Don’t know how we missed this yesterday:
Facing a huge budget deficit when he took office in January, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano did not impose a hiring freeze. He did not stop borrowing to subsidize some of the richest school districts in the country. He did not eliminate the Police Department’s beloved mounted unit.
Instead, Mr. Mangano, a Republican who won one of the first upsets of the Tea Party era, did what he had promised: He cut taxes, adding $40 million to the county’s deficit, which has since reached nearly $350 million.
Now, with its bonds suddenly downgraded and a state oversight agency preparing to seize its checkbook and credit cards, Nassau is on the verge of a full-fledged fiscal crisis.
New York Republicans think high taxes are choking the state to death, yet they are committed to delivering a high level of government services. Once they get into office, they usually find a bunch of one-offs (sale/leasebacks, Medicaid reimbursement accounting tricks, etc.) to avoid raising taxes while maintaining services for the white suburban voter. It will be fun to watch what happens when those voters experience the consequences of electing a true believer who can’t be bothered to fuck the books.
I live in Nassau and believe we are fucked, but why the “white” comment? You ever been here?
If they would only wait a little longer, those tax cuts would start those revenues rolling in like thunder! Businesses must be hiring like mad there! And new start ups on every corner! If not, there must be too many regulations in Nassau which must make the invisible hand get a cramp.
@dan: In Rochester, the suburbs are very white and the county exec panders to their needs rather than city voters.
Um, those tax cuts will be self funding. Duh! Geez, where have you guys been the last ten years… (Oh, wait, where have I been the last ten years?)
It’s those damn property taxes in NY!
The damn sales taxes!
It’s minorities sucking up all the money!
Hey the traffic sucks, we need a new expressway! Isn’t that what we pay gas taxes for?
It’s amazing that some people don’t quite understand what’s been happening with their local governments for the last 30 years as the republicans have been slashing aid to state and local governments while the US labor force has been getting knifed in the back.
Surprise, surprise, that means that you’re paying more for what you took for granted and being paid less. Like Jerry Reed said in his song, “The wealthy are getting the gold mine, and we get the shaft.”
Didn’t you know? When rates reach 0% revenue will be $∞.
Having lived in Nassau County for three miserable years, I have to say the schadenfreude is strong with this one. The corruption is pervasive there, and what’s worse is that everyone likes it that way.
10 years hell – 30 years. St. Ronnie claimed they pay for themselves so it HAS to be true.
Everyone has the right to be ignorant – not knowing something happens to everyone but I am sick to the teeth with stupid people. Those that refuse to see the evidence after having it presented time and time again do not deserve a seat at the discussion.
@dan: Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the part of Long Island that brought us Rick Lazio? The existence of a smattering of affluent (and like-minded) African-Americans in Nassau County do not take away from the original post any more than those who invariably show up onstage at a Sarah Palin campaign rally…er…paid speaking appearance.
I suspect that we will have a lot of this on the local, state and Congressional levels.
The move by Ohio and Wisconsin to cancel their high speed rail projects was another example of the typical form. They had hoped to pocket the money for other things, and so it was kinda funny when the Obama Administration took the funding back and gave it to other states. I think this back and forth between the Federal Government and state and local expressions of Teabaggernomics will be a trend to watch.
On the State level I expect more big things in this area from Chris Christie of New Jersey. There really should be billboards as you leave NYC for NJ that say “This traffic jam brought to you by Governor Chris Chrisie”.
Ah, but according to MIchele Bachman this is not a deficit, since the good taxpayers in the county are getting to keep more of their money!
Since all government is bad as far as the Teabaggers are concerned, I suspect the goal is to get rid of the government (starve the beast) and privatize everything.
NY local politics are all fucked up, not as bad as CA maybe, but pretty close.
I can’t believe I still live here.
Same story here in Hoth, er Minnesota. Timmy and friends have played every trick in the book – cut State aid to cities, “delay” payments to school districts, accounting shifts, increase borrowing, increased fees, the works. And now we face a $6+ billion deficit he smartly runs away.
But the Republican leaders have finally found the real enemy! It the the benefits paid to State workers! I’m sure once they are gutted all will be right with the world.
Having grown up in California and now living in NYC–no, it won’t be “fun” to watch. The only thing different between Proposition 13 being enacted in California and it being enacted in almost any state is the initiative process. The fact that these yahoos can get elected over and over again just shows the immaturity of the electorate in this country.
