Sunday, February 12, 2012

Graphic Weekend, part IV

Go to this interactive page at the NYT on where public spending goes.  Mostly, this is old news--social security medicare, aid for poor folks go to the South and Southwest.  Red States tend to receive more money than blue states.  The article that goes with this interviews folks who are Tea Party types who oppose government spending but yet depend upon it quite a bit.  Apparently, some folks are aware of the contradiction between their political stance and their consumption of public spending, but feel ashamed and oppose these programs.  I would compare these folks to the gay-bashing Republicans who are secretly gay, but that would be unkind and perhaps unfair. 

Anyhow, just a couple of observations from the interactive maps:
  • Veterans' benefits, for all of the stories about reforming such programs to save money, are such a drop in the bucket compared to the other social spending.  But it is easy to understand--few veterans, heaps of entitled old folks.  So, the money goes to the older folks.
  • Unemployment Insurance, which is very cyclical in general, is, in this map, going to the coasts and to the upper midwest.  You would think that these folks would tilt Democratic in the next election since the GOP has tried to limit extensions.  California is, well, over-determined.  But if Ohio, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania go GOP in the next election, they deserve what they get. 
I have always wondered how poor folks and lower middle class people can vote Republican, given that the party systematically benefits the rich.  The Dems may lean the same way, but have tended to be bigger fans of the safety nets.  This article does a nice job of explaining some of the sources of the contradictions.

No comments: