Saturday, June 03, 2006

New data shows "tax and spend" Repubs screw blue staters

Enough of the meme of how Democrats are the ones that just "tax and spend".  Since 2000, Dear Leader and the Neocon war criminals have predominantly decreased taxes on their corporate crony friends and ultra wealthy "base" at the expense not only of pretty much all social programs, but also (in one way or another) at the tax expense of We the People.


I'll keep this relatively "tax free" so I don't put you to sleep, and try to make it fairly easy to follow by keeping it high level and more of a "total dollars paid" comparison instead of talking about any specific taxes.  What I want to point out is that on the federal, state and local levels, those who live in the "blue states" (and we'll just define that based on the "official" 2004 election results) are getting the royal shaft from a tax perspective.  And the ones that are, by and large, doing the shafting, are Republican.


And now, there is new data just released that confirms how a disproportionate amount of federal, state and local taxes fall on the "blue state" residents.
Not to get too into detail with all of the things that have been done by the Republican Congress to increase the tax burden of everyone who isn't their them and their buddies (much of which I have previously written about and isn't the purpose of this diary), but I'll just list a few:  AMT screwing more and more of the middle class, cuts to tax credits available to US employees who are shipped overseas by their employer, increased taxes on students with college savings funds, estate tax "reform" which only effects the insanely wealthy, cuts in capital gains tax rates which mainly benefit the ultra wealthy, increasing fees for veteran's medical and drug services come to mind (more here if you are interested.)


Background


As a starting point, the Bush/Republican Congress tax cuts and budgets have grossly redistributed this country's wealth.  By this, I don't just mean tax increases or cuts, but also the cuts in various spending programs (including unfounded mandates like NCLB) which have impacted the various states since there is less money for such programs.  Add to that this little piece of data, titled Federal Spending in Each State Per Dollar of Federal Taxes.  If you check the chart, 26 of the 32 states that got back more than $1 for every $1 it sent to the Federal government (and 25 of the top 30) all were "red states" in the 2004 election.  Nine of the bottom 10 are "blue".


New Corroborating Information Released This Week


The above information has been out there for a while and has been a source of much discussion already so I won't continue that now.  But new Census data released this week shows the impact on taxpayers in the traditionally Democratic states.  The Census data shows the amount of state and local taxes paid in 2004, by state.  To make it a fairer comparison, it is sorted on a "per capita" basis.


What the new information shows is that 9 of the top 10, 11 out of the top 15 and 15 out of the top 20 states whose residents pay the most state and local tax are "blue states".  


OK, So What...


So far, all that really shows is that the taxpayers in the "blue" states pay more state and local taxes than their "red state" counterparts.  But keep in mind that "blue state" residents already generally give much more of their tax dollars to the Federal government than they get back in services (and vice versa for the "red staters").  So, right off the bat, the "blue state" residents are shortchanged.


Take into account the funding for many programs (not to mention the Homeland Security dollars) in the tax cuts and other bills that were passed by the Republican Congress and signed by the Republican president.  Those programs, at least the ones that aren't cut, have to be paid for somehow.  Sometimes it is paid for by taking on more debt (as many states have to do).  Sometimes it is paid for with tax increases, or just by diverting more of the tax dollar.


All that being said, it's pretty safe to say that the tax policies of the Republicans on a Federal level are screwing the "blue state" citizens.  And the citizens of the "blue states" are paying the largest share of state and local taxes (per capita).  And those same citizens live in states where they get less back from the Federal government than they are sending.  Which leads to many of these states increasing the taxes on their residents.


So, bringing this down to the state level - in those "blue states", guess how many of the top 15 have Republican governors.  Yup, 11 out of the 15.  So in order to pay for these necessary programs and services whose funding was cut by the Republicans in Congress and in the White House, the same Republicans on a state level are signing off on or pushing through large tax burdens on their "blue state" residents.


One thing to point out so as to not lay 100% of the blame on the "screw the blue states" Republicans - even though more of the state legislatures were Republican controlled in 2004, eight of the top 14 taxed states have Democratic controlled state legislatures (3 are basically split and 3 more are Republican controlled).


Conclusion


If you made it this far, thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed it, or at least found it to be a bit interesting.  What this really shows me is how on every level of government there are Republicans whose selfish (and probably in Bush's case spiteful) policies are increasing the tax burden on those who live in the "blue states".  This is in addition to the policies which are lining the pockets of their cronies and uber wealthy buddies at the tax expense of most other Americans in one way or another.


This is something to keep in mind for all of the upcoming elections.  Especially in the "blue states" which have Republicans calling the shots.

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