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” –H.L. Mencken
@me: You should put that on a t-shirt and sell it at CPAC.
@alwhite: Same in WI. Scooter Walker is trying to convince the morans that he can fix everything…$4B or so…by taking everything from those evil state workers. I think that only buys him $200M or so…
Wile E. Quixote
Again if I lived in the NYC metro area I’d be campaigning as hard as I could for NYC to secede from the rest of the state and become it’s own state. It would be a huge win for NYC, they’d get their own two senators and billions of dollars that are currently flowing to Albany would stay in the city. And as far as rural Republicans in the state, well fuck ’em.
I would be grateful I live in a nice blue state if I didn’t live in a red part of it, where the mayor went down to lobby because pension reform didn’t go far enough for him. It’s a good thing no one likes him.
Oh, yeah, almost forgot, our school superintendent from out of New Orleans took the old quote from federal court that our school district had turned discrimination into an art form and went one better, claiming it’s now a science here, and thereby offending all the rich white people who fled years ago.
Plus unemployment is still well into double digits. It’s 1981 all over again.
NS +1 working on +2
Over here in the Buffalo area, our Republican county exec cut the funding for several art projects and the county library in his budget for next year. This precipitated an outcry against it by some. Now he is threatening to raise property taxes if his cuts are not passed.
It’s nothing new for us in Western NYS.
And now our new Gov here in Ohio is looking at selling the turnpike and a bunch of other things like that here in Ohio. Up to now this state has avoided have the lunatics seize control and try to institute those kind of ideas but I guess we are about to join Indiana, California and Chicago.
The public employee benefits and salaries are going to be slaughtered. Like the good little capitalists they are, since common laborers and professionals are seeing their salaries stagnate, the only recourse is getting pissed at people that aren’t getting fucked over by their employer and to fuck them over.
Then again, after having worked a lot of overtime this summer, the missus and I went to San Juan, PR for a few days to escape winter. Beautiful hotel and beaches, friendly locals, and a great big sign in the middle of the hotel lobby, “Welcome NYS Public Employees Conference 2010!” All I heard all weekend were thick downstate accents talking about how great the weather is while eating their overpriced breakfast buffet.
When you’re a fucking target and lots of people are getting laid off at the state level (read about the NYSDEC commissioner Pete Grannis was fired by Patterson), don’t make it easy for people to hate all government employees.
The article suggests that Mangano is not is relying on voodoo economics– it’s more just plain old getting-into-office-by-lying. Which, I suppose, is better in some sense.
Loved this, from the article:
This week, the situation grew more dire. Before heading to Disney World on Wednesday for a three-day golf outing and a fund-raiser, Mr. Mangano went to Albany, where he discovered what others said had been obvious: There would be no state assistance for Nassau now.
I’m sure he’ll have to step down to spend more time with his family.
Nassau has small pockets of mostly black neighborhoods and lots of sprawly mostly white burbclaves. Some of the white burbclaves are wealthy, but others are standard blue collar areas, which saw both their housing prices and property taxes skyrocket.
In my county, Greene, we see lots of the blue collar lifers from Nassau and Suffolk who come up here to colonize due to our comparatively lower property taxes. Because of the big difference in housing prices, retired elevator repair men, cops, and union plumbers can sell their places in LI at a high profit (the ones that were there since the 70’s & 80’s see huge profits, market collapse aside), and get to pretend they’re aristocrats as they get lakefront housing and deal with the poor rural whites up here. Lulz ensue.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Dennis G.: If someone will start a fund for this sign, I will contribute from Texas.
There was also this story I saw at the GOS about how the founder of Muslims for Bush has now quit the GOP and become a Democrat because of all the Muslim-bashing this year over Park51. In reading the DailyKos account of it, I didn’t realize Bush won the Muslim vote in 2000.
I’d like to think that Krugman read my own early morning rant against Dana Milbank Dickwhisperer, but, this being the real world, I know that there were millions of heads hitting millions of tables when people were somehow shown the awesome Milbankian perspective on Fred Hiatt’s Kaplan-sponsored ‘We’ll Show That Moonie Times Who Is Right Wingiest’ Editopinion page.
I was less polite.
Now, here is the paragraph before the one Krug-man cited:
You hear that? You see, Obama had been being led by his nose by those mean Capitol Hill Democrats (i.e., libruls such as Peter DeFazio who is Milbank’s bete noire in the tax bill tale).
