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The Heartland Hates The Feds All The Way To The Bank

For those of us who reside outside the boundaries of such a blessed place, we can only hang our heads in envy and shame and wonder exactly what characteristics residents of that Other America boast that makes them so morally superior to us in the godless nether regions.
Sarah Palin reminded us, once again, that we were outsiders in the real America. She talked of the Heartland. Palin invoked the great political myth that Americans who reside in the northeast or Southern Florida or the big old industries cities of the Midwest or the west coasts with its computer geeks and movies stars and all those immigrants, were of a lesser place.
The Heartland is about the Old South and the praire states and the West, as long as you don’t go too far west. Alaska, despite a geographic placement that makes it more of an appendage than a heart, gets a special dispensation with its meager population and great affection for shooting wild animals.
But the unifying theme of the Heartland is a disapproval of that meddling federal government. Sarah Palin’s Heartland hates the federal government. They stand, instead, for rugged independence from that Washington mess.
They disparage, most of all, how those city folks back east waste their money.
Of course, they don’t mind federal spending so much when it comes packaged as farm subsidies or highway funds. In fact, when it comes to federal taxes, the Heartland gets a hell of a lot more they it gives. They get more money for highways and agricultural. They get 50 cents a gallon for their ethanol. And they get gobs of money to combat terrorism in places that Osama Bin Laden couldn’t find with a map.
Sarah Palin’s Alaska, for example, receives $1.80 back for every dollar it pays into the federal treasury. Those fiercely independent, anti-federal government folks from Montana and Utah and Wyoming and Idaho and Nebraska and the Dakotas and Oklahoma and Iowa all get more out of the federal budget than they put in. The same is for true most of the old Confederacy – Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia - according to the Tax Foundation.
Florida – half Heartland, half displaced Yankees - does slightly better than break even, getting $1.01 back for every $1 put in.
Those despised liberal northeasterners don’t get much bang for their buck. New Jersey gets 63 cent on the dollar, New York gets 84 cents back, Connecticut gets 73 cents and Massachusetts gets 82 cents. The lefties along the West Coast, California, Oregon and Washington, are all classified as “donor states.” And the progressive states in the Midwest, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, likewise get screwed by the tax distribution formula.
Perhaps the reason the folks out in the Heartland can rail so much about government is that -- given the way they feast at the federal trough – they can afford to.


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The states who make out with federal largesse--another example of how welfare corrupts the soul.

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