Bride of the New Liberal Federalism

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The meme rolls on; this time the New York Times Magazine has caught it.

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  1. Holt gives a “Neener-Neener-Neener” because he thinks Bush didn’t intend his tax cuts to help the Left. He just doesn’t get it, does he?

    Those who benefit the most from the cuts are the rich, because (surprise surprise) they pay much more in taxes, and (surprise surprise) they live in high rent Blue states (New York, CA). Holt has no clue that we are not jealous of the rich, no matter what their affiliation.

    Aside from that, the article reads like an elementary primer for “States’ Rights” for the Left. It’s a shame that liberals did not notice the Constitution prior to the Patriot Act.

  2. The minority party reverses it’s long standing opposition, cemented over decades of majority status. Meanwhile, upon finding themselves in the majority the other party betrays a principal that formed the foundation of their assent to power.

    gee

  3. “Those who benefit the most from the cuts are the rich, because (surprise surprise) they pay much more in taxes, and (surprise surprise) they live in high rent Blue states (New York, CA). Holt has no clue that we are not jealous of the rich, no matter what their affiliation.”

    Just becuase a lot of the rich live in the “blue” states doesn’t mean that most of the rich are voting “blue”. A lot of the lefty talking heads are trying to claim all those folks as being in their camp but they’ve never proven it to be so.

  4. I actually saw some stats on this over the weekend. Apparently the wealthy (i.e. net worth $1-$10 mil) voted for Bush by a large margin, whereas the extremely wealthy (net worth above $10 mil) voted overwhelmingly for Kerry. Not sure how to read that; maybe the former group comprises people who still see themselves as in the process of “making it” (or who’ve recently “made it”) while a big chunk of the latter group start feeling guilty about their incredible wealth, or at any rate, realize they’ll still be incredibly wealthy under higher tax rates.

  5. Those who benefit the most from the cuts are the rich, because (surprise surprise) they pay much more in taxes, and (surprise surprise) they live in high rent Blue states (New York, CA).

    According to the CNN exit polls:

    Bush beat Kerry, among voters earning $200,000 a year or more, by 8 points in Massachusetts, 15 points in New York, 29 points in California, and 56 points in Pennsylvania.

  6. Julian-

    It’s also possible that the ultra-wealthy like regulation because it makes it harder for new competitors to emerge. I’ve also heard leftists, of all people, argue that public benefits like Medicaid and food stamps are a form of corporate welfare because they relieve some of the pressure for employers to offer better wages and benefits.

    Of course, those same leftists go on to argue for more of this “corporate welfare” coupled with higher corporate taxes. Clearly they don’t appreciate just how much the system is rigged in favor of the plutocrats, and how many loopholes are currently built into the tax code. If they really did, they’d become left-libertarians and advocate scrapping the whole corrupt system (including the welfare state, corporate welfare, and messy tax code) in favor of something much simpler and smaller.

  7. From another debate on another site:

    Top 30 counties in terms of median income and how they voted (Median gives a better sense of true high-income counties)

    1. Somerset, NJ => BUSH (52-47)
    2. Howard, MD => KERRY (54-45)
    3. Prince William, VA => BUSH (53-47)
    4. Morris, NJ => BUSH (58-41)
    5. Fairfax, VA => KERRY (53-47)
    6. Nassau, NY => KERRY (52-47)
    7. Santa Clara, CA => KERRY (64-35)
    8. Montgomery, MD => KERRY (66-33)
    9. Rockland, NY => BUSH (50-49)
    10. Collin, TX => BUSH (71-28) [TOP 10 count: tied 5-5]
    11. McHenry, IL => BUSH (60-39)
    12. Suffolk, NY => KERRY (49-49)
    13. Fairfield, CT => KERRY (cannot find an actual margin, as the only tables I can find are broken down by town)
    14. Fort Bend, TX => BUSH (58-42)
    15. Contra Costa, CA => KERRY (62-37)
    16. Lake, IL => BUSH (51-49)
    17. San Mateo, CA => KERRY (70-30)
    18. Anne Arundel, MD => BUSH (56-43)
    19. Monmouth, NJ => BUSH (55-44)
    20. Norfolk, MA => KERRY (no margin, cf. Fairfield, CT above) [TOP 20 count: 10-10]
    21. DuPage, IL => BUSH (54-45)
    22. Bergen, NJ => KERRY (52-48)
    23. Dakota, MN => BUSH (51-49)
    24. Westchester, NY => KERRY (58-41)
    25. Rockingham, NH => BUSH (no margin, cf. other New England counties; from coloration, does not look out of line with the national average)
    26. Chester, PA => BUSH (52-48)
    27. Middlesex, MA => KERRY (New England county)
    28. Placer, CA => BUSH (63-37)
    29. Will, IL => BUSH (52-47)
    30. Waukesha, WI => BUSH (67-32)

