MEGAN MCARDLE: Lefty Fantasies of Cutting Off Red State Subsidies Aren’t Reality:
I have lost count of the number of times in the past few weeks I’ve seen someone complain that the new tax law makes the disparity between donor blue states and recipient red states even worse. Turnabout is fair play, they said: If you want to jack up our taxes, then you should darn well wean yourself off of the federal teat.
Which got me thinking: Is it even true that red states are net recipients of blue state largess?
In fact, it’s not as clear as liberals think that the system consists of “Makers and Takers,” with the blue states making the money, and the red states taking it. That belief seems to come from a years-old graphic, based on data that dates back to the middle of the George W. Bush administration.
Plus, the danger that red states won’t mind:
Maybe the system is now so unfair to rich liberals that this is the way we should go. And given how impossible it is for them to get anything done in the federal government these days, blue-state liberals might want to offer Republicans a compromise: We’ll get rid of federal taxes and programs, and it’s every state for itself. If you genuinely think it’s an outrage that red states collect so much federal money, you should probably be eager for the trade.
But think carefully before you make that proposal. Because if liberals offer to dismantle the New Deal and return to genuine federalism, they might just find that Republicans are eager to take that deal.