Articles are splayed about on mainstream media which decry how “blue states bail out red states.” Data shows that Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York have balance of payment ratios less than one. That is, these four states each send more dollars to the federal government than the states receive back in federal funds for financial support. Conversely, Kentucky, New Mexico, Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia receive in federal funds well above what is contributed.
To be more precise, it is mostly RESIDENTS within the states which are sending funds into the federal government and/or receiving financial benefits from the federal government. What causes this ratio to change most? Progressive taxation policies.
The four states with the highest personal income per capita – Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York, should be expected to contribute the most to the federal government compared to what they receive- and they do. The five states with the lowest personal income per capita, you guessed it, the same states which receive the highest balance of payment ratios – Kentucky, New Mexico, Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia.
Champions of progressive taxation are being disingenuous and hypocritical to complain about wealth transfer from richer people/states to poorer people/states. This result is precisely what progressive taxation is intended to do!
This wealth transfer occurs region-to-region of course as well as state-to-state. Urbanites are quick to point out the economic advantages and benefits of New York City vs more rural regions of New York State, and how the former “subsidizes” the latter. Again, this wealth transfer is to be expected under progressive taxation policies.
Residents should be able to choose to live in less “economically efficient” regions if they wish. Choosing where to live is an important personal liberty. But no one else should be financially supporting these choices. Many of us upstate NY residents are NOT asking for any subsidies.
Additionally, progressive taxation and its results should not be used as an excuse to politically marginalize rural region residents. Yet this happens in the minds of many progressives. The logic process to get here is absurd: Argue for progressive taxation policy, get what you want, get the expected results (except some of the poor being helped live in rural vs urban settings), then complain how people who receive government help (whether asked for or not) are not entitled to a pollical voice. Quite a subterfuge, whether deliberate or not.
Champions of progressive taxation are of course not often those with higher incomes. But many in this group sure do love to flip-flop with a “tax the rich” message one minute then a “help the poor, but not THESE poor who don’t politically/culturally align with me” the next.
Stop the madness. End progressive taxation and wealth transfer. Better yet, end all federal, state and local income taxes entirely. We can hope and advocate for this ideal.