    Tally: 17 Bush, 13 Kerry

    Four of Bush’s wins (not counting Rockingham) were by 2-4 points, ie not out of line with the national popular vote. If anything this indicates that high income individuals were probably slightly more likely to vote for Kerry than for Bush (especially when you consider that the large counties out of those 30 are strongest for Kerry).

  8. “It’s also possible that the ultra-wealthy like regulation because it makes it harder for new competitors to emerge. ”

    I think there’s something to that Thoreau.

    The current system of graduated tax rates and high regulation of busienss mostly serve as a barrier to getting rich – not having an impact on those already super rich.

    The super rich have already got theirs and I think some of them don’t want anybody else to join that club.

    The super rich will always have enough to maintain their lavish lifestyles no matter what. Higher tax rates won’t keep them from buying luxury goods, multiple mansions and jet setting around the world. It’s the upper middle class that is kept from doing what they want by such policies.

    They can also win accolades and approval from the liberal talkig heads, lefty academics and big govt politicians by advocating higher taxes on the “rich” – it’s painless for them and a big ego boost.

    I had those thoughts when I saw Bill Gates father being interview on TV one time advocating to retain the estate tax. Easy for him to say. He knows he’s got it made no matter what.

  9. One of the most striking differences among states is in their levels of wealth. Liberals tend to live in more economically productive states than conservatives. The top five states in per capita personal income (Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York) all went to Kerry; the bottom five (Utah, New Mexico, West Virginia, Arkansas and Mississippi) all went to Bush.

    This seems like an attempt at deception. Why not cite the per capita personal income of all the red and blue states?

    Also, it can’t even be inferred from the disparity in per-capita personal income that those blue states are economically more productive on a per capita basis than those red states.

    If the disparity counts the income of those who don’t work, it must be taken into account that the governments of the red states pay people who don’t work far more. This includes welfare payments and also the pensions for retired government workers. Also, there is far more government employment in those red states. Much government employment can hardly be considered “economically productive” in any meaningful way.

  10. Rick-

    I’ve given a lot of thought to the apparently paradoxical relationships between per capita taxes paid, government spending, and votes in the red and blue states. There’s an interesting study (with admittedly outdated 2000 data) showing that on average (with all due statistical caveats and qualifiers) the higher Bush’s margin of victory in a state in 2000 (measured in percentages rather than total votes, to account for varying populations) the higher the per capita federal spending minus per capita federal taxes paid. (All things done in per capita terms to allow for differences in population.)

    I’ve contacted the author of that paper and he said that he’s putting together a new version updated with the 2004 data on votes, taxes, and spending.

    Now, much has been made of these figures. I’ve discussed these things on this forum before and been subject to all sorts of disbelief and questions. And I realize that some of the spending in the red states is hardly welcome (e.g. some people in the Rocky Mountains are less than thrilled with the presence of national parks). Also, before anybody asks, the correlations become even stronger when you remove defense spending from the equation. That actually makes sense: Most defense spending will go to coastal areas (Navy) and big cities (high tech firms). Sure, the bases are usually in rural areas, but the gear frequently comes from high tech firms in urban areas.