Whereas now Obama’s being a man and saying ‘you ain’t the boss of me’ to the evil Pelosi monster, etc.
Me again (sorry, it was at the bottom of a way long post from last night):
And I’m not going to even repeat anything I said about Milbank’s perhaps ignorantiest, douchebaggiest paragraph below, one of the most bizarre uses of the notion of Obama ‘getting tough’ that I could possibly imagine:
That’s right. Begging Republicans to support particular bills in order to pass them will not merely be necessary, but some sort of proof that Obama has balls instead of letting dominatrix Pelosi lead him around.
and get to pretend they’re aristocrats as they get lakefront housing and deal with the poor rural whites up here. Lulz ensue.
Pretty much. There’s a lot of land that gets bought up here by downstaters (who then bitch about the property taxes here). And now the fun is that they’re buying up old farm land and trying to sell excess tracts minus the mineral rights (gots to exploit that natural gas!).
You’re forgetting the multiplier effect of tax cuts for the rich, Randian job creation (as long as TigerHork and his highly-productive-but-under-appreciated brethren and cistern don’t Go Glat! in the meantime), and ponies. And tax cuts for the rich. When you factor in all those things, Walker looks p-r-et-ty sharp. And don’t forget tax cuts for the rich.
That was part of Norman Mailer’s platform, lo these many years ago, when he ran for Mayor of NYC. Yes, I’m serious. (For a change.)
You mean Mo(u)rning in America?
How about this instead:
My “job-creating” millionaire boss got a huge tax cut, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!
Unfortunately, I don’t think the typical CPAC-er would understand.
Not to dispute Mr. Mangano’s electoral duplicity, but county budgets in NYS are kind of not what you might think. At least as I keep hearing, over 90% of the budgets go to state-mandated spending – Medicaid being the far largest portion, followed by (again, state-mandated) pensions. The actual ‘county’ part, that county government has any control over, is quite small.
In Dallas, Texas we saw the mayor pushing hard to leave property taxes flat, but with the reduction in property values, no new increases meant less revenue. The other city leaders would not consider reducing services, so tax rates were increased. It’s left many Texans looking for alternate ways to pay their taxes with many looking at
property tax loans which can be a great option for some.
true. thus, for example:
NYT, 9/7/00. yes, ten years ago.
what’s going on there now doesn’t really have anything to do with teabaggers. Nassau has been a wealthy county for a long time–first with the wealthy who built the Gold Coast, and then with the US’s first suburban boom, courtesy in part of Robert Moses. the real problem has been that no one, and i do mean no one, had a problem with corruption until growth stopped and the costs could no longer be passed along. if housing prices hadn’t been partially held up by the diversion of Federal tax dollars to Wall St., Nassau would be Las Vegas or Fort Myers. probably everyone in the NYC region should pray to GS every day.
presumably NYS will take it over again, but this time will simply slash as NYS cannot manage its finances either.
No, a true-believer, kool-aid drinking, dyed-in-the-wool, Galtian overlord tea-bagger would have done the very thing that is likely to happen next in Nassau’s dog and pony show: privatize everything in sight and then deal with the private sector charging constituents 500% for what the government formerly provided.
But, hey, at least the plutocrats aren’t paying higher taxes. Won’t someone think of the plutocrats!?
But the point I think many have missed is that commitment to a high level of services is not just because people “want” them but because they are necessary in a densely populated area.
It simply costs more to build and maintain the kind of infrastructure that exists in Nassau County.
If people want to pay low taxes, they should move to somewhere that has no infrastructure.
I hasten to add that I lived in Nassau County for about seven years. Revenge is a dish served best with calzones and gravy @ Mama Theresa’s in Garden City Park.
@karen marie: Conversely, because of such a densely populated area, economies of scale and efficiency of service would mitigate a significant proportion of those tax increases. Aside from the obvious cost of living there, it is (was?) nonetheless a damned nice place to live.
Well, I think the idea is to let the infrastructure decay to the point that taxes will no longer be needed to maintain it. Then those latte-sipping, Birkenstock-wearing DFHs will no longer be able to drive anywhere, thus reducing carbon emissions, saving the planet, etc. Problem solved!
Ella in New Mexico
$350 Million for a TOWN? The entire state of New Mexico’s projected 2011 shortfall is only $450 million.
And the Republicans here get to blame it all on Bill Richardson’s “excessive spending” and act like it’s the end of the flippin world.
