Monday, February 10, 2014

This is Proof That Republicans Can’t Run Government (Updated) | The PCTC* Blog

Posted on by Milt Shook

From: The PCTC* Blog

I keep rewriting and updating this article because
of the enormous number of examples of Republican incompetence at running
government, and everyone needs to know this. It’s really simple; when
we elect Republicans, or we help elect Republicans (which man people who
claim to be “real progressives” tend to do a lot), we are putting the
government in the hands of politicians whose most fervent followers
truly believe government can’t work, and so they struggle to try to
prove their premise. That’s right, folks. If you are one of those who
likes to throw out the “both parties are the same” crap, you are
equating one party that kisses your ass and does everything they can to
get you to like them, with another party that has a mandate to prove
that government is incompetent. In what way are those two concepts in
any way the same?
And while the Republican arty is far worse than we
could have ever dreamed of a generation ago, they’ve been bad for a
generation; especially since they recruited the worst elements of the
Democratic Party back in the civil rights era. If you think the latest
government shutdown and the constant brinkmanship is something brand
new, think again. And if you think it’s all about the Tea Party,
consider the fact that there are 46 members of the Tea Party Caucus in
the House, but this past October, 144 House Republicans actually voted
to default on the debt. That’s right; 144 “fiscally responsible”
Republicans voted to destroy the nation’s credit in order to prove
The government actually worked well during the
post-war era, when Democrats ran the show for 30 out of the 34 years
between 1946 and 1980, government actually worked. That’s true not just
of the federal government, but states, as well. Republicans have
controlled most of the government for 30 of the last 34 years, and it
shows.
While I am a partisan Democrat and a liberal, this
isn’t just about my beliefs. It’s easily provable through statistics.
Democrats have a strong record of competence, and Republicans have an
equally strong record of incompetence. And since getting the
most progressive government starts with state legislatures and a US
Congress that is at least competent enough to get the basics right, it’s
important that we understand that Republican Party ideology is what’s
holding this country back.

