blame Clinton. Gross is absolutely right about that.

6. It is nice, in a way, as Bill Maher has said, that Bush will finally have to clean up one of the messes that he's made. But in his mind, he might not be creating a mess.

7. Hopefully, if we do take back the White House in 2008, we won't be completely screwed from the outset.

Posted by: Brian | Nov 4, 2004 5:27:25 PM

Agree with libertarians? Come now.

These folks are at least partly to blame for Bush. After all, Bush is the personification of 99.9% of what libertarians claim to oppose--but when Bush waves a $300 tax cut in their direction, they swoon and fall into lockstep behind their man.

Frankly, if it weren't for this pseudo-cult, we'd probably be treated to the arresting sight of men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s dressing as 'goths,' in order to call attention to themselves.

Posted by: Jadegold | Nov 4, 2004 5:33:04 PM

I thought that taxing us for the common good was what democrats wanted to do? So, why is it not good to support the southern states / plains states for the US' common good. Or, do you not support Hillary Clinton.

Then again, I would challenge NY or the whole NE to produce enough food for themselves. If it wasn't for the hardworking farmers throughout the plains and south, your elitist piehole would be starving

Reality based?...spare me.

Posted by: Chris Ashbrook | Nov 4, 2004 5:35:12 PM

More of the typical left-wing hatred toward the poorer among us. I thought you folks LIKED spending money on the poor. Apparently you just hate them for taking all your money and then not loving you for spending it on them. Another reason why they vote for us.

Posted by: Al | Nov 4, 2004 5:38:34 PM

Clearly, those farmers being paid to not grow alfalfa are the ones putting food on my table (apologies to Joseph Heller)

Posted by: Goldberg | Nov 4, 2004 5:38:59 PM

The point, Al my trollious friend, is that they insist that we spend the money on the poor (and realistically, more not-so-poor than poor) _only_ in the red states (unless there's some way that urban voters can get farm subsidies that I'm aware of).

I swear to God, Republicans have literally no concept of hypocrisy. We'd have an easier time talking quantum mechanics.

Posted by: Walt Pohl | Nov 4, 2004 5:44:07 PM

Matt,

Why are Democrats so great in defeat? Your posts today have been surpassingly excellent. So have Josh Marshall's, TNR's, etc. At least this means four more years of good writing.

Posted by: Marshall | Nov 4, 2004 5:48:24 PM

Who actually are the poor?

It is not the government which enriches itself with entitlements It isn't the government that gives itself cost-of-living raises every year, takes off every made-up holiday possible.

It's not the food stamp user that buys Pepsi and snickers and drives a fancy car.

It's not the west coast elite that want all their social programs funded yet live in mansions and travel the world.

9 of the 10 richest members of the Senate are Democrats. I don't see them living like I do while they insist on me paying for there pet projects.

Posted by: Lance | Nov 4, 2004 5:53:17 PM

Suck it, Al.

Ag subsidies go in large measure to wealthy corporate farmers.

http://www.ewg.org/farm/

Posted by: praktike | Nov 4, 2004 5:55:49 PM

You puffed up Yankee Doodles are the reason that liberal is dirty word. You are as much of a stereotype as a Southern racist. You can't win elections because the rest of the country hates you. In fact, we lose races with viable candidates who become associated with you. It's a reliable slander for every Republican in the country. You are completely impotent on the national level. In four years you’ll be begging for a Southern candidate because you know it’s your only chance to win. You people are too narcissistic to realize that you are destroying the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Just Karl | Nov 4, 2004 6:02:58 PM

I have to say that I'm really looking forward to an eleven-digit national debt. It's an exciting time to be alive.

Posted by: Ramar | Nov 4, 2004 6:08:01 PM

I think I now feel about them the way they have felt about me for some time.

Posted by: Katherine | Nov 4, 2004 6:08:21 PM

By the way, it's worth noting that you liked Beinert's previous column, but apparently agreed neither with his advice to not bash evangelicals nor his point about economics and instead argued in favor of identity politics.

What's going on up there?

Posted by: praktike | Nov 4, 2004 6:08:46 PM

Hey praktike and Walt Pohl, if the statement was merely about farm subsidies, then it would mentioned farm subsidies. It wouldn't have mentioned the "southern culture". It's obviously meant to be an indictment of southerners in general, not of a few large farm companies.

It's just strange that ostensibly smart people like you can't seem to understand that southerners can pick up on when northern elitists look down their noses at them. But yet you keep making fun of how they say "nuke-u-lur" anyway. And then wonder why they don't vote for you.

Posted by: Al | Nov 4, 2004 6:15:15 PM

Interesting. I wasn't aware that I was running.

Posted by: praktike | Nov 4, 2004 6:18:43 PM

As someone from the South, I bristle at the knee-jerk Dixie bashing I often hear from my fellow liberals. But I actually think Daniel Gross is spot on in his diagnosis of the problem.

Posted by: Chris in Boston | Nov 4, 2004 6:32:52 PM

"It's just strange that ostensibly smart people like you can't seem to understand that southerners can pick up on when northern elitists look down their noses at them. But yet you keep making fun of how they say "nuke-u-lur" anyway. And then wonder why they don't vote for you."

I never thought I'd say this, but Al is right.

If we're going to get anywhere, we need to dump elitist class prejudice (see Max Sawicky on this one if you don't want to concede Al anything).

Posted by: Brad Reed | Nov 4, 2004 6:33:05 PM

Then again, I would challenge NY or the whole NE to produce enough food for themselves.

i challenge those hard working farmers to grow it without farm subsidies. and then i challenge them to come up with the tax money to build their own roads by which to deliver their food.

until then, STFU.

Posted by: cleek | Nov 4, 2004 6:33:51 PM

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