A favorite complaint of Republicans and so-called “moderate” Democrats is that the economic proposals of “radical” and “liberal” progressives like Elizabeth Warren are dangerously evil socialist programs that will destroy America because they “redistribute wealth”.
In fact, GOP policy spearheaded by the GOP has been redistributing wealth for decades. A January 2019 study by the Rockefeller Institute of Government shows the specifics.
Paul Krugman highlights the truth about GOP moochers in his marvelous column in today’s New York Times (emphasis mine):
I’ve been reading a recent Rockefeller Institute report on states’ federal “balance of payments” — the difference for each state between what the federal government spends in that state and what it gets back in revenue.
The pattern is familiar: Richer states subsidize poorer states. And the reasons are clear: Rich states pay much more per person in federal taxes, while actually getting a bit less in federal spending, because Medicaid and other “means-tested” programs go disproportionately to those with low incomes. But the magnitudes are startling.
Take the case of Kentucky. In 2017, the state received $40 billion more from the federal government than it paid in taxes. That’s about one-fifth of the state’s G.D.P.; if Kentucky were a country, we’d say that it was receiving foreign aid on an almost inconceivable scale.
This aid, in turn, supports a lot of jobs. It’s fair to say that far more Kentuckians work in hospitals kept afloat by Medicare and Medicaid, in retail establishments kept going by Social Security and food stamps, than in all traditional occupations like mining and even agriculture combined.
Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky is the beneficiary of a massive transfer of wealth from New York taxpayers — together with MA, RI, CT, NH, IL and some others — to Kentucky residents. The average Massachusetts resident pays $2,343 more in taxes than he or she receives in benefits each year. The average Kentucky resident receives $9,145 more in benefits each year than he or she pays in taxes.
Much-maligned “liberal Democrats” of New England massively subsidize Republican Trumpists in Kentucky while those Trumpists literally bite the hand that feeds them.
We do in fact have a MASSIVE redistribution of wealth in the United States.
The wealth of Democratic states is being plundered in order to fund the moochers of Kentucky.