The Republicanization of the National Debt: Hypocrisy
Republican Party incompetence is obvious when you
look closely at their irresponsible stewardship of the federal
government.  It was Republicans who gave us the Great Depression and
kept us there for four years without really attempting to fix anything.
On the other hand, during the two periods after that, the 1930s and
1940s and the 1960s, when Democrats held the White House and a
supermajority in Congress, the New Deal and Social Security passed, as
well as market and economic reforms that created the largest economic
boom and social transformation in world history. The prosperity led to
the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, Medicare, OSHA, FDA, FTC and
the EPA, among numerous other changes.
Compare that with the last 34 years, during which
Republicans have controlled the government for 30. This is a period in
our history that simply should not have happened. As bad as the
Republican Party was before, the current radicalized version has has
caused the country to stagnate in many ways, and to basically stop the
country from moving forward. Mostly, this is because of the current
Republicans’ push for austerity. They pretend to care about deficits and
debt, but the fact is, almost all of the debt that’s accumulated to
date came from their incompetence. The money they borrow and spend
doesn’t go to investments in the country, like building infrastructure,
which would actually create more revenue and less debt. Instead, they
waste money went to tax cuts for the rich and making weapons for wars
we’ll never fight, which creates, at best, a short-term minimal gain.
This isn’t just a partisan grouse. There is plenty of data to support this. Look at these charts
The green stripe shows what the debt would look like if Reagan and Bush
41 had actually balanced the budget, which they promised going in, and
the Democratic Presidents did all of the same things they did. Even if
they had just kept the debt level they were given, there would have been
virtually zero debt, as a percent of GDP, by the time Bush 43 crashed
the economy. That would have made recovery far easier., because we could
have thrown $2-3 trillion at job creation without even flinching. We
can actually still do that – the current level of debt is not
unprecedented — but after 34 years of GOP politics, it’s hard to get
people to understand this. For 34 years, they’ve been told that
Between the end of World War II and 1980, when
Democrats ran government, the debt dropped from 120% of GDP to less than
33% of GDP. The debt at that time was $990 billion. But beginning with
Reagan’s inauguration in 1981, the neocon Republican Party changed all
that. In 8 years of Reagan, the debt more than tripled, and in 4 years
of Bush, Sr., it doubled again. After 12 years of Republican rule, the
debt had increased by a factor of six, and the economy largely remained
stagnant. As a percent of GDP, the debt rose to more than 60%.
It was then that Democrat Bill Clinton shamed
Congressional Republicans into helping him balance the budget, and they
even created a surplus. When Clinton left in 2001, he handed Bush, Jr.
and the Republican Congress a federal government scheduled to run budget
surpluses for at least the next ten years, according to the CBO,
which would trim the then-$6 trillion debt to about $4.5 trillion,
which would put it back below 30% of GDP and dropping. We should have
been back on track.
Instead, the same Republicans who crowed about their
own “fiscal responsibility” and happily took credit for Clinton’s
balanced budgets then helped Bush blow the debt up again, even before
they managed to break the economy. Bush 43 immediately enacted the least
necessary tax cuts in the history of the republic at the same time he
started two wars, which resulted in deficits and debt accumulation that
topped Reagan’s and his father’s debt record by leaps and bounds.  When
the GOP broke the economy, that made everything even worse.
As I pointed out in another post,
under the rosiest of perspectives, Republicans are responsible for at
least 90% of the current $17 trillion national debt.  And the major
reason for all of that debt is because Republicans operate from a
philosophical construct that treats all government spending as equal,
which makes them incompetent. Some spending just reduces the Treasury’s
size, while other spending actually creates more revenue.  They also
believe silly theories like “supply-side economics,” known more commonly
as “trickle down,” even though the architect of the theory, David
Stockman, has even said it doesn’t work. If we’ve learned nothing else
in 34 years, it’s that tax cuts for the rich reduce revenue, while job
creation creates revenue, because it creates taxpayers. Yet,
Republicans  haven’t learned this lesson. Congress has been presented
with multiple bills designed to create millions of jobs, and the GOP
refuses to even consider them, claiming their upfront cost is too high,
despite the fact that they would actually create economic activity and
reduce the deficit they cry so much about. How is this not incompetent?
While the magnitude of Republican incompetence at the
federal level will one day be legendary, when you look at their record
running states. In fact, when you look at that record, it’s absolutely
apparent that Republicans plainly suck at running things. Given their
rhetoric, you’d think life is idyllic in red states, while life in blue
states is a living hell. But when you look at actual data, you find the
opposite to be true. It’s difficult to find a quality of life issue that
isn’t better in blue states than in red states. I’m not just saying that; I have the data to prove it, and I’m passing it on to you.
(Before I continue, please note that I don’t
include the District of Columbia in the data, because they’re an
anomaly. They’re not a state, and they’re not run like one.)
Republicans Should Not Be Allowed Near the Economy
Let’s start with economic issues. Like I said, we now
know that supply side economics doesn’t work. Some might try to make
the case that, while it doesn’t work on the federal level, it might work
on the smaller, state-level scale. Most red states feature low income
tax rates, if there’s an income tax at all, and they brag of “balanced
budgets” and restrained spending. By doing all of that, they claim their
state economies are in far better shape than in blue states.
Only they’re not.
Start with unemployment. Republicans like to brag
about their low unemployment rates these days, but the fact is, it’s
very mixed. As of December 2013, while 7 of the ten states with the
lowest unemployment rates are red, so are six of the ten with the
highest rates. (Source)
But unemployment rates are constantly changing, and have to be combined
with other factors to make any sense. For example, is your state
well-run if most people are employed, but few are making enough money to
live on.
As of 2012, the ten states with the lowest median household income were: 50.
Mississippi, $37,095; 49. Arkansas, $40,112; 48. West Virginia,
$40,196; 47. Alabama, $41,574; 46. Kentucky, $41,724;  45. New Mexico,
$42,558; 44. Tennessee, $42,764; 43. Louisiana, $42,944 42. South
Carolina, $43,107 and 41. Oklahoma, $44,312
. (Source)
Do you see a blue state in there anywhere? I’ll show you where the blue states are:
The ten states with the highest median household income were: 1.
Maryland, $71,122; 2. New Jersey, $69,667; 3. Alaska, $67,712; 4.
Connecticut, $67,276; 5. Hawaii, $66,259; 6. Massachusetts, $65,339; 7.
New Hampshire, $63,280; 8. Virginia, $61,741; 9. Minnesota, $58,906; 10.
Delaware, $58,415
.  (Source)
In case you think these are just anomalies, download this spreadsheet.  The data goes back to 1984, and it shows that red states have always been among the poorest.
Since averages can be skewed a bit, we should also look at the states and their poverty rates.
As of 2012, the ten states with the highest percentage of household poverty are: 1.
Mississippi, 24.2%; 2. New Mexico, 22.8%; 3. Louisiana, 19.9%; 4.
Arkansas, 19.8%; 5. Kentucky, 19.4%; 6. Georgia, 19.2%; 7. Alabama,
19.0%; 8. Arizona, 18.7%; 9. South Carolina, 18.3%; 10. North Carolina,
18.0%.
(Source)
Keep in mind, the  poverty rate for the United States
for 2012 is 15.9%, which is already too high, because of the mortgage
meltdown Republicans caused. But look at these states; there are no blue
ones on the list.
By contrast, using the same source, the states with the lowest percentage of household poverty for 2012 were: 50.
New Hampshire, 10.0%; 49. Alaska, 10.1%; 48. Maryland, 10.3%. 47. New
Jersey, 10.8%; 46. North Dakota, 11.2%; 45. Minnesota, 11.2%; 44.
Hawaii, 11.6%; 43. Virginia, 11.7%; 42. Vermont, 11.8%; and 41.
Massachusetts, 11.9%.
Alaska doesn’t belong, since they’re basically a
socialist state. Everyone who lives in the state gets a check from oil
companies every year, so the fact that 10 percent of state residents are
in poverty is a puzzle. North Dakota is participating in an oil shale
boom that may last another decade, if they’re lucky. By the way, look at
the map in Figure 5, on page 11 of the source document. If that doesn’t
show, in graphic detail, the problem with Republicans running the show,
nothing will.
Most states with traditionally Republican leaderships
feature low incomes and high poverty. They keep tax rates low and they
rarely make investments in jobs, because they see every dollar that goes
out as “spending.” Also, they prefer to lure companies through tax
abatement to lure companies to the states, but do nothing to keep wages
up, which would produce revenue. That’s why red states tend to be the
nation’s welfare queens.
The Real “Welfare States” Are All Republican
When a Republican governor brags about a balanced
budget, you should know that it’s blue states who make that possible.
People in red states don’t seem to realize that Republicans keeping
their tax rates low because states like California and New York
subsidize them. I know this because they trash blue states for
occasionally running a budget deficit, even though many such deficits
are caused in part because they don’t receive every dollar they pay in
to federal coffers. If each state got back a benefit equal to the amount
they paid in federal taxes, Republican states would have to either
raise tax rates mightily, or cut services to the bone. Every time you
hear a Republican complain about having to support California during
their current tough times, show them these numbers and tell them to sit
down and shut up.
Here are the states who receive the most federal money back for every dollar they pay in taxes: Mississippi,
$2.83; West Virginia, $2.83; New Mexico, $2.80; Hawaii, $2.38; Alaska,
$2.24; Alabama, $2.21; South Carolina, $2.13; Montana, $2.13; Maine,
$2.00; Kentucky, $1.96.
Meanwhile, the following states are subsidizing the
above states to the greatest degree. In other words, when these people
pay $1.00 in taxes, this is the amount of benefit they receive in
return: Delaware $0.40; Minnesota, $0.54; New Jersey, $0.62;
Connecticut, $0.74; Illinois, $0.79; New York, $0.79; Nebraska, $0.82;
Rhode Island, $0.89; Colorado, $0.90; Arkansas, $0.92
(Source)
The first question I have to ask is, why does a state
like Alaska need any help at all? Oh, I know they have some military up
there, but so New Jersey, New York and Colorado. Alaska gets huge oil
subsidies and they hand out large checks to state residents. It seems to
me they would do well to cut their dependence on the federal government
and stop pretending they’re so incredibly “independent.”
Republican States and Guns – They’re Not Safer
Money isn’t everything. Republicans also like to brag
about how safe their residents are. They . After all, they are “tough
on crime,” right? Well… not according to statistics, they aren’t.
In 2012, the ten states with the highest murder rates were; 1.
Louisiana, 10.8 (per 100,000); 2. Mississippi, 7.4; 3. Alabama, 7.1; 4.
Michigan, 7.0; 5. South Carolina, 6.9; 6. Missouri, 6.5; 7. Maryland,
6.3; 8. Delaware, 6.2; 9. Tennessee, 6.0; 10. a tie between Arkansas and
Georgia. Eight out of 11 states are reliably red.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the lowest murder rates for 2012 were:
50. New Hampshire, 1.1 (per 100,000); 49. Vermont, 1.3; 48. Iowa, 1.5;
47. a tie among Minnesota, Utah, Idaho and Massachusetts, 1.8; 43.
Maine, 1.9; 42. Hawaii, 2.1; and 41. a tie between Oregon and Wyoming.
(Source)
There’s an addendum at the bottom of that chart that should give everyone pause:
“For 2012, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty
States was 4.7, while the average Murder Rate of States without the
Death Penalty was 3.7”

