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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't Believe the "Red State" Lie

We conservatives say that one of the main reasons we should not re-elect President Obama is because of his failure to turn the country around. Often times we are met with the excuse, "well, it was soooooo messed up... George W. Bush left us with such a mess that Obama can't fix it in just four years."

Hmmm, what an interesting concept. If GWB was only president for 8 years, and it is unrealistic to expect the country to "turn" as we were promised it would... how long do you think it would take to turn a state or a group of states that have been blue for, oh, I don't know... many, many decades?

Why is relevant? Well, in light of the "Mitt Romney 47%" media-manufactured "gaffe," the typical liberal parrot masters were at it again, squawking the usual hollow liberal talking points. Their point-of-the-week: Most of the states with the highest percentage of income tax non-filers are "red" states. Liberal media master Ed Schultz published the following chart last night, and, as expected, it was repeatedly posted and re-tweeted across the internet. But, as simple facts will show, the whole story isn't being told.

The top ten non-filer states, according to The Tax Foundation, rank as follows:

So it seems like Ed Schultz has an air-tight case, right? Not quite. The problem is, quite simply: Most of these states have been blue for a really, really long time. Most of them are only recently red. Yes... RECENTLY RED. I ask again: if we can't hold Barack Obama accountable for turning around 8 years of alleged "disaster," can we really say these states have "turned" red after decades of being blue? The fact is: These states have such deep histories of being blue that it would take decades more to make them truly red. 

Let's take a look, shall we? Obama is the president of the country, so to make a comparison, we have to look at governors of these states. Just a simple Wikipedia search about the number of democrat versus republican governors that comprise these state's histories yields the following glaring information: 

1. Mississippi: Longest streak: Democrats from 1876-1988, Republicans 1992-2000 Dem 2000-2004, Rep since 2004. Total count: 55 D, 5 R
2. Georgia: Longest streak: Democrats from 1872-2003, Republicans 2003-Present: Total count 47 D, 4 R

Okay, so after just the first two, I realized posting the "longest streak" is going to be redundant, so I will quickly summarize the total count for each of these state's histories.

3. Arkansas: 48 D, 7 R
4. New Mexico: 19 D, 12 R
5. Alabama: 52 D, 6 R
6. South Carolina: 57 D, 8 R
7. Louisiana: 40 D, 10 R
8. Texas: 39 D, 6 R
9. Florida: 34 D, 8 R
10. Idaho: 12 D, 20 R

Total Count: 403 D, 86 R

So there you have it. It's not really close. This isn't terribly scientific, but it does lead to the argument that these states aren't really as "red" as people with talking point intentions like to make them out to be. With the exceptions of New Mexico and Idaho, these states have long, deep histories of being blue, and if the democrat's excuse for Obama's 4-year failure to turn a body in which he is the head around, then these state's blue histories are far from being turned. As stated, none of these states were "red" until only the last decade. Many were blue for an entire century or more. Who knows why they have recently turned red? Maybe the citizens got tired of mismanaged government? Maybe they were tired of their situations and decided to make a change for the good? That's a debate for another day.

So for people like Ed Schultz and the like who want to trumpet the "well, look at these states... they're red," what do you say? Is your case just a hollow talking point? Do you still stand by it? Please share below.


  1. Good morning LME,

    I honestly agree in that I find that map misleading, but at the same time I’d have to say that your alternative assessment would be to.

    The problem being that we’re attempting to equate the number of people that don’t pay taxes in a given state, with the economic health of the state and/or political affiliations. I can’t see how that would be an accurate line to draw.

    Federal tax law is the same in all states, so the political affiliation of the state doesn’t matter as far as that goes. However state tax law is different between all states… And state taxes can be deducted from your federal tax bill. So what this means, is that states that have higher taxes are more likely to have people who pay 0 taxes, and likewise states that have lower taxes are more likely to have people that pay more in taxes. And this again, has nothing to do with the politics or health of the state; if anything this is more a statement to how tax law differs between states.

    Factor in the fact that many of the states that have lower tax bills, also have higher birth rates (bigger families more typical along the bible belt), which makes sense considering kids are a large tax deduction.

    Also factor in the South traditionally has more people in retirement, which is a large portion of the ‘people who pay no taxes’ (elderly).

    And factor in the home ownership rates, which are typically higher in the Southern states due to lower prices.

    I’m in a rush, so I can’t post sources for everything this round, but I’m sure the above is pretty well-supported and common knowledge.

    But yeah, the point stands that the locations of the people who pay the least in taxes has little to nothing to do with economic health or political affiliation of the state. It’s a ridiculous sentiment. The only thing it really proves to me is who qualifies for more tax deductions (the biggest of which being mortgage interest/kids), and/or who can deduct more from their state taxes.

    1. RKen - Good morning!

      I can totally see where you're coming from, and I do agree that you're right in your assessments of a lack of direct "proof" of who pays what rates based on party affiliation. But, with all due respect, you might have "over-analyzed" my main point. :-)

      My main argument was based more on the history part, and the double-talk "you can't blame Obama... it takes time to flip" part and how it applies here. It was to show that, as per what seems like an increasing "usual"... you have someone like Ed Schultz that trumpets an easily-reproducible talking point, but if you get down to truth and fact... it's easily debunked. Your point is most definitely valid, and as usual, while with some things (not this) I disagree with you, you ALWAYS back what you say. Busy day for me, too :-).

    2. Oh yeah, I understand your point. My argument was more directed against the liberal idea of this being some kind of a meaningful statistic to point out, as if it can be used as a weapon.

      When the reality is, as I said, all it shows is which areas of the country are more likely to enjoy higher tax breaks (which are largely independent of the color the given state may be).

  2. You mean what's good for the goose is good for the gander?

  3. 'Reporters' like Ed Shultz, Rachael Maddow and 'thrill up my leg' Chris Matthews have proven themselves to be nothing more than hacks, in bed with - and controlled by - this administration.

    If they'd DONE THEIR JOBS in '08 - instead of bowing to their new found messiah - we'd NOT be in the shape were in today...

    And I'm NOT saying that McCain would have been a sooo much better president, but with the make-up Congress - I believe he WOULD HAVE been held in check.

    You know, that pesky 'checks and balances' thingy - in our 'dusty and obsolete' Constitution? that 0 tends to COMPLETELY DISREGARD - and THIS Congress lets him GET AWAY WITH?

    Anyway, I digressed : )

    Red state, blue state aside - the fact remains that those states who have GOP governors ARE doing better than those with Dem governors. (with it's usual well, it's true but...'spin')

    0 has 1000's of 'new' regulations all set to go into effect AFTER the election. I believe that CA's broken, nanny-state economy is what our whole nation will face should he win a second term... the man is a Marxist, hell bent on turning us into Greece.

  4. Remember what Lyndon Johnson said when he signed the Civil Rights bill. If you don't know then look it up.

    1. What did he say? Can you clarify this?

    2. When he signed the Civil Rights Bill, LBJ said the Dems would 'lose the South for the next generation.'

    3. So what you mean is that since he was passing the Civil Rights Bill, at that time, the South was pretty much ALL democrat. And since they strongly opposed the CRB, they would stop voting for him?

      Interesting? :-)