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American Opinion: On the 'fiscally conservative'

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An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

From The Associated Press

On the "fiscally conservative" states:

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Republicans from Sarah Palin's Alaska and other "fiscally conservative" states love to condemn wasteful federal spending, the deepening deficit and so on. But in real life, "conservative" states have long tended to rake in more federal spending per capita than do "liberal" ones, often through dubious pork-barrel projects promoted on Capitol Hill to please powerful business interests that give to legislators' campaigns.

For some reason, they can mesmerize the public so much with their stirring rhetoric about the need to cut back the drunken federal government that has been run by the "flaming liberals" (or "socialists") Barack Obama, et al., that the public doesn't look at what they do.

Consider what ProPublica collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the use of stimulus money ...

As it turns out, oil-rich Alaska leads in per-capita federal stimulus money -- $3,145. It is followed by Montana, Vermont, North Dakota, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, Massachusetts and Washington. With the dramatic exceptions of Vermont and Massachusetts, these are states where "fiscally conservative" rhetoric attacking the Feds is rife. We also note that Alaska's share of federal spending is 71 percent above average.

If there's any state that lives on federal tax revenues, it's "The Last Frontier." You might call Alaskans the ultimate "welfare cheats," or its politicians the most expert wheeler-dealers on Capitol Hill.

But then, the matter evokes the rhetorical confusions about federal spending these days. For instance, how many folks ignore that the vast bulk of federal spending is for middle-class entitlements (including "socialistic" Medicare, beloved of Tea Party members -- and with few cost controls -- and Social Security) and the military.

-- The Providence (R.I.) Journal

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