Bashing the Blues

The Massachusetts State House. The Bay State and Connecticut are two of the richest states.

The Massachusetts State House. The Bay State and Connecticut are two of the richest states.

From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Trump is trying to punish Blue States.  After all, he’s never made much of an effort to suggest that he’s president of all the people. Almost all of his big speeches are before screaming hordes of  cultists/wishful thinkers (suckers) at MAGA rallies, with opiate- and amphetamine-rich West Virginia a favorite venue. There, many folks have long since stopped reading in favor getting their “news’’ from another New York crook, Sean Hannity.

Paula Dwyer, writing for Bloomberg Business Week, did a nice review of this the other day in “Trump’s War Against Blue States’’.

Among her observations about a few of our mobster-in-chief’s anti-Blue State policies, let’s just concentrate on GOP tax “reform.’’

“His tax overhaul has capped at $10,000 the federal income tax deduction that a homeowner can claim for payment of state and local taxes, affecting taxpayers especially severely in the Northeast and California,’’ which have higher taxes because they  generally have, to varying degrees,  better and more humane public services than the Red States and because the people in Blue States are bigger wealth creators. Because of the nature of the economies in the aforementioned Blue States, even middle-class taxpayers can reach the $10,000 cap fairly easily.

Red State Republican members of Congress  complain that letting Blue State folks deduct their higher state and local taxes results in Red States subsidizing the Blue ones.

In fact, it’s always been the opposite. As Ms. Dwyer notes, and as I said here before, Red States generally have low state and local taxes (except some have high sales taxes, which are regressive) because most have thin public services and generally rely much more than do Blue States on federal money. Consider that in the heart of Trump Country – Mississippi – the state gets about 40 percent of its operating money from the Feds, with much of it coming from the big federal taxes paid by Blue State folks.

Eight of the 10 biggest winner states in getting more money from the Feds than they pay are Red States, seven of the 10 biggest losers are Blue States, notably including the vast sums from New York and New Jersey. (Massachusetts was 13th biggest loser but poor little Rhode Island was 18th in the states that get more from the Feds than they pay – because of poverty and, more happily, the big Navy-related facilities.) The figures are of course affected by poverty levels, and Red States do less to help the poor than do Blue States, thus necessitating more federal help to make up some of the differences. The presence and absence  of military bases  (e.g., Naval War College) and federal contracts also play a big role.

I have long thought that Trump  especially wants to stick it to New York because he knows how detested he is there.

To read Ms. Dwyer’s article, please hit this link.