Yesterday, a video of Mitt Romney from back in the Spring speaking to supporters made the news in which he declared that a good number of Obama's supporters would never vote for him anyway and that he was going after the 5-6% of independents that would decide this election. Then, he said that the 47% of those who would vote for Obama no matter what, were largely made up of those who depended upon the Federal government. Here is one summary of Romney's words:
Mr. Romney describes how his campaign would not try to appeal to “47 percent of the people” who will vote for Mr. Obama “no matter what.” They are, he says, “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”
He says those people “pay no income tax,” and “so our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.” Mr. Romney adds: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Now, this raises an interesting point. I agree with Romney in the sense that we have far too many people in America who are dependent upon government and who pay no taxes. We are better off as a nation when everyone contributes to the greater good and we would be much better off if we had 70-80% of people with good jobs making good money and creating wealth and paying taxes off of that wealth. That is the ideal and generational poverty and dependence is a scourge upon our society, not just because there are others footing the bill, but because we have generations of people who know nothing but government dependence. That is a scandal in America and it should be addressed.
But, along with those issues that stems from personal dependence come the issues of state welfare. Some of the states with the lowest state tax structure are also the states that take the most money from the Federal Government on a per capita basis. Take my state of Alabama for example. Alabama is a very conservative state with some of the lowest state taxes in America. Yet, Alabama takes $1.66 from the Federal Government for every $1.00 it sends to Washington. Alabama, a very conservative state that is proud of its low taxes, is actually a welfare state in that it takes money from other states to be able to function. Alabama can only afford to have low state taxes because it takes money from other states to pay for its services. This is wrong, in my opinion.
But, it is not just Alabama that does this. As a matter of fact, the truth is that the majority of conservative (Red) states are welfare states living off of the surplus that the majority of liberal (Blue) states send in to the Federal Government. It appears that the more liberal states are not just paying their own way, but they are also footing the bill for the "Low taxes or no taxes" conservative states to be able to function. Check this out:
Now, I am very conservative politically, but I do not think that it is right for Alabama to have low state taxes and then take money from California and New York for its education, highways, and infrastructure. Alabama ought to pay its own way first and then send money on to the federal government for what we all deemed as the common good. As a matter of fact, what would our government look like if all social services, education, roads, and infrastructure that did not serve a federal purpose was handled by the states? What if there was no Federal money flowing into the states for anything other than what was needed for Federal purposes? Then, every state paid in 10 cents on the dollar for military defense and other projects that were Federal responsibilities and had interstate jurisdiction? We would end up with a much smaller, more efficient Federal Government and the states would have to get their house in order, fix themselves both economically and socially, and get off of the government dole.
The other scandal is that in many of these "Red" Conservative states that are so dependent upon Federal tax money, you have the Church playing a prominent role. Unfortunately, the South, which is historically the Bible Belt, is also the area with some of the worst social indicators, which are a primary reason for much Federal spending when it comes to social programs. One of the best ways for the States to get their act together is for these states with a large preponderance of churches to actually clean themselves up of the negative social indicators like teen pregnancy, divorce, drug addiction, obesity, etc. and put themselves on a more solid social and cultural footing.
All of this makes me think that Conservatives are not really serious about fiscal responsibility in a way that works. It seems that what they really want is for THEM not to have to pay taxes and for someone else to provide for them so that they can live the life they've always wanted. They will forgo a responsible state tax structure as long as the Federal Government provides for them while at the same time working to diminish the Federal Government. If they would first start with their own house and start paying themselves for what the Feds (i.e., other states) provide them, then maybe they would have a leg to stand on. As it is, it just looks like selfishness.