I guess that’s what living in a news blackout does to an entire population.
@Wile E. Quixote: Having been both a Downstater and an Upstater, I always considered this a win-win, especially in relation to the other 49 states. However, this mythical fight has been going on ever since the capital moved from Kingston to Albany, way back in revolutionary times. And it ain’t never gonna happen.
By the way: my previous “saving the planet” comment is, of course, based on the obviously false belief that man-made global warming/climate change exists. I mean, just look at the Metrodome! If there were such a thing as global warming, all that snow woulda melted. QED!
@El Cid: Actually you don’t do yourself justice: that is only the first of a sequence of terrific rants.
It’s almost enough to make me weep when I think just how astonishingly modest the aims of the crazed left liberal civilization-destroying barbarian wreckers are: some kind of national health care system, a few public goods funded by a progressive system of taxation, a foreign policy that respects norms of international legality (as enshrined in treaties and international agreements in the creation of which the US played a dominant part) and so on.
In any case that’s what I used to think, before the scales fell from my eyes and I realized that Julian Assange is the Antichrist, against whose Satanic designs all right-thinking people must unite, sacrificing all other concerns.
Nobody expected Mangano to win last year, including Mangano.
Out here in Southern California you have had “no new taxes” radio talk show hosts declare that now that we have the Internets, we no longer need libraries or excessively salaried librarians and staff.
It is strange to think that the collapse of American civilization might come about now by means of invasion by barbarians, but by the stupidity of ideologically driven conservative budget cutters.
They had hoped to pocket the money for other things, and so it was kinda funny when the Obama Administration took the funding back and gave it to other states.
Did they really believe this?
And, if so, I wonder if that’s part of the real drive behind all the GOP noise against earmarks?
they get the consequences of their votes.
@Ella : No, the 350 million shortfall is for the entire county, and to be fair, that county has about 60% of the population of New Mexico.
Jay in Oregon
Ah, the Sarah Palin school of fiscal management.
It is strange to think that the collapse of American civilization might come about not by means of invasion by barbarians, but by the stupidity of ideologically driven conservative budget cutters.
The old Romans needed to import their barbarians, but we’re much more efficient now. We breed ours domestically.
Teh math is hard and hurts their head. And why should Teabaggers have to pay for others to get a better edjucashun than they have, become elites, and look down their pointy headed noses at Teabonics?
Who needs to gurgitate from schul, anyways? Math is a liberal hoax that’s only used against conservative economic and religious truths. Did Jesus need more than a few fish and loaves to feed multitudes? What more proof is needed for creationism, Laugher tax cut fairies, and that homosexuality caused the Great Recession?
Good catch and good rant. This makes me think that Krugman might soon get kicked out of the Village. He’s not buying into their bullshit, and has exposed their chief methodology: ignore the facts as long as you can, and then substitute an easy to follow mythology to that does nothing but reinforce the lies you were already pushing.
You also see this in the false insistence that the budget compromise is the “best deal that could be made.” Sez Who? The Beltway.
It gets better yet. Nassau (along with its neighbor Suffolk) has one of the largest shadow inventories (homes where the borrower is 90 days or more delinquent, but not yet foreclosed and for sale) of homes in the nation. If, as seems likely, batches of them get foreclosed on, not only will they not be producing income for the county, but also their prices may fall beneath their assessed values, which would make it even harder to sell them.
As it happens, I’ve been watching prices there for a while, because I’d love to move out from NYC to a single-family suburban home. But Nassau is (as it’s always been) overpriced, and it looks like it’s about to really come around to bite the county where it hurts, either in lower prices and assessments, or unfilled homes, or both.
Teabaggers really just hate taxes. That’s it. They like the services, they want the government, they just don’t want to pay for it.
How many times can I say it? THEY. ARE. CHILDREN.
I explained the economic consequences of sprawl to my 15 year old daughter yesterday as this:
1. It jacks up capital costs for the existing urban tax base for the extension of roads, fire service, police and sanitary services, all while jacking up capital costs for the existing customer base of utility customers.
2. Those initial capital investments come from the current round of taxpayers and utility customers, with the idea that they be recaptured over the coming years.
3. Sprawl results in higher energy costs for commuters and when building 5000 sq. ft. McMansions for families of 4, you wind up with excessive costs for heating, lighting, AC, etc.
