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Red and Blue Taxes

gjander's picture

I've seen several maps since the election that show the country carved up in red and blue and adjusted to show a truer picture.  One thing I wondered about was how much of the federal tax burden the red states bear compared to the blue states.  I've had a little too much free time lately so I did some research and ran some numbers.


In 2003, the blue states received an average (adjusted for population) of 92 cents in federal expenditures back for every dollar paid in federal taxes.  The red states received an average of $1.22 on the dollar.  The difference is getting greater each year.  In 1993, the states the voted blue this election cycle received 96 cents while the red staters were getting $1.12.


The Bush administration has floated the idea of making the disparity even greater going forward.  They are considering eliminating the deduction for state and local taxes which will disproportionately affect the blue states.


Your tax dollars at work!


 

TessaK's picture

(post #42922, reply #1 of 30)

I've had a little too much free time lately


No kidding!


:)

gjander's picture

(post #42922, reply #2 of 30)

Aren't you supposed to be working?

Heather's picture

(post #42922, reply #3 of 30)

I didn't get the name of the comedian but there was a humorous piece on NPR yesterday about the blue states forming their own country and that was one of the things he covered--that we would have more money if we didn't have to help support the red states. Certainly this is a big issue in California--the state that Bush hates the most. He hardly ever visits and wouldn't help even when it was clear that we were being royally ripped off by the energy companies a few years ago.

APonKP's picture

(post #42922, reply #4 of 30)

Ahmen.  We were in San Francisco yesterday shopping and a cute young man in J. Crew was morosely bemoaning the election.  I asked if he was considering moving to another country and he said, "I'm not about to leave Paradise!  'He' should leave!"  LOL!

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
KyleW's picture

(post #42922, reply #5 of 30)

Submitted for the entertainment of my left of center friends :-)

 


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". D.Barry

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

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wisekaren's picture

(post #42922, reply #6 of 30)

Or this one...

P.S. It's also worth looking at who contributes more to taxes.

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MadMom's picture

(post #42922, reply #7 of 30)

Oh, I love these both...but then, I'm a pinko commie tree-hugging liberal!


Seriously, though, ITA with the article that says we Dems need to stop thinking that everyone who voted for Bush was stupid.  I still believe that many were misguided and misinformed, which seems to be the goal of political campaigns these days, on all sides of the spectrum.  Still, if that is the case, and if people voted the way they did because they believed what Karl Rove told them, then the Dems have only themselves to blame for not getting the truth across.  What's the saying...a lie can travel half way around the world before a truth gets started?  Whatever, so long as there are people who still believe we were justified in invading Iraq, the Dems will continue to lose.  So long as people believe that it is more in line with moral values to be bigoted and to favor the wealthy at the expense of the needy, the Dems will continue to lose.  Somehow, the story must be told, and it must be believable.  I don't think it's enough to assume the Reps will self-destruct, for I sincerely hope the moderate wing of the party will manage to keep the extremists in line.  I would like to think that in my lifetime I can return to being an Independent who finds something to like and respect in both parties.


Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

KyleW's picture

(post #42922, reply #10 of 30)

but then, I'm a pinko commie tree-hugging liberal!


That's OK MadMom, I like ya anyway :-)


My address is in "America" But my heart is in Dumbf***istan.


 


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". D.Barry

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

MadMom's picture

(post #42922, reply #11 of 30)

...and I love all my right-wing fascist Republican friends!  LOL

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Ozark's picture

(post #42922, reply #9 of 30)

Looking at the Red and Blue county map instead  of the states would change the results mentioned in the original post. Neither mean too much.


Yes let's look at who pays taxes.


Top 5% pay 53.25% of all income taxes. The top 10% pay 64.89% . The top 25% pay 82.9%. The top 50% pay 96.03%. The bottom 50%? They pay a  3.97%.


Far better we get congressmen and senators who get the same healthcare and retirement benefits that other working people get. I would guess if there was some way to eliminate the pork and waste in our government we would all be better off.

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

MadMom's picture

(post #42922, reply #12 of 30)

Interesting statistics, but has anyone ever taken the time to document the earnings of the top 5% vs those of the bottom 50%?  Not just wages, of course, but the inherited wealth, the stock options, the dividends, etc.  Or maybe to document the "disposable" income of the top 5% vs. that of the bottom 50%?  I've said it before, but I think most of us would be very happy to be part of that top 5% even if we're paying what might seem an inordinate share of the taxes.  After all, many of that top 5% are benefitting from government contracts, government rules, and regulations which often favor the well-connected.  I would happily pay $1 million in taxes every year...just think how much I'd have left over.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Jean's picture

(post #42922, reply #13 of 30)

And don't forget pensions. DH's is from the state, who pays yours?

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
MadMom's picture

(post #42922, reply #16 of 30)

My pension is from the Federal Government, so you taxpayers are gladly paying it!  Of course, I could say you got a bargain during the years I worked for much less than the going wage in the private sector, so who knows?

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Jean's picture

(post #42922, reply #17 of 30)

LOL.  That's exactly the answer my DH gives. He says things even out.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Ozark's picture

(post #42922, reply #14 of 30)

You can go here and see for yourself.  http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/pub/irs-soi/01in01ts.xls


 


The income for the top 5% starts at $127,900 and goes up from there. The top 1% start at $292,900. That would mean that the top 4% earn between $127,900 to $292,000.


Looking at the Fortune 400, a lot of the richest people started with nothing, others took small business and turned them into corporations. I have worked 35 years to get where I am and I resent the fact that over 60% of what I earn goes to taxes.


At what percentage would you say is fair?


