HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » Red States Outpace Blue S...

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 04:04 PM

Red States Outpace Blue States in Income Growth — Thanks to Food Stamps

(emphasis my own)

So a new story in USA Today , looking at the changes in income, state by state, since the beginning of the Great Recession, of course breaks down the results into “red,” “blue” and “swing” states. It declares that red states have seen incomes grow 4.6 percent since 2007, adjusted for inflation, while blue states have only seen incomes grow 0.5 percent. In swing states? A little more than the blue states, about 1.4 percent.

But here's the kicker: that income growth in those red states? It comes, at least in the South, in large part to government benefits payments, like the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. You know, the ones that Republicans like Newt Gingrich attempt to use as a club to beat Obama and Democrats with. They go mainly to people living under or close to the poverty line, which means that income growth thanks to public benefits is the government making life more bearable for those hit hardest by the recession, not exactly economic growth caused by the “low taxes and business-friendly regulation” that the right-wing ALEC representative the article quotes claims. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, “The record-setting SNAP participation levels are consistent with the extraordinarily deep and prolonged nature of the recession and the weak, lagging recovery.”

What does this actually tell us? Despite USA Today's attempts to make this data into another partisan political weapon, not much about the election. But mainstream political journalists like NBC's Chuck Todd fell for it anyway; Todd asked “Is this a stat Romney can work into his stump or too confusing?”

The answer, of course, is “No,” because it's not really a stat. A closer look at the map shows that the similarities have less to do with “red” and “blue” than with regions, energy production, and already-existing affluence. North Dakota might have had 30 percent income growth, due, as the article notes, to an oil boom, but its residents still make less than those in Connecticut, even if Connecticut's seen incomes drop almost 2 percent. Meanwhile, deep red Idaho also had a 1 percent income drop, and swing state Nevada saw incomes plunge a full 10 percent. Ultra-blue Massachusetts, Maryland, and Vermont all had higher income growth than most of the deep south, and Washington, D.C.'s incomes are up 13 percent.

2 replies, 2121 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply Red States Outpace Blue States in Income Growth — Thanks to Food Stamps (Original post)
Bill USA Sep 2012 OP
RegieRocker Sep 2012 #1
progree Sep 2012 #2

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 04:27 PM

1. Oh please.


Red states rely on blue states to support them via federal money.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 01:02 AM

2. Two stories of how red states are mired in a culture of dependency on blue states

[font color=blue]STORY #1 - Red states take more tax dollars than blue states[/font]

Excerpts from: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-08-18/politics/30039546_1_blue-states-federal-taxes-red-states

Take a look at the difference between federal spending on any given state and the federal taxes received from that state. We measure the difference as a dollar amount: Federal Spending per Dollar of Federal Taxes. A figure of $1.00 means that particular state received as much as it paid in to the federal government. Anything over a dollar means the state received more than it paid; anything less than $1.00 means the state paid more in taxes than it received in services. The higher the figure, the more a given state is a welfare queen.

Of the twenty worst states, 16 are either Republican dominated or conservative states. Let's go through the top twenty.

New Mexico: $2.03
Mississippi: $2.02
Alaska: $1.84
Louisiana: $1.78
West Virginia: $1.76
North Dakota: $1.68
Alabama: $1.66
South Dakota: $1.53
Kentucky: $1.51
Virginia: $1.51
Montana: $1.47
Hawaii: $1.44
Maine: $1.41
Arkansas: $1.41
Oklahoma: $1.36
South Carolina: $1.35
Missouri: $1.32
Maryland: $1.30
Tennessee: $1.27
Idaho: $1.21

[font color=blue]STORY #2: 20 of the 22 states with the highest proportion of the 47% (non-federal-income-tax-payers) are Republican states based on the 2004 presidential election[/font]

Non-federal-income-tax-payers are also known as the "47 percenters", after Romney's infamous answer to wealthy donors about the 47% who paid no taxes (actually, Mitt, who paid no federal INCOME taxes -- they pay a whole bunch of other taxes).

#1 thru #10 - see red-colored states on map

In the below, "Repub" means Republican-voting in the 2004 presidential election (Bush v. Kerry), and "Dem" means Democratic-voting in that election. I wanted to use "red" and "blue" terminology, but that conflicts with the colors on the map.

#11 thru #15: Tennessee, N. Carolina, Utah, Arizona, Kentucky

All Repub states, generally speaking. Utah #13. Idaho #10, LOL - the only top-ten state in the geographic north -- I used to live there.

#16 - California (sigh, that's Dem.), #17-Oklahoma, #18-Montana, #19-Indiana #20-Michigan (Dem), #21-Missouri #22-W.Virginia #23-New York (Dem)

Anyway, of the top 22, only California (#16) and Michigan (#20) are Dem states based on the 2004 presidential election. (And likewise in the 2000 presidential election except that New Mexico (#4) was Dem in 2000 and Repub in 2004).

(In 2008, of the top 22, Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, New Mexico went "Dem", i.e. for Obama, while California and Michigan stayed Dem for a total of 6 Dem states by this definition)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread