Thursday, November 04, 2004

Southern Financial Management

Maybe the blue states need to cut off the subsidies to the red states and let them start pulling on their own bootstraps. Or eating them, if need be:
And so, while the moral-values crowd may have won, the fiscal orgy in Washington is sure to continue. Given Bush's mandate and his stated desire to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax (a huge tax reduction), make the temporary tax cuts permanent (ditto), and transform Social Seucrity (massive borrowing), his pledge to halve the deficit by 2009 is absurd.

In decades past, increasing Republican dominance of the House and Senate would have meant more fiscal discipline. But Republicans increasingly dominate the states that are net drains on Federal taxes—the Southern and Great Plains states—while fading in the coastal states that produce a disproportionate share of federal revenue. (It's Republicans, not Democrats, who are sucking on the federal teat.) What Amity Shlaes quaintly identified in today's Financial Times as the "southern culture of tax cutting" has been married to the southern culture of failing to generate wealth and the southern culture of depending on federal largesse. The offspring is an unsightly deficit monster.
But that would be wrong.

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