Red States Don’t Seem To Like Women Much

To those of you who think the “War on Women” is a
myth, here are the 10 states with the highest rate of women murdered by
men in 2011; 1. South Carolina, 2.54 (per 100,000 women; 2. Alaska,
2.01; 3.  Oklahoma, 1.99; 4. Delaware, 1.92; 5. Arizona, 1.84; 6.
Tennessee, 1.80; 7. Idaho, 1.77; 8. West Virginia, 1.70; 9. Louisiana,
1.67; 10. New Mexico, 1.62
. (Source) If they’re not at war with women, why are the men shooting so many. Of the above, only Delaware isn’t a red state.
Of course, according to the NRA, the solution should
be more people with more guns, right? As usual, this is apparently a
myth. The data proves it.
The ten states with the highest rate of firearms ownership are: 1.
Wyoming 59.7%; 2. Alaska 57.8%; 3. Montana 57.7%; 4. South Dakota
56.6%; 5. West Virginia 55.4%; 6(T) Mississippi, Idaho and Arkansas
55.3%; 9. Alabama 51.7%; 10. North Dakota 50.7%. (Source)
Meanwhile, check out the states with the highest firearm death rate (not the same as murder rate, of course): 1.
Alaska, 20.4 (per 100,000); 2. Louisiana, 19.2; 3. Alabama, 16.2; 4.
Mississippi, 16.1; 5. Wyoming, 15.6; 6. Montana, 15.4; 7. New Mexico,
14.9; 8. Arizona, 14.6, 9. Nevada, 14.5; 10. a tie among Arkansas,
Oklahoma and Tennessee, 14.4.
And for all of the fun they make of Washington, DC, ALL 12 of those states came in ahead of it. (Source)
The national average firearm death rate was 10.1 per
100,000. In all, 29 states were above that average. But only two of
those states were not reliably red.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the lowest rates of gun ownership are: 41.
Florida 24.5%; 42(T). California and Maryland 21.3%; 44. Illinois
20.2%; 45. New York 18%; 46. Connecticut 16.7%; 47. Rhode Island 12.8%;
48. Massachusetts 12.6%; 49. New Jersey 12.3%; 50. Hawaii 6.7% (Source)
The ten states with the lowest firearm death rates in the country are:
50. Hawaii, 3.2 (per 100,000); 49. Massachusetts, 4.1; 48. Rhode
Island, 4.6; 47. New York, 5.1; 46. New Jersey, 5.2;  45. Connecticut,
5.9; 43. A tie between Minnesota and Iowa, 6.8 42. California and 41.
Maine
  (Source)
To summarize, there is no basis for the concept that
more guns equals less crime and less death. While guns don’t kill
people, of course, the more guns people have, the more likely people are
to end up dead. While that bit of logic should be obvious, the GOP
sells the opposite as if it’s been proven fact. The data also puts the
lie to the idea that blue states with tight gun control laws and
troublesome urban areas leave people vulnerable. New York, New Jersey
and California all have have LOWER firearm death rates than mostly rural
states with lax gun control laws, even though they have tight gun
restrictions and huge urban areas.

