December 1, 2009
Republicans Benefit More from Fiscal Redistribution than Democrats
By CATHERINE RAMPELL
The New York Times
Republicans may “market themselves as the party of fiscal restraint,” but states that vote Republican benefit from federal government redistribution far more than those that lean Democratic. This has been true since about 1992, the tail end of George H.W. Bush’s presidency.
So argues Gary Richardson of the University of California, Irvine, in the most recent issue of The Economist’s Voice. An excerpt:
In 2004, the average Alaskan received $1.84 in federal benefits for each $1.00 he or she paid in federal taxes. The Republican presidential candidate, George W. Bush, received 62 percent of the vote.
Now consider the state of Massachusetts. In 2004, the average resident received only $0.82 in federal benefits for each $1 paid in federal taxes. Yet less than 38 percent of all voters pulled the lever marked George W. Bush. And this was not an effect of John Kerry’s candidacy in particular. Four years before, when his opponent was Al Gore, Bush received only 33 percent of the vote.
The pattern holds true across all fifty states: In 2004, the 28 states in which George W. Bush received more than 50 percent of the vote received an average of $1.32 in federal benefits for each $1 their citizens paid in federal taxes. In contrast, the 19 states in which George W. Bush received less than 50 percent of the vote received an average of $0.93 on the dollar.