 

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

MadMom's picture

(post #42922, reply #15 of 30)

Rick, I don't think it's as simple as saying "what percentage is fair?"  Even on something as complicated as the estate tax (love the Rep's renaming it as "the death tax") I find it hard to say that someone who inherits a family farm or a small family business should pay the same percentage as someone who inherits megabucks from a very wealthy family (money they might not have had any part in earning, in fact, money that their parents might not have had any part in earning.)  I also find it a bit bizarre that people who are wealthy enough to invest in stocks which pay dividends pay only 15% on that income, while people who work hard for their money, sometimes even doing manual labor, pay almost that much just for their social security and medicare coverage.  I just think our tax system is all screwed up, and I still say I would gladly be in a bracket that has to pay $1 million each and every year in taxes...much better than trying to scrape by as one of those who owes no income taxes, but cannot afford a decent house, decent car, health care for their children, etc.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

gjander's picture

(post #42922, reply #19 of 30)

Well, I don't know what "fair" is, but I don't think anyone in this country is paying anywhere near 60% of their income in taxes.  I think the highest marginal tax rate is currently 35% and according to the Heritage Foundation the top 1% of income earners had an effective federal tax rate of 32.5% in 2000.  This number includes the individual income tax, payroll taxes, excise taxes, and corporate income tax.  I don't know what the numbers for 2003 were, but I would suspect they have gone down substantially.  Of course, some wealthy people pay far less.  Theresa Heinz Kerry had an effective tax rate of 12% in 2003 because much of her income was derived from tax free bonds.


At any rate, I think any discussion of how much a country's citizens should pay in taxes should begin by determining what services they want the government to provide.  Once you know how much the budget is you know how much revenue you will need to raise.  Our current system where we seem to believe that these are two separate questions doesn't strike me as sensible.


http://www.heritage.org/research/features/budgetchartbook/charts_T/t3.cfm


http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=4514&sequence=1&from=0

MadMom's picture

(post #42922, reply #20 of 30)

ITA - anyone who is paying 60% of their income in taxes in this country needs to get a new CPA.  Of course, perhaps he's living in a high-tax state and in a city which also has an income tax, but IIRC, most of these had exemptions for taxes paid to the feds, etc.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

Ozark's picture

(post #42922, reply #21 of 30)

I am counting the city, county, state,  and federal taxes. Medicare, Social Security, utilities, food, gas, and anything else I purchase. I have an excellent CPA in spite of what Madmom says. The more you make, the less deductions you can take. Example: I have a small rental property that I used to be able to deduct depreciation, expenses and other things to off set the income and deduct the difference. I can no longer do this because "I make too much". Just another means to tax the people making money.


I lived hand to mouth for many years, I would have been considered poor for many of those years. I have no stock or 401k. My point was that  the top 5 to 2%  earn between $127,900 to $292,000. That is not a lot of money for a man and wife to make today.


Yet the Feds, States, Counties and Cities continue to consider the tax payers pocket as bottomless. and keep raising taxes  So what is fair? I hope you don't think 100% is.


Edited 11/21/2004 7:33 pm ET by Rick

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

gjander's picture

(post #42922, reply #22 of 30)

Well, the original point of my post was that the people who are influcing policy today, i.e. the "red states" are paying less in taxes than they receive from the government in services.  No wonder they are in favor of anything this Republican president and congress want to force through.  If you are unhappy with the amount you pay in taxes, then you should be unhappy with the "red state" government that is running up such large bills, including their agressive and expensive foreign policy preferences.


As I said, I don't really have any preconceived notion of what "fair" tax rate is.  But I do know that if I order a product or service, I pay the bill.  In my opinion, that's the only fair thing.


Gary

MadMom's picture

(post #42922, reply #23 of 30)

ITA - and unfortunately, it is difficult to say what anyone's "fair share" is.  There are many arguments about people not wanting to pay a share of welfare costs, because they are opposed to it, but there are just as many who would hate to pay a share of the cost of the Iraqi war, because they are opposed to it.  The point of a government taxing the people to pay for expenditures is that the representatives elected by the people decide what those expenditures should be and what each person's fair share is.  If we disagree, or if we feel either the expenditures or the fair share is out of line, then we have a recourse...vote for the other party, or get representatives in who share our views.  Until then, we can just gripe and pay.  I don't like the idea of presenting my children and grandchildren with a bill because we run up massive deficits and refuse to pay as we go...but that's just me.

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

gjander's picture

(post #42922, reply #24 of 30)

Well, at least there are two of us!  Now we just have to start working on those other 52 million people...

Wolvie's picture

(post #42922, reply #26 of 30)

3 kiddo, at least 3. :-)

"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

AnnL's picture

(post #42922, reply #28 of 30)

Make that 4.  ;-)


 


AnnL
Transitions Farm
Gardening, cooking, and riding Central Mass.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Wolvie's picture

(post #42922, reply #25 of 30)

slow flooring day, eh? ;-0


Good posts tho!


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

gjander's picture

(post #42922, reply #29 of 30)

Looks like the whole week might be slow.  Sigh...

Wolvie's picture

(post #42922, reply #30 of 30)

uh oh.


We are here if you need us, and of course, dinner anytime. :-)


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

PeterDurand's picture

(post #42922, reply #18 of 30)

Well, I am NOT happy to be paying 50+% of my wages in income taxes alone. And up here we don't get to deduct other stuff like sale taxes. municipal taxes, interest etc from that income tax bill. But don't get me started ;-)

Peter


Edited 11/21/2004 1:56 pm ET by PeterDurand

Ozark's picture

(post #42922, reply #8 of 30)

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/vote2004/countymap.htm


Looking at the "county" version of your map suggests some different names might be in order. I don't see how name calling solves much.


 

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

RuthWells's picture

(post #42922, reply #27 of 30)

ROLF!!!!!!


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

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