Friday, January 30, 2004

Welfare Patriots 

Givers and Takers


78 percent of Mr. Bush's electoral votes came from Taker states.

76 percent of Mr. Gore's electoral votes came from Giver states.

Of the 33 Taker states, Mr. Bush carried 25.

Of the 16 Giver states, Mr. Gore carried 12.

Juxtaposing these maps provides a new perspective on the political landscape. (Interactive moment: Color in the blue and red states — then you'll get the full picture.) Republicans seem to have become the new welfare party — their constituents live off tax dollars paid by people who vote Democratic. Of course, not all federal spending is wasteful. But Republicans are having their pork and eating it too. Voters in red states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are some of the country's fiercest critics of government, yet they're also among the biggest recipients of federal largess. Meanwhile, Democratic voters in the coastal blue states — the ones who are often portrayed as shiftless moochers — are left to carry the load.

For President Bush, this invisible income redistribution system is a boon. He can encourage his supporters to see themselves as Givers, yet reward them with federal spending in excess of their contribution — and send the bill to those who voted for his opponent. It's shrewd politics.
Full story.


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