Even if You’re Not Murdered in a Red State, You’re Not Safer

Red states don’t pass the test, even when you look at
crimes other than murder. The ten states with the overall highest
violent crime rate are: 1. Tennessee, 643.6 (per 100,000); 2.
Nevada, 607.6; 3. Alaska, 603.2; 4. New Mexico, 559.1; 5. South
Carolina, 558.8;  6. Delaware, 547.7; 7. Louisiana, 496.9; 8. Florida,
487.1; 9. Maryland, 476.8 10. Oklahoma, 469.3.  
(Source)
The ten states with the overall lowest violent crime rate are: 50.
Maine, 119.8 (per 100,000); 49. Vermont, 131.4; 48. New Hampshire,
159.6; 47. South Dakota, 185.6; 46. North Dakota, 200.7; 45. Utah,
212.7; 44. Virginia, 226.8; 43. Wyoming, 228.2; 42. Idaho, 228.4; 41.
Minnesota, 243.9.
(Source)
People in South Carolina and Tennessee are more
likely to be killed, raped, assaulted or have their purse snatched in
their home states than those in New York, New Jersey and California.
Doesn’t tht seem kind of strange, given all those “tough on crime”
Republicans and their populations being armed to the teeth?

Republicans Talk About “Family Values,” But Their States Sure Don’t Live It

Given all of their whining about the decline of
civilization and their talk about “family values,” Republican-run states
don’t even come out winners in that arena.
For all their talk about “sanctity of marriage” in
those red states, they don’t seem to live it. The ten states with the
highest divorce rates: 1. Alaska;  2. Oklahoma; 3; Kentucky; 4. Arkansas; 5. Alabama; 6. Nevada; 7. Georgia; 8. Texas; 9. Tennessee; 10. Maine (Source)
Nevada doesn’t belong here. People go to Nevada from
all over just to get married and/or divorced. But only one other state
in the top ten can even be considered purple. If Republicans are to
claim that same-sex marriages hurts the “sanctity of marriage,” they
would do well to get their own house in order.
Republicans complain mightily about groups like
Planned Parenthood, but honestly, statistics demonstrate that they need
them more than anyone else, because those abstinence-only programs sure
aren’t working. The ten states with the highest rate of teen pregnancy
are: 1. New Mexico; 2. Nevada; 3. Arizona; 4. Texas; 5. Mississippi;
6. Delaware; 7. Arkansas; 8. Georgia; 9. a tie between. South Carolina
and Tennessee
(Source)

