By any measure, Mississippi has been on the government teat longer and more fully than the kid on that creepy Time magazine cover about attachment parenting. According to the Tax Foundation, Mississippi has never been lower than fourth in the amount of federal taxes paid vs. the amount of federal money received. In 2005, Mississippi received a jaw-dropping $2.02 in federal money for every $1 of taxes its residents sent to Washington.
By 2010, that had jacked up further still to $2.47. That same year, the Tax Foundation calculates that fully 49 percent of Mississippi's state general revenue comes from federal taxpayers who will never step foot in Morgan Freeman's and William Faulkner's beloved stamping grounds.
That's from my latest Daily Beast column, which denounces the scourge of what I call red-state socialism, "the process by which supposedly conservative states—typically filled with politicians and voters who rail against welfarism in all its manifestations—are gifted massive subsidies courtesy of mostly blue-state voters."
It's not just Mississippi, of course….In 2010, states overall received $1.29 in federal gravy for every dollar residents kicked toward D.C. (such a persistent mismatch between money in and money out exemplifies what I've called Groupon Government and explains massive and mounting debt and deficits). Besides Mississippi, other notable red-state freeloaders included Alabama ($2.03), Alaska ($1.93), and South Carolina ($1.92). "Republican states, on average, received $1.46 in federal spending for every tax dollar paid," writes Dave Gilson. "Democratic states, on average, received $1.16." Shame on both sides for bilking the system—and props to places as generous and different as Delaware (which received just 38 cents per dollar paid), New York (72 cents), California (87 cents), Texas (85 cents), and Massachusetts (83 cents).
Few individuals embody the GOP's phony commitment to limited government and spending restraint better than Sen. Thad Cochran, who earlier this beat back a primary challenge from Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel. Yes, he was in favor of all of Bush's wars, NSA surveillance of citizens, The Patriot Act. Yes, he fought hard to keep earmarking alive because he was an unapologetic supporter of pork spending when directed to his special interests.
As the Tea Party group FreedomWorks has documented, Cochran voted in favor of Medicare Part D, the Bush-era abomination that gave free and reduced-price prescription drugs to seniors (without creating any revenue to pay for such largess!). He pulled the lever on the expensive and ineffective federal boondoggle known as No Child Left Behind, which accomplished nothing except for more federal bureaucracy in K-12 education. He's voted against balanced budget plans put forth by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and others. Cochran loves farm subsidies and high sugar tariffs.
The GOP is so far in the crapper with voters (just 25 percent of whom cop to affiliating with the Party of Lincoln), it may not be able to salvage itself. Certainly if it doesn't kick red-state socialists such as Cochran to the curb, it's got no hope whatsoever.