Welfare State

Comments

1
Thank you for clearly laying this out to readers, Goldy. This is great information that I have posted to the Seattle Schools Community Forum blog to allow our readers (many who are parents and educators) to gain greater understanding of this issue. Thank you for sticking with it.
2
Why can't those hicks be happy with the system that is forced upon them!!!!
3
I bet you could get the voters in those counties marked in red to vote for an Eyman-like statewide initiative requiring that a county receive no more in benefits than it pays in tax revenue.
4
quick excuse for ferry county: it hosts half the colville reservation, along with okanagan county.
5
Do you really believe that populous counties don't benefit from spending elsewhere in the state?
6
@5 that's not the issue, the issue is it is the sections of the state recieving the most while giving the least that are standing in the way of fixing our budget by preventing a discussion which involves revenue.
7
Guess which states have Federal Grants making up 50% of state revenues?

Fiscal Federalism by the Numbers
http://www.pewstates.org/research/data-v…
8
Assuming Wikipedia is right, the counties getting the least for their tax dollars seem to be the wealthiest, and the ones getting the most seem to be the poorest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_…

Isn't that the sort of redistribution The Stranger is typically in favor of? Or is it only OK when the redistribution is from wealthy Republicans to poor Democrats?
9
@8: The whooshing sound you heard was the point flying high over your head.
10
@8, to mimic @6 and answer your question, the point of this is NOT whether the money should be redistributed; most people in blue counties, specifically King County understand that our tax dollars are being sent to other counties to help pay for education, social services, and the infrastructure necessary for our state to function as a WHOLE. The issue is that the red counties continue to elect state representatives and senators who now have a minority voting power. A lower population, a lower tax burden, fewer chances at economic fairness without redistributed funds; yet they are electing officials who get 1.5 votes when it comes to increasing tax revenues while we get officials who get .66 votes; (I hate typing in all caps, but I don't want to break slog while opening/closing bold, so here you go) WE WANT TO RAISE TAXES AND REVENUES TO FIX OUR STATE AND WE ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY THE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO BENEFIT FROM THEM!!!

11
@8: it's not the re-distribution per se, it's what @6 said. conservative voters do not vote based on the way things are, they vote on the way they wish things were.
12
@8 You're missing the point. Nobody here is arguing that this isn't the way it should be - that the wealthier counties help out the poorer. The problem is the red counties' inability to connect the dots and see that they more often than not vote against their own interests.

Along the lines of @3, I think an initiative mandating that tax revenue be spent in the county in which it was raised would get these rural voters to realize just how much they need us (that, or Seattle would end up with some of the best schools in the country). Ironically, they would be digging their own grave in voting for it.
13
Agreed, @11...I am happy to spread the wealth, so to speak, but I just want our conservative neighbors to know that the wealth is being spread in their direction, and not the other way around.
14
This is the same sad ex girlfriend liberal drawl that does nothing, awwww they vote against themselves, if they could only see all these charts and facts they would understand!!

no, they wouldn't its all limo liberal lies to them, and nothing will change their votes or outlook until they were actually cut off, which goes against classic distributions that liberals want so bad so this whole exercise is just a huge circle jerk.

oh poor us, we spend money on them and they vote against us boo hoo.

Everyone who wasn't fox news did this when Gore got defeated, and what happened? nothing. In fact the tea party came about, so you actually did worse overall.
15
Another great article about this situation at the national level: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/us/eve…

16
Is the data out to update this 2008 map?
17
Goldy - what's the source for this map? How do we know it accounts for all state spending? For example, is state spending for the ferry (considered part of the state highway system) reflected in the amount shown for San Juan County?
18
Duh you guys, don't you all see what this all REALLY means?? All the in-the-minority dirty pot smoking welfare having Democrats who live in those red counties are demanding more "gifts" and "welfare Cadillac" money from the State, while all the hard working, job creating, way-too-high tax paying minority Republicans in King county, etc., are creating so much money and jobs and economic bliss that all the mooching Dems can take all that sweet state money. It's so clear! One just has to look behind what is obvious and logical and get to the real Truthy Truth underneath!
19
This is actually all about firms like Amazon etc not paying State and County taxes in their places of business, actually.