I keep rewriting and updating this article because
of the enormous number of examples of Republican incompetence at running
government, and everyone needs to know this. It’s really simple; when
we elect Republicans, or we help elect Republicans (which man people who
claim to be “real progressives” tend to do a lot), we are putting the
government in the hands of politicians whose most fervent followers
truly believe government can’t work, and so they struggle to try to
prove their premise. That’s right, folks. If you are one of those who
likes to throw out the “both parties are the same” crap, you are
equating one party that kisses your ass and does everything they can to
get you to like them, with another party that has a mandate to prove
that government is incompetent. In what way are those two concepts in
any way the same?
And while the Republican arty is far worse than we
could have ever dreamed of a generation ago, they’ve been bad for a
generation; especially since they recruited the worst elements of the
Democratic Party back in the civil rights era. If you think the latest
government shutdown and the constant brinkmanship is something brand
new, think again. And if you think it’s all about the Tea Party,
consider the fact that there are 46 members of the Tea Party Caucus in
the House, but this past October, 144 House Republicans actually voted
to default on the debt. That’s right; 144 “fiscally responsible”
Republicans voted to destroy the nation’s credit in order to prove
The government actually worked well during the
post-war era, when Democrats ran the show for 30 out of the 34 years
between 1946 and 1980, government actually worked. That’s true not just
of the federal government, but states, as well. Republicans have
controlled most of the government for 30 of the last 34 years, and it
shows.
While I am a partisan Democrat and a liberal, this
isn’t just about my beliefs. It’s easily provable through statistics.
Democrats have a strong record of competence, and Republicans have an
equally strong record of incompetence. And since getting the
most progressive government starts with state legislatures and a US
Congress that is at least competent enough to get the basics right, it’s
important that we understand that Republican Party ideology is what’s
holding this country back.
The Republicanization of the National Debt: Hypocrisy
Republican Party incompetence is obvious when you
look closely at their irresponsible stewardship of the federal
government.  It was Republicans who gave us the Great Depression and
kept us there for four years without really attempting to fix anything.
On the other hand, during the two periods after that, the 1930s and
1940s and the 1960s, when Democrats held the White House and a
supermajority in Congress, the New Deal and Social Security passed, as
well as market and economic reforms that created the largest economic
boom and social transformation in world history. The prosperity led to
the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, Medicare, OSHA, FDA, FTC and
the EPA, among numerous other changes.
Compare that with the last 34 years, during which
Republicans have controlled the government for 30. This is a period in
our history that simply should not have happened. As bad as the
Republican Party was before, the current radicalized version has has
caused the country to stagnate in many ways, and to basically stop the
country from moving forward. Mostly, this is because of the current
Republicans’ push for austerity. They pretend to care about deficits and
debt, but the fact is, almost all of the debt that’s accumulated to
date came from their incompetence. The money they borrow and spend
doesn’t go to investments in the country, like building infrastructure,
which would actually create more revenue and less debt. Instead, they
waste money went to tax cuts for the rich and making weapons for wars
we’ll never fight, which creates, at best, a short-term minimal gain.
This isn’t just a partisan grouse. There is plenty of data to support this. Look at these charts
The green stripe shows what the debt would look like if Reagan and Bush
41 had actually balanced the budget, which they promised going in, and
the Democratic Presidents did all of the same things they did. Even if
they had just kept the debt level they were given, there would have been
virtually zero debt, as a percent of GDP, by the time Bush 43 crashed
the economy. That would have made recovery far easier., because we could
have thrown $2-3 trillion at job creation without even flinching. We
can actually still do that – the current level of debt is not
unprecedented — but after 34 years of GOP politics, it’s hard to get
people to understand this. For 34 years, they’ve been told that
Between the end of World War II and 1980, when
Democrats ran government, the debt dropped from 120% of GDP to less than
33% of GDP. The debt at that time was $990 billion. But beginning with
Reagan’s inauguration in 1981, the neocon Republican Party changed all
that. In 8 years of Reagan, the debt more than tripled, and in 4 years
of Bush, Sr., it doubled again. After 12 years of Republican rule, the
debt had increased by a factor of six, and the economy largely remained
stagnant. As a percent of GDP, the debt rose to more than 60%.
It was then that Democrat Bill Clinton shamed
Congressional Republicans into helping him balance the budget, and they
even created a surplus. When Clinton left in 2001, he handed Bush, Jr.
and the Republican Congress a federal government scheduled to run budget
surpluses for at least the next ten years, according to the CBO,
which would trim the then-$6 trillion debt to about $4.5 trillion,
which would put it back below 30% of GDP and dropping. We should have
been back on track.
Instead, the same Republicans who crowed about their
own “fiscal responsibility” and happily took credit for Clinton’s
balanced budgets then helped Bush blow the debt up again, even before
they managed to break the economy. Bush 43 immediately enacted the least
necessary tax cuts in the history of the republic at the same time he
started two wars, which resulted in deficits and debt accumulation that
topped Reagan’s and his father’s debt record by leaps and bounds.  When
the GOP broke the economy, that made everything even worse.
As I pointed out in another post,
under the rosiest of perspectives, Republicans are responsible for at
least 90% of the current $17 trillion national debt.  And the major
reason for all of that debt is because Republicans operate from a
philosophical construct that treats all government spending as equal,
which makes them incompetent. Some spending just reduces the Treasury’s
size, while other spending actually creates more revenue.  They also
believe silly theories like “supply-side economics,” known more commonly
as “trickle down,” even though the architect of the theory, David
Stockman, has even said it doesn’t work. If we’ve learned nothing else
in 34 years, it’s that tax cuts for the rich reduce revenue, while job
creation creates revenue, because it creates taxpayers. Yet,
Republicans  haven’t learned this lesson. Congress has been presented
with multiple bills designed to create millions of jobs, and the GOP
refuses to even consider them, claiming their upfront cost is too high,
despite the fact that they would actually create economic activity and
reduce the deficit they cry so much about. How is this not incompetent?
While the magnitude of Republican incompetence at the
