Their Hands Out

 

East Hampton

March 31, 2011

To the Editor,

Full of bull should be the conservative Republican motto for the next two years. Those who believe that their doo-doo doesn’t stink are immune to any realities that waffle in the putrid air that passes through their respirators. Dealing with deficit cretins who rave and rant about socialism has engendered a new game called smack a hypocrite. It’s for those politicians who deny that they live on the federal nipple yet benefit enormously from the federal government’s largess.

How it works: All of our federal tax dollars go into a pool and are distributed to those states that are most in need of support. The government collects about $2.5 trillion in taxes but the top seven states account for more than 50 percent of those revenues. So much of the country gets tax dollars contributed by the top 7 states. In fact, 34 states get more back than they actually contribute, some way more.

So take the examples of Jim Demint of South Carolina and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, both rabid deficit and no-tax conservatives who cry incessantly about how their tax dollars are spent. South Carolina gets $1.35 back for every dollar it pays in, and Kentucky gets $1.51. Independent Alaska gets $1.84, and good old Mississippi gets $2.02. Are they offering to give this money back? Mr. Demint and Mr. McConnell both deserve a serious tarring for their disingenuous bull.

State deficits in the light of inequitable, or even justifiable, federal distribution policies can be seen in a different light. New York, for example, pays about $245 billion (2007 figures) each year and gets back 79 cents for each dollar. So, we donate about $49 billion to the rest of the country, then we pay state taxes, city taxes, local taxes, and sales taxes to make up for the $49 billion we donate. Thirty-three states pay less in taxes than New York donates to pigs like Mr. McConnell and Mr. Demint, who trash us all the time. Sounds like we’re in Sweden, but without the meatballs.

California pays more than $315 billion and donates $65 billion to the rest of the country. Imagine having an extra $65 billion a year for the past 10 years. Between New York and California, we could wipe out the federal deficit in 10 years.

So part of the country gets screwed while another part lives off the fruits of the federal government. Why is it that all the deficit noise come from the states with their hands out? All the conservative Republicans are sucking on the federal nipple while they stick pins into its body. Where are the Tea Party heroes when it comes to battling for fairness in government spending? They’re happy to tax government workers by freezing their wages and cutting their benefits, but they aren’t willing to take the lips off the nipple that keeps them afloat.

NEIL HAUSIG