But ... nobody wants to admit that.
20
The wiki link debunks another myth, that being Republicans are always the rich, and Democrats are always everyone else, namely the Working class and poor.
Two counties in Washington are in the top 100 richest counties in the country. King and San Juan, both Blue/Democrat. So the old often repeated phrase about Republicans only being the rich is basically the reverse in Washington state. The rich counties vote Democrat, the poorer counties vote Republican. I'm willing to bet this goes for California too.

I'm an independent so I'm just pointing out what the numbers show.
21
Just to add to the discourse: I live in Yakima County, and I bristle at being called a "hick"simply because I live East of the Mountains.

While I understand the frustration on those of you on the West Side, imagine what it's like living in a county that, in many ways, is run like a plantation. A relatively tiny group of voters make all the decisions for the rest of us. I spent several weekends & weeknights doorbelling for progressive candidates, from Obama on down to a candidate for the 15th LD. After hundreds of hours of face-to-face talking to voters encouraging them to mark their ballots & turn their ballots in, our candidate still didn't even break 37%.

But just because the majority of VOTERS is redder than red, do not mistake that the majority of PEOPLE feel quite differently about public services and the taxes that provide them.

Many of those folks--many of them Latino, working-class, unemployed or under-employed, with few educational or economic opportunities--desperately need whatever social safety net is still left intact. But many of them also feel disenfranchised, disempowered, and cynical about the political process as a means of fixing these problems.

It isn't as simple as the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.
22
I grew up in NJ when tax equalization was not as it is now. Kearny had a small population of only 40,000 with a large industrial base anchored by Monsanto, DuPont, Western Electric and Congoleum Nairn chemical plants. Our schools were the best, as children we had the benefit of small class sizes, new text books, playgrounds, Summer camps all free no matter what the amply income. Imagine a full time school nurse and a free dental clinic in elementary schools. My cousins across the river in Newark were not as fortunate. Newark had the largest population, and though the hometown for many of these companies workers their children and families did not get an equal benefit of the tax base.

I say stop worrying about the Republicans give them time to rethink social justice. We need to watch to see what the Dems are going to do. In the past enough of them went along with zero tolerance laws and sentencing polices that created new prisons in Republican counties, and filled them with poor, brown and black folks from blue counties. King and Pierce County Liberal D's are not innocent. They benefit from the "failure industry" Dem fingerprints all over them. We have some major issues to work out if we are going to be a social justice state. When the state constitution paced education as the "paramount duty" of the legislature the color of the students wer much lighter tan They are now. The legislature must begin to see think of the darkening school population as worthy. Not as merely future low wage workers, nonprofit agency clients, renters, or future prisoners. We will see what Jay does.
24
This argument would carry a lot more weight if it were based on a per-capita analysis.

Here's a simple illustration of why that's important:

100 people living in Blue County
2 people living in Red County
Each person in Blue County contributes a dollar/year in taxes
Each person in Red County contributes 2 dollars/year in taxes
Total tax collected in a year: $104
So if taxes are evenly distributed between the two, each gets $52.
That means Blue County gets only $0.52 on the dollar, but Red County gets $13 on the dollar.

But that number means nothing. It just reflects a gross distortion, because it is not a reflection of the production of each individual's production. So these comparisons are meaningless without a per-capita analysis.

Think the above illustration is unrealistic? Well, consider the fact that the illustration compares two counties, one 50 times more populated than the other. Then look at Goldy's comparison between King County (population 1.9 Million) and Ferry County (population 7,689). King County is 256 times more populated than Ferry County! Think that's a fair comparison?
25
Question....How much electric power does King County produce? 40% of the power that Seattle gets is from Boundary Dam in NE Washington. I would love to see a study of how much urban areas are dependent on rural areas for their revenue base. Don't see too many wheat farms on 4th Ave. How was the apple crop this year on capital hill? Funny how you can bake your own numbers to justify your urban socialism. I would venture to guess that if it really came down to it. Rural areas could survive without King County, but King County couldn't not survive without Eastern Washington hydroelectric power. Take that into consideration on you next study