federal level will one day be legendary, when you look at their record
running states. In fact, when you look at that record, it’s absolutely
apparent that Republicans plainly suck at running things. Given their
rhetoric, you’d think life is idyllic in red states, while life in blue
states is a living hell. But when you look at actual data, you find the
opposite to be true. It’s difficult to find a quality of life issue that
isn’t better in blue states than in red states. I’m not just saying that; I have the data to prove it, and I’m passing it on to you.
(Before I continue, please note that I don’t
include the District of Columbia in the data, because they’re an
anomaly. They’re not a state, and they’re not run like one.)
Republicans Should Not Be Allowed Near the Economy
Let’s start with economic issues. Like I said, we now
know that supply side economics doesn’t work. Some might try to make
the case that, while it doesn’t work on the federal level, it might work
on the smaller, state-level scale. Most red states feature low income
tax rates, if there’s an income tax at all, and they brag of “balanced
budgets” and restrained spending. By doing all of that, they claim their
state economies are in far better shape than in blue states.
Only they’re not.
Start with unemployment. Republicans like to brag
about their low unemployment rates these days, but the fact is, it’s
very mixed. As of December 2013, while 7 of the ten states with the
lowest unemployment rates are red, so are six of the ten with the
highest rates. (Source)
But unemployment rates are constantly changing, and have to be combined
with other factors to make any sense. For example, is your state
well-run if most people are employed, but few are making enough money to
live on.
As of 2012, the ten states with the lowest median household income were: 50.
Mississippi, $37,095; 49. Arkansas, $40,112; 48. West Virginia,
$40,196; 47. Alabama, $41,574; 46. Kentucky, $41,724;  45. New Mexico,
$42,558; 44. Tennessee, $42,764; 43. Louisiana, $42,944 42. South
Carolina, $43,107 and 41. Oklahoma, $44,312
. (Source)
Do you see a blue state in there anywhere? I’ll show you where the blue states are:
The ten states with the highest median household income were: 1.
Maryland, $71,122; 2. New Jersey, $69,667; 3. Alaska, $67,712; 4.
Connecticut, $67,276; 5. Hawaii, $66,259; 6. Massachusetts, $65,339; 7.
New Hampshire, $63,280; 8. Virginia, $61,741; 9. Minnesota, $58,906; 10.
Delaware, $58,415
.  (Source)
In case you think these are just anomalies, download this spreadsheet.  The data goes back to 1984, and it shows that red states have always been among the poorest.
Since averages can be skewed a bit, we should also look at the states and their poverty rates.
As of 2012, the ten states with the highest percentage of household poverty are: 1.
Mississippi, 24.2%; 2. New Mexico, 22.8%; 3. Louisiana, 19.9%; 4.
Arkansas, 19.8%; 5. Kentucky, 19.4%; 6. Georgia, 19.2%; 7. Alabama,
19.0%; 8. Arizona, 18.7%; 9. South Carolina, 18.3%; 10. North Carolina,
18.0%.
(Source)
Keep in mind, the  poverty rate for the United States
for 2012 is 15.9%, which is already too high, because of the mortgage
meltdown Republicans caused. But look at these states; there are no blue
ones on the list.
By contrast, using the same source, the states with the lowest percentage of household poverty for 2012 were: 50.
New Hampshire, 10.0%; 49. Alaska, 10.1%; 48. Maryland, 10.3%. 47. New
Jersey, 10.8%; 46. North Dakota, 11.2%; 45. Minnesota, 11.2%; 44.
Hawaii, 11.6%; 43. Virginia, 11.7%; 42. Vermont, 11.8%; and 41.
Massachusetts, 11.9%.
Alaska doesn’t belong, since they’re basically a
socialist state. Everyone who lives in the state gets a check from oil
companies every year, so the fact that 10 percent of state residents are
in poverty is a puzzle. North Dakota is participating in an oil shale
boom that may last another decade, if they’re lucky. By the way, look at
the map in Figure 5, on page 11 of the source document. If that doesn’t
show, in graphic detail, the problem with Republicans running the show,
nothing will.
Most states with traditionally Republican leaderships
feature low incomes and high poverty. They keep tax rates low and they
rarely make investments in jobs, because they see every dollar that goes
out as “spending.” Also, they prefer to lure companies through tax
abatement to lure companies to the states, but do nothing to keep wages
up, which would produce revenue. That’s why red states tend to be the
nation’s welfare queens.
The Real “Welfare States” Are All Republican
When a Republican governor brags about a balanced
budget, you should know that it’s blue states who make that possible.
People in red states don’t seem to realize that Republicans keeping
their tax rates low because states like California and New York
subsidize them. I know this because they trash blue states for
occasionally running a budget deficit, even though many such deficits
are caused in part because they don’t receive every dollar they pay in
to federal coffers. If each state got back a benefit equal to the amount
they paid in federal taxes, Republican states would have to either
raise tax rates mightily, or cut services to the bone. Every time you
hear a Republican complain about having to support California during
their current tough times, show them these numbers and tell them to sit
down and shut up.
Here are the states who receive the most federal money back for every dollar they pay in taxes: Mississippi,
$2.83; West Virginia, $2.83; New Mexico, $2.80; Hawaii, $2.38; Alaska,
$2.24; Alabama, $2.21; South Carolina, $2.13; Montana, $2.13; Maine,
$2.00; Kentucky, $1.96.
Meanwhile, the following states are subsidizing the
above states to the greatest degree. In other words, when these people
pay $1.00 in taxes, this is the amount of benefit they receive in
return: Delaware $0.40; Minnesota, $0.54; New Jersey, $0.62;
Connecticut, $0.74; Illinois, $0.79; New York, $0.79; Nebraska, $0.82;
Rhode Island, $0.89; Colorado, $0.90; Arkansas, $0.92
(Source)
The first question I have to ask is, why does a state
like Alaska need any help at all? Oh, I know they have some military up
there, but so New Jersey, New York and Colorado. Alaska gets huge oil
subsidies and they hand out large checks to state residents. It seems to
me they would do well to cut their dependence on the federal government
and stop pretending they’re so incredibly “independent.”
Republican States and Guns – They’re Not Safer
Money isn’t everything. Republicans also like to brag
about how safe their residents are. They . After all, they are “tough
on crime,” right? Well… not according to statistics, they aren’t.
In 2012, the ten states with the highest murder rates were; 1.
Louisiana, 10.8 (per 100,000); 2. Mississippi, 7.4; 3. Alabama, 7.1; 4.
Michigan, 7.0; 5. South Carolina, 6.9; 6. Missouri, 6.5; 7. Maryland,
6.3; 8. Delaware, 6.2; 9. Tennessee, 6.0; 10. a tie between Arkansas and
Georgia. Eight out of 11 states are reliably red.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the lowest murder rates for 2012 were:
50. New Hampshire, 1.1 (per 100,000); 49. Vermont, 1.3; 48. Iowa, 1.5;
47. a tie among Minnesota, Utah, Idaho and Massachusetts, 1.8; 43.
Maine, 1.9; 42. Hawaii, 2.1; and 41. a tie between Oregon and Wyoming.
(Source)
There’s an addendum at the bottom of that chart that should give everyone pause:
“For 2012, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty
States was 4.7, while the average Murder Rate of States without the
Death Penalty was 3.7”

