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Blue States Pay More Taxes, More Benefits Used In Red States Than Taxes Paid

September 17, 2020

I can not say that Donald Trump’s statement about dead Americans in Blue States is the most deplorable one from his term in office, but it is darn close.

“If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at” in terms of coronavirus deaths. We’re really at a very low level. But some of the states, they were blue states and blue state-managed.”

The nation I grew up in was made of Americans and when calamities struck it was not how you voted that mattered, but gauging how much help will be needed from government. But if Trump wants to dig down into the gutter and act like a complete idiot over Blue states and their worth during this pandemic as he strides to a resounding national defeat is about 50 days, so be it. He will notice that statisticians are ready to do battle with his words.

Let us see that would happen to his base should Blue states somehow disappear. His base of white males in Red states likely have not been following the numbers but the nation has a massive budget deficit. Given the extent to which Blue states often pay more in taxes than they receive in services, Trump should just keep his mouth shut.

The US overall pays 3.1 trillion in taxes and uses 3.8 trillion in benefits. But Red America pays 1.6 trillion in taxes but uses 2.1 trillion in benefits.

Then there is the part of the news today which makes me snicker. I am not a sports fan but I always take note of the cultural side to this pastime for many. So the data makes for news on this blog.

Extract blue states, and you lose 42 percent of NHL teams, 43 percent of NBA teams, 44 percent of NFL teams and fully half of Major League Baseball teams — including Trump’s favorite, the New York Yankees.

Then as The Washington Post noted if Trump were to undo the Blue parts of the nation suddenly a broad range of Trump-branded properties are excluded from the America Trump wants to lead. Trump Tower? No longer American. His hotel in D.C.? Out. His hotel in Vegas or his club in Bedminster, N.J.? Now foreign territory.

The New York Times summed up my dismay with Trump regarding his statement with a stinging editorial today.

While presidents running for re-election typically look at the map of the country through a partisan lens, they ostensibly take off such a filter when it comes to their duties to govern, or at least make the effort to look like they do. 

The contrast with his predecessors in moments of national crisis could hardly be more stark. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush invited the Democratic senators from New York, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, to the Oval Office to collaborate on how to help the victims and repair the damage.

When Hurricane Sandy slammed into New Jersey just days before the 2012 election, President Barack Obama broke off from campaigning to travel to the ravaged state where he stood side by side with Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who was supporting his opponent, to pledge solidarity in recovery efforts.

But these are more partisan times, and Mr. Trump is a more overtly partisan figure than perhaps any modern president. Through months of the pandemic, he has at various moments lashed out at Democratic governors, blaming them for any failures, while his comment on Wednesday about not counting deaths in blue states reflected an effort to lay responsibility for the worst pandemic in a century on his opposition.

“It’s so unworthy of a president,” Tom Ridge, a Republican former governor of Pennsylvania and later secretary of homeland security under Mr. Bush, said on Thursday. “It’s beyond despicable. It’s soulless.” He added that the virus was an equal-opportunity killer. “It’s almost unspeakable in the middle of the pandemic to try to divide the country on a political basis when Covid-19 is really bipartisan.”

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