4. Sprawl also devours the collar farmland that used to augment the foodstuffs and dairy products supplied to the urban areas.
5. The extension of sprawl actually benefits very few people on an economic basis, most often, the developers who have the political pull to get it done.
6. The most obnoxious thing about the sprawl is the fact that once those white suburbans/exurbans move into the sprawl, they then squeal like banshees from hell about paying tax rates that appropriately recapture the expense of spreading into the new areas.
I’m just back from a week-long business trip to Germany. We were walking around town after a meeting ended early, and one of my colleagues said, “Isn’t is weird to look around and think that everyone you see — the street sweeper, the taxi driver, the mulled-wine vendor — that they all have good health insurance?”.
Here’s the worst part – when this inevitably fails (and is repeated in cities across America) – who will the teabaggers blame? Their own failed leaders and their nonsensical policies? Will taxes get raised to a reasonable level so that the barely adequate service-level we get in this country is funded?
Nope – they’ll continue to blame “government” (and by that they mean liberals). They’ll continue to believe you can cut taxes & keep services, b/c there’s zillions in fraud/waste/abuse just waiting to be cut. They’ll blame the teachers and state workers unions for their demands of reasonable wages and benefits (“everyone should suffer just like me”). Or they’ll cut services and say we’ll all be just fine if we take “personal responsibility” for stuff like getting cancer, having a spouse who abuses us, or losing our job at the same moment a big house repair bill comes due. Round and around it goes.
Norquist is cackling in his lair right now. 40 years of Republican anti-government & anti-tax rhetoric and policies, has made government bankrupt and incompetent. And the American public is just sitting on the rollercoaster along for the ride. Banana Republic here we come.
@Southern Beale: There was a meme going around recently that talked about the bankruptcy of the “starve the beast” argument. It pointed out that in economics 101 you learn if you make a popular good cost less, demand goes up.
So in other words, if you make gov’t services cost less (hey look, no taxes), people will simply demand more gov’t services.
And here we are.
The fact that Texas’ budget deficit is as large as California proves, however, that given our low tax rates, there’s almost no level of gov’t low enough for the math to work out. At least California and New York have the potential to climb out of their holes (lots of high-income earners, good universities, high-wage earning company base).
Is there a precedent for any of them thinking they’d be able to use the money however they wanted?
Mangano is just the latest to follow the Piped Piper that is Christie. I expect Kasich will soon give them both reason to cheer.
heh, I can walk into nassau from my parents home. A short bus trip puts me at one of it’s major malls. It couldn’t happen to a snootier place.
That California does not exist anymore. The universities are hurting even as they raise tuition and fees for incoming students. Unemployment is worryingly high and wages are as stagnant here as they are throughout the country. Higher taxes may be inevitable, but this is not going to close the budget gap.
And the LA Times’ writer Michael Hiltzik has a great column about how companies are betraying their employees, even as they get the state legislature to give them huge tax breaks.
The average citizen is getting hammered from every direction. I am astounded that the GOP and the Tea Party people continue to get any support at all.
@jcricket: ::clicks “Like”::
Probably all those Orange County retirees.
Oy. Me @61: What a mess. Meant ‘Clicks “Like” ‘, of course. FYWP.
I’m not. These fucking morons believe tax cuts for the rich will make them rich, they don’t understand marginal tax rates, they blame the gov’t for all their problems – so why vote for the party that claims the gov’t will be able to help (at least a little).
And when they’re not busy blaming the gov’t or taxes – they blame the unions, the blacks, immigrants, etc. – “If I don’t have it, you shouldn’t get it either”. Go read the comment section of any major metropolitan newspaper. If a group of middle-class employees dares to stand up to its employer (private or public, union or not) to demand the employer live up to its obligations, or share some wealth with the proles, etc. – the other middle-class yutzes are there saying, “I have shitty benefits, and so should you” or “If I haven’t gotten a raise, you shouldn’t either”.
So while we’re busy racing each other to the bottom the top 1% takes an ever bligger slice and laughs at how they’ve pitted the bottom 90% against each other.
Yep, I grew up there. Mom and Dad landed there instead of Brooklyn when we came back to the States because “the neighborhoods were better”. Got my ass out of there as fast as I could. My parents are planning on leaving early next year. They’re going…back to the City.
Massapequa, Levittown or Bethpage?