Red States Don’t Seem To Like Women Much

To those of you who think the “War on Women” is a
myth, here are the 10 states with the highest rate of women murdered by
men in 2011; 1. South Carolina, 2.54 (per 100,000 women; 2. Alaska,
2.01; 3.  Oklahoma, 1.99; 4. Delaware, 1.92; 5. Arizona, 1.84; 6.
Tennessee, 1.80; 7. Idaho, 1.77; 8. West Virginia, 1.70; 9. Louisiana,
1.67; 10. New Mexico, 1.62
. (Source) If they’re not at war with women, why are the men shooting so many. Of the above, only Delaware isn’t a red state.
Of course, according to the NRA, the solution should
be more people with more guns, right? As usual, this is apparently a
myth. The data proves it.
The ten states with the highest rate of firearms ownership are: 1.
Wyoming 59.7%; 2. Alaska 57.8%; 3. Montana 57.7%; 4. South Dakota
56.6%; 5. West Virginia 55.4%; 6(T) Mississippi, Idaho and Arkansas
55.3%; 9. Alabama 51.7%; 10. North Dakota 50.7%. (Source)
Meanwhile, check out the states with the highest firearm death rate (not the same as murder rate, of course): 1.
Alaska, 20.4 (per 100,000); 2. Louisiana, 19.2; 3. Alabama, 16.2; 4.
Mississippi, 16.1; 5. Wyoming, 15.6; 6. Montana, 15.4; 7. New Mexico,
14.9; 8. Arizona, 14.6, 9. Nevada, 14.5; 10. a tie among Arkansas,
Oklahoma and Tennessee, 14.4.
And for all of the fun they make of Washington, DC, ALL 12 of those states came in ahead of it. (Source)
The national average firearm death rate was 10.1 per
100,000. In all, 29 states were above that average. But only two of
those states were not reliably red.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the lowest rates of gun ownership are: 41.
Florida 24.5%; 42(T). California and Maryland 21.3%; 44. Illinois
20.2%; 45. New York 18%; 46. Connecticut 16.7%; 47. Rhode Island 12.8%;
48. Massachusetts 12.6%; 49. New Jersey 12.3%; 50. Hawaii 6.7% (Source)
The ten states with the lowest firearm death rates in the country are:
50. Hawaii, 3.2 (per 100,000); 49. Massachusetts, 4.1; 48. Rhode
Island, 4.6; 47. New York, 5.1; 46. New Jersey, 5.2;  45. Connecticut,
5.9; 43. A tie between Minnesota and Iowa, 6.8 42. California and 41.
Maine
  (Source)
To summarize, there is no basis for the concept that
more guns equals less crime and less death. While guns don’t kill
people, of course, the more guns people have, the more likely people are
to end up dead. While that bit of logic should be obvious, the GOP
sells the opposite as if it’s been proven fact. The data also puts the
lie to the idea that blue states with tight gun control laws and
troublesome urban areas leave people vulnerable. New York, New Jersey
and California all have have LOWER firearm death rates than mostly rural
states with lax gun control laws, even though they have tight gun
restrictions and huge urban areas.

Even if You’re Not Murdered in a Red State, You’re Not Safer

Red states don’t pass the test, even when you look at
crimes other than murder. The ten states with the overall highest
violent crime rate are: 1. Tennessee, 643.6 (per 100,000); 2.
Nevada, 607.6; 3. Alaska, 603.2; 4. New Mexico, 559.1; 5. South
Carolina, 558.8;  6. Delaware, 547.7; 7. Louisiana, 496.9; 8. Florida,
487.1; 9. Maryland, 476.8 10. Oklahoma, 469.3.  
(Source)
The ten states with the overall lowest violent crime rate are: 50.
Maine, 119.8 (per 100,000); 49. Vermont, 131.4; 48. New Hampshire,
159.6; 47. South Dakota, 185.6; 46. North Dakota, 200.7; 45. Utah,
212.7; 44. Virginia, 226.8; 43. Wyoming, 228.2; 42. Idaho, 228.4; 41.
Minnesota, 243.9.
(Source)
People in South Carolina and Tennessee are more
likely to be killed, raped, assaulted or have their purse snatched in
their home states than those in New York, New Jersey and California.
Doesn’t tht seem kind of strange, given all those “tough on crime”
Republicans and their populations being armed to the teeth?

Republicans Talk About “Family Values,” But Their States Sure Don’t Live It


Given all of their whining about the decline of
civilization and their talk about “family values,” Republican-run states
don’t even come out winners in that arena.
For all their talk about “sanctity of marriage” in
those red states, they don’t seem to live it. The ten states with the
highest divorce rates: 1. Alaska;  2. Oklahoma; 3; Kentucky; 4. Arkansas; 5. Alabama; 6. Nevada; 7. Georgia; 8. Texas; 9. Tennessee; 10. Maine (Source)
Nevada doesn’t belong here. People go to Nevada from
all over just to get married and/or divorced. But only one other state
in the top ten can even be considered purple. If Republicans are to
claim that same-sex marriages hurts the “sanctity of marriage,” they
would do well to get their own house in order.
Republicans complain mightily about groups like
Planned Parenthood, but honestly, statistics demonstrate that they need
them more than anyone else, because those abstinence-only programs sure
aren’t working. The ten states with the highest rate of teen pregnancy
are: 1. New Mexico; 2. Nevada; 3. Arizona; 4. Texas; 5. Mississippi;
6. Delaware; 7. Arkansas; 8. Georgia; 9. a tie between. South Carolina
and Tennessee
(Source)

