Nel's New Day

April 6, 2013

Red States, the ’47 Percent’ Moochers

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 1:41 PM
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The terms “red” and “blue” have become deeply entrenched in our nation’s political DNA throughout this century: President Obama was elected by blue states on the West Coast, in the Northeast, and the northern Midwest—and yes, New Mexico, while Romney lost despite the deep red states of the South and Plains areas. These are the states that dominate the House of Representatives and keep the country from making any progress. But these red states have other characteristics than just voting for the GOP.

Red state people think that they send too much of their money to the federal government; they want their taxes lowered. The blue states have a sense of responsibility to other citizens. Ironically, people in red states are really lucky that the blue states are there to send them money because most of them take more than they give

Which ten states send more to the federal government in taxes than they get in return? New Jersey, Nevada, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Illinois, Delaware, California, New York, and Colorado. These are all blue states except for Colorado, and that state seems to be evolving. Which states take more than they give? The ones in red—all really red states except for New Mexico and Florida.

Map 1 Red

Red states also have other negative attributes. The teen birth rate is way higher in red states, probably because their leadership pushes the idea that morality and abstinence-only education are contraceptives. The seven states with the highest rates do not require schools to teach contraception, and some states do not require sex education at all.

Divorce is also highest in red states although separation of couples is also high in the Northwest.

Map 4 red

The problem of obesity is primarily in the South, Midwest, and Plains areas.

Map 5 red

The highest rate of crime is largely across the Bible Belt of the red states.

People in red states are more likely to die in road crashes, and the least deadly states–those with the fewest crash deaths per 100,000 people—are overwhelmingly blue. Only red Alaska fit into the ten states with the fewest road deaths, but they have almost no roads compared to the rest of the United States.

Tom Elias pointed out other differences between red and blue states in the Santa Monica Mirror: adults holding college degrees.

  • Most blue states have the greatest number of people achieving college degrees with North Dakota one exception. Red states have the fewest, sometimes as little as 60 percent of those in the blue states.
  • • Red states tend to have a far higher percentage of persons abusing drugs, led by West Virginia with 25.8 persons out of every 100,000 dying of drug overdoses, Utah with 18.4 and Alaska with 18.1 in 2008.
  • • Red states are poorer, Mississippi the poorest with 22.4 percent of its populace below the federal poverty line, followed by Alabama and Kentucky (both 19 percent), Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee.

And gun violence is higher in red states.

More evidence of a severely divided nation exists, as Jonathan Cohn wrote:

“The borders of the United States contain two different forms of government, based on two different visions of the social contract. In blue America, state government costs more—and it spends more to ensure that everybody can pay for basic necessities such as food, housing, and health care. It invests more heavily in the long-term welfare of its population, with better-funded public schools, subsidized day care, and support for people with disabilities. In some cases, in fact, state lawmakers have decided that the social contract provided by the federal government is not generous enough. It was a blue state that first established universal health insurance and, today, it is a handful of blue states that offer paid family and medical leave.”

He contrasted this with the other states:

“In the red states, government is cheaper, which means the people who live there pay lower taxes. But they also get a lot less in return. The unemployment checks run out more quickly and the schools generally aren’t as good. Assistance with health care, child care, and housing is skimpier, if it exists at all. The result of this divergence is that one half of the country looks more and more like Scandinavia, while the other increasingly resembles a social Darwinist’s paradise.”

In his New Republic essay, Cohn explained that John Winthrop, an early governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 400 years ago, told his fellow Puritans (the first settlers of the United States), that the common good must supersede self-interest. As Samuel Adams wrote regarding the new country of the United States, “A Citizen owes everything to the Commonwealth.” Out of this came the first public schools, libraries, and firefighters as well as assistance help for the needy.

Catholic values of the European immigrants who came centuries later promoted the Progressive era reforms and the New Deal—minimum wage, Social Security, labor laws, etc.

Slower to industrialize, the South failed to help people in poverty, keeping the class divisions of the society of their previous European experience. In prerevolutionary Virginia, for example, public spending and taxes were half that in Massachusetts. Appalachia spent even less than Virginia. After the Civil War, Southern whites were opposed to helping former slaves; because of the Southern politicians, Social Security originally omitted agriculture and domestic workers from benefits. By shrinking the government and what they see as its welfare state, the South could exempt assistance for the people who they perceive as undeserving.

According to Cohn, people who live in the blue states are healthier, wealthier, and generally better off than people in the red states.

  • The four states with the highest poverty rates are all red: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas. (The fifth is New Mexico, which has turned blue.) The five states with the lowest poverty rates are all blue: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Minnesota, and Hawaii.
  • The numbers on infant mortality, life expectancy, teen pregnancy, and obesity break down in the same way with red states, the worst and blue states, the best.
  • In high school preparation for careers in math and science, Massachusetts is best, followed closely by Minnesota and New Jersey. Mississippi is worst, along with Louisiana and West Virginia.