I grew up partly in Nassau, and I have to agree with his “white” comment. You don’t see the county Republicans express concern for the standard of living in Roosevelt, Hempstead or New Cassel. Westbury maybe, but only west of Post Avenue.
Nobody expects him to win again in 2013.
@Ella in New Mexico:
For a county of over 1 million people.
That was a really interesting article. Thank you.
@alwhite: Do not even get me started on Ratface Pawlenty and how Emmer almost won. Gr.
I get no pleasure watching this stuff because people will not learn from it. And, the people who vote for these assholes are usually the ones who will be least affected by the pain.
I knew he won the Arab-American vote, Republicans usually did before 2000, but I didn’t know it was the “Muslim” vote.
I guess the GOP notion that cutting taxes is deficit neutral is a steaming pile of shit. Who knew?
Another troubling trend is the selling off of State’s infrastructure to fill budget gaps. Mayor Daley sold off Chicago’s parking meters to the Saudi’s, and Ed Rendell is selling public works projects to international interests. Other cities and municipalities are following suit.
We are now officially a banana republic.
They are not children. That’s offensive to children.
They do have the immaturity of young children though and as I’ll bet that was you point, I’d agree.
@jcricket: RE: The average citizen is getting hammered from every direction. I am astounded that the GOP and the Tea Party people continue to get any support at all.
Apparently, Democrats don’t understand marginal tax rates either, or else they would have tried to make a case for something other than the nonsense that is currently playing out. But I take your larger points.
I think it’s worse than that. The worst of these people believe that they are the only ones who deserve anything, that they are the only ones who have ever worked or struggled, and that the Democrats are some alien, treasonous, un-American agency busy giving “their stuff” to the unworthy and the ungrateful.
The sad thing is that they are so busy scapegoating others that they don’t see how a gaggle of oligarchs are not only stealing everything they have, but making sure that they won’t be able to dig themselves out of the hole that they are being pushed into.
@ge_315: There are multiple special districts — schools, libraries, police (county) fire (local), sanitation, etc. If they would consolidate they could save huge amounts of money and revamp the tax structure. Of course that would mean that the rich burbclaves would have to help support areas like Roosevelt, Freeport, Hempstead (largely black) which don’t have a commercial tax base.
@karen marie: If people want to pay low taxes, they should move to somewhere that has no infrastructure.
They did that when they moved to places like Shoreham: low taxes, land for yards and a school system paid for by taxes from LILCO even before the Shoreham nuclear plant was finished and up ad running. (It didn’t end well.) So Suffolk County grew and grew. I’m not sure what their tax situation currently is, but it’s another area where people wanted low taxes and extensive services.
@jcricket: Yes, NY has lots of high income earners but pols like Bloomberg are against raising their taxes.
Haunted by Ralph Caso's Ghost
I live in Nassau and believe we are fucked, but why the “white” comment? You ever been here?
Born and raised (and left, shaking the dust of that hellhole [FN1] from my feet). And if you are able to sincerely ask ‘why the “white” comment’, you can’t have lived there very long.
[FN1] To be fair: its beaches are glorious, when not overcrowded by visitors. And Nassau County was, for decades, a model high-tax, high-services polity; it was Sweden, run by Italian-American Republicans. As Sparky notes @33, though, that gig is up.
@Steaming Pile: WTF does any of that have to do with anything? No one “gave” you Rick Lazio except Mr. & Mrs. Lazio.
Nassau went for Obama in 2008. By a very strong margin.
@Nick: It’s just that the comment seemed to implicate white people as if none of Nassau’s blacks were happy with increased services and lower taxes.
This was a more eloquent way of making my point. Everyone else who is suffering (esp. if they are brown, or foreign-born, or gay, or not-Christian) deserves it. But if these people use the same services (which they do) or benefit from wealth redistribution (everyone in the suburbs or in a red-state, basically) – they deserve it.
I think Alaska exemplifies this perfectly. A state with the closest thing to socialism in America (the oil payments from the state gov’t to the people) who suckles deep and hard from the federal teat – and yet they’re all convinced their rugged individualists. Yet if you told them to “prove it” by giving up all the earmarks, federal aid and other subsidies that make their lives even remotely possible – you’d be accused of doing something un-American.
But then I look at states like my own (WA) or California – who have a large contingent of not-idiots, and yet here we are unable to get taxation even remotely right (WA’s tax system is insanely regressive, and CA has Prop 13 and everything else). In short, there’s no hope, and that depresses me.