If You Wonder They’re Not, um, “Logical,” Republican States Fail at Education, Too
And the next time a Republican tells you he or she
knows how to fix education, tell them to relay the information to their
own states, because the red state record on education isn’t so great.
The ten states with the worst graduation rates in the country are: 50.
Nevada, 62%; 49. New Mexico, 63% ; 48. Georgia, 67% ; 46. tie between
Oregon and Alaska, 68%; 44. tie between Louisiana and Florida, 71%; 43.
Alabama, 72%; and 41. tie between South Carolina, Michigan and Colorado,
74%. 
(Source)
It’s no wonder. Look at how little red states spend
on education per pupil. The bottom ten states when it comes to per pupil
spending on education as of Fiscal Year 2011 are:  50. Utah,
$6,212; 49. Idaho, $6,824; 48. Oklahoma, $7,587; 47. Arizona, $7,666;
46. Mississippi, $7,928; 45. Tennessee, $8,242; 44. North Carolina,
$8,312; 43. Nevada, $8,527; 42. Texas, $8,671; 41. Colorado, $8,724
(Source)
Meanwhile, the states with the highest spending per pupil are: 1.
New York, $19,076; 2. Alaska, $16,674; 3. New Jersey, $15.968; 4.
Vermont, $15,925; 5. Wyoming, $15,849; 6. Connecticut, $15,600; 7.
Massachusetts, $13,941; 8. Maryland, $13,871; 9. Rhode Island, $13,815;
10. Pennsylvania; $13,467
First, note the overlap with graduation rates. Then
consider the gap between the highest and the lowest. Then, consider the
overlap with the list of states that get more federal money than they
pay. Obviously, they’re not spending it on education. They’re spending
it on tax cuts.
Republicans Really Don’t Care About Your Health
When you look at these statistics, you have to wonder
why the Republican Party voted 42 times and shut down the government in
order to kill Obamacare. They need it more than anyone.
Before Obamacare took effect last month, these were the ten states with the largest number of uninsured:: 1.
Texas, 26.1% 2. Florida, 22.4% 3. New Mexico, 21.7% 4. Nevada, 20.8% 
5. Georgia, 20.5% 6. California, 20% 7. Arizona, 19.6% 8. Arkansas,
19.2% 9. Oklahoma, 18.1% 10. North Carolina, 18.0%
. Of that group,
only California politicians seem interested in getting coverage for
their people, and making sure the hospitals and doctors get paid, which
is exactly what Obamacare will do.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the fewest uninsured individuals fought FOR Obamacare: 50.
Massachusetts, 4.4%; 49. Hawaii, 8.2%; 48. Minnesota, 8.8%; 47.
Wisconsin, 9.5%; 46. Vermont, 9.9%; 45. Maine, 10.2%; 44. New Hampshire,
10.5%; 43. North Dakota, 10.7%; 42. Pennsylvania, 11.4%; 41. Nebraska,
11.5%
(Source)
Why would the states with the most coverage be for
universal health insurance? Because it brings costs down. Why would
states who obviously need more universal coverage be against it? Because
it will shine a light on just how poorly run their states are. As we’ve
shown, people in red states are poor, less educated, sick and they are
at greater risk of crime. And if people knew it, Republicans might lose
their jobs…
This is why I’m here.
It’s not possible to look at these statistics and say
that what Republicans are doing is great for the country, if you’re
being honest. If you agree that their stewardship of federal and state
governments hasn’t been ideal, then join me in helping to elect
Democrats – you know, the people from the best-run states.

And the next time a Republican tells you he or she
knows how to fix education, tell them to relay the information to their
own states, because the red state record on education isn’t so great.
The ten states with the worst graduation rates in the country are: 50.
Nevada, 62%; 49. New Mexico, 63% ; 48. Georgia, 67% ; 46. tie between
Oregon and Alaska, 68%; 44. tie between Louisiana and Florida, 71%; 43.
Alabama, 72%; and 41. tie between South Carolina, Michigan and Colorado,
74%. 
(Source)
It’s no wonder. Look at how little red states spend
on education per pupil. The bottom ten states when it comes to per pupil
spending on education as of Fiscal Year 2011 are:  50. Utah,
$6,212; 49. Idaho, $6,824; 48. Oklahoma, $7,587; 47. Arizona, $7,666;
46. Mississippi, $7,928; 45. Tennessee, $8,242; 44. North Carolina,
$8,312; 43. Nevada, $8,527; 42. Texas, $8,671; 41. Colorado, $8,724
(Source)
Meanwhile, the states with the highest spending per pupil are: 1.
New York, $19,076; 2. Alaska, $16,674; 3. New Jersey, $15.968; 4.
Vermont, $15,925; 5. Wyoming, $15,849; 6. Connecticut, $15,600; 7.
Massachusetts, $13,941; 8. Maryland, $13,871; 9. Rhode Island, $13,815;
10. Pennsylvania; $13,467
First, note the overlap with graduation rates. Then
consider the gap between the highest and the lowest. Then, consider the
overlap with the list of states that get more federal money than they
pay. Obviously, they’re not spending it on education. They’re spending
it on tax cuts.
Republicans Really Don’t Care About Your Health
When you look at these statistics, you have to wonder
why the Republican Party voted 42 times and shut down the government in
order to kill Obamacare. They need it more than anyone.
Before Obamacare took effect last month, these were the ten states with the largest number of uninsured:: 1.
Texas, 26.1% 2. Florida, 22.4% 3. New Mexico, 21.7% 4. Nevada, 20.8% 
5. Georgia, 20.5% 6. California, 20% 7. Arizona, 19.6% 8. Arkansas,
19.2% 9. Oklahoma, 18.1% 10. North Carolina, 18.0%
. Of that group,
only California politicians seem interested in getting coverage for
their people, and making sure the hospitals and doctors get paid, which
is exactly what Obamacare will do.
Meanwhile, the ten states with the fewest uninsured individuals fought FOR Obamacare: 50.
Massachusetts, 4.4%; 49. Hawaii, 8.2%; 48. Minnesota, 8.8%; 47.
Wisconsin, 9.5%; 46. Vermont, 9.9%; 45. Maine, 10.2%; 44. New Hampshire,
10.5%; 43. North Dakota, 10.7%; 42. Pennsylvania, 11.4%; 41. Nebraska,
11.5%
(Source)
Why would the states with the most coverage be for
universal health insurance? Because it brings costs down. Why would
states who obviously need more universal coverage be against it? Because
it will shine a light on just how poorly run their states are. As we’ve
shown, people in red states are poor, less educated, sick and they are
at greater risk of crime. And if people knew it, Republicans might lose
their jobs…
This is why I’m here.
It’s not possible to look at these statistics and say
that what Republicans are doing is great for the country, if you’re
being honest. If you agree that their stewardship of federal and state
governments hasn’t been ideal, then join me in helping to elect
Democrats – you know, the people from the best-run states.

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