    Anyway, the best explanation I can come up with is that most large cities are in the blue states (with all exceptions duly noted, so that Rick and fyodor and other Denver residents don’t jump all over me). Big cities, being centers of commerce and industry, will inevitably contribute more in taxes than rural areas. However, big cities are also (for whatever reason you care to name) predominantly left-leaning.

    So if per capita spending is actually uncorrelated with voting behavior but per capita taxes are correlated with urbanization, then this imbalance will be inevitable. Indeed, even if per capita spending is somewhat higher in urban areas, as long as the imbalance isn’t as large as the tax imbalance the pattern will persist.

    So, the real question is how per capita spendign correlates with voting patterns. I don’t know what the answer is, since I haven’t examined those numbers. I wouldn’t be shocked if the conventional wisdom is right and the blue states get more per capita spending. Then again, I also wouldn’t be surprised if the opposite turned out to be true and the red states were the sponges. I think either hypothesis is plausible.

  11. “I had those thoughts when I saw Bill Gates father being interview on TV one time advocating to retain the estate tax.”

    Bill Gates’ father is an attorney spcializing in creating trusts. He has a vested interest in retaining the estate tax. I heard him interviewed on NPR re the estate tax. They did not run any kind of disclaimer regarding this.

    All kinds of observers from Adam Smith to Ayn Rand to Milton Friedman to Thomas Sowell have pointed out the fact that that the ultra rich have an interest in big government.

    An old joke held that the old Rockefeller republicans wanted a national health plan so they wouldn’t have to worry about catching dread diseases from the help.

  12. thoreau:

    “Anyway, the best explanation I can come up with is that most large cities are in the blue states “

    Did the study deal with blue states or just states where Bush had a:

    “…margin of victory in…2000”

    I was thinking that if only the latter, then perhaps military bases could indeed, at least partially, explain the relationship because in military bases you have a lot of more modestly paid, thus lower “per capita federal taxes paid” enlisted personnel who tend to vote for Bush.

  13. …This, of course, assumes that we taking all states into account when…“the correlations become even stronger when you remove defense spending from the equation.”

  14. “…are taking…”

    Sorry about that.

    There is no reason to fear the preview button
    There is no reason to fear the preview button
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    There is no reason to fear the preview button…

  15. “…are taking…”

    Sorry about that.

    There is no reason to fear the preview button
    There is no reason to fear the preview button
    There is no reason to fear the preview button
    There is no reason to fear the preview button…

  16. Damn it! So then I double post! AHHhhh…

  17. Rick-

    The study looked at all 50 states. In states where Bush lost they used a negative margin of victory in the correlations. “Negative margin of victory” may sound like spin-doctoring, but mathematically it’s just a measure of how poorly Bush did, and a positive margin is a measure of how well he did.

  18. thoreau,

    OK, well that shoots that hypothesis of mine then.
    It’s an interesting question. Are you saying that maybe ,“the blue states get more per capita spending.”, but that it is offset by the higher taxes that they pay? Because, that is the only dynamic that would be consistent with the findings of the study. Right? Or are you saying that the study is in error?

  19. ” …saying that the study might be in error”

  20. So, are we finally coming around to my point of view that the Civil War was a bigger mistake than the Dred Scott decision?

    sic semper tyrannis!

    I’m watching from UP here… me and John Brown.

  21. “I actually saw some stats on this over the weekend. Apparently the wealthy (i.e. net worth $1-$10 mil) voted for Bush by a large margin, whereas the extremely wealthy (net worth above $10 mil) voted overwhelmingly for Kerry.”

    That’s because the ultra-wealthy are able to exploit loopholes and shelters within the tax code that leave them handing over only a minimal percentage of their annual income to Uncle Sam. And they realize that Kerry was no more likely to change this than Bush – and perhaps less so, in the off chance that Bush is serious about moving to a flat tax or national sales tax.

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