Blue states have a better economy. Red states tend to have lower taxes, something that they want to incorporate across the nation. Yet a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that so-called “high tax states” have experienced more economic growth per capita and less decline in their median income level over the last ten years than the nine states that do not tax income.

The great concern among blue states should be that the red states want to infiltrate the entire United States with their Third World mentality. Blue state residents could tolerate the moochers of the red states if they would leave the rulings in the blue states alone. But red states are not content to do this. They use lofty principles in opposing federal programs: they are “standing up for liberty”—the same way they claim to have done this before the Civil War and before the Civil Rights Movement. Their liberty is the desire to force entire classes of people to follow their narrow morality while letting them suffer, at the same time driving the country into economic disaster.

It’s the blue states (and blue counties in the red states) working to keep the dream of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” described by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, that can continue to move the United States toward success.

September 28, 2012

More Bad News for Romney

Every few weeks, I have an acupuncture appointment and talk politics with my acupuncturist. Usually I know most of his news, but yesterday’s item was something I hadn’t read. Lo and behold, I got home to read an article from Alternet that supported what he said. So here are a few more pieces describing how Romney is losing more support.

Wall Street may be like the canary in the mine,  that dies first when oxygen gets too low. Now Politico reports that Romney may no longer be receiving their donations.  According to a chief executive of one of the largest companies in the country, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “It looks right now like it’s probably going to be Obama, so you have to start planning for that, even if it’s not what you would prefer.”  

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems and a strong Romney supporter, said whoever wins should govern like Bill Clinton. “There’s a lot to learn from President Clinton. It kills me as a strong Republican saying it, but he was the most effective president during my lifetime.”

Whenever Romney opens his mouth, he alienates voters. The 47-percent debacle reference to “those people” is not an isolated situation. In his ad to recover from this gaffe, he said, “President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families. The difference is my policies will make things better for them.” Poor and middle-class families are “them”; clearly Romney draws a distinction between “them” and “us.” 

Romney is so desperate that he’s being positive about RomneyCare, the father of ObamaCare. For years Romney dodged any relationship with the Massachusetts health care act very similar to the Affordable Care Act passed for the entire country. Throughout all the primary debates, he denied the value of this program.  He just kept saying that he would repeal ObamaCare on Day One of his administration. He doesn’t say that any more.

Another serious problem that Romney has recently displayed is his complete failure in leadership. When a crowd repeatedly chanted “Ry-an,” he stopped and corrected them to shout “Romney, Ryan.” He could have just praised himself for making such a great pick, but that’s not Romney’s style. Shown a clip of this on his MSNBC show, right-wing Joe Scarborough could only say, “Oh sweet Jesus!”

Even when Romney’s ideas are shown to be horrible, he doesn’t back down from them. Although his tax plan has very few supporters and a Tax Policy Center study describes it as “not mathematically possible,” he goes full steam ahead with it. The conservative economist Martin Feldstein found that taxes would need to be raised on incomes between $100,000 and $250,000 in order to pay for his rate cuts, but Romney keeps claiming that he won’t raise taxes for this income group.

Romney has always claimed that he is such a fine businessman that he would make a superb president, frequently using the company Staples as an example of his business acumen. Now that company, purchased by Bain Capital while Romney was active with the company, is closing 60 stores, 15 of them in this country. The chain also expects another 30 store closings in fiscal 2012 with another 30 stores scaled down and others relocated. When Staples moved into my small town of about 10,000, it forced the closing of at least two stores in town, small family businesses that had been flourishing here for decades. That’s one result of Romney’s business.

Even Romney’s own campaign has started to explain why their man will likely lose the presidential candidate debate on October 3. Senior adviser Beth Myers sent a memo to GOP surrogates, warning them of this possibility. Following are the reasons that the Romney campaign thinks that President Obama will win the debate, well-laced by criticisms of the president’s policies:

“Voters already believe—by a 25-point margin—that President Obama is likely to do a better job in these debates. Given President Obama’s natural gifts and extensive seasoning under the bright lights of the debate stage, this is unsurprising. President Obama is a uniquely gifted speaker, and is widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history. This will be the eighth one-on-one presidential debate of his political career. For Mitt Romney, it will be his first.

“Four years ago, Barack Obama faced John McCain on the debate stage. According to Gallup, voters judged him the winner of each debate by double-digit margins, and their polling showed he won one debate by an astounding 33-point margin. In the 2008 primary, he faced Hillary Clinton, another formidable opponent—debating her one-on-one numerous times and coming out ahead. The takeaway? Not only has President Obama gained valuable experience in these debates, he also won them comfortably.

“This election will not be decided by the debates, however. It will be decided by the American people.”

How low can conservatives get? Every day brings another revelation. A film made from Dinesh D’Souza’s best-selling book Obama’s America accuses President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, of neglecting her son so she could sleep around Indonesia and paints her as a sexual predator. The book and film shows Dunham of pretending to be amazed that she supposedly got it on so often despite being a heavy woman. Thus the libel continues.

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