Here is an issue I’ve known about for years. The mapping of the data really gets me thinking, despite my have thought about it many times before.
So, what does this map show? It’s how much states receive in federal funding in ratio to how much they give in federal taxes. This isn’t new data, but the paper it is based on is a new assessment of the data.
I don’t want to write a long piece about this. It just is mind-blowing the difference between rhetoric and reality. States that preach small government and low taxes manage to implement such policies by being subsidized by the other states.
Many things could be said about this. One can point out the divide between blue and red states. Or one could point out the divide, in the Eastern half of the country, between the historical Civil War boundary, especially the stark contrast seen with the South. But I just don’t know. There are all kinds of factors to be considered.
I look at this map and it makes me wonder about what it means. It throws a wrench into the entire works of the mainstream frame of big versus small government. A deeper discussion about the data would be worthwhile, I’m sure. And, for damn sure, I’d like to see more and better public debate about it all across the media.