Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Sid Salter: New Jersey Congressman Calls Mississippi a "Moocher State"

A Democratic New Jersey congressman recently vented his contempt for so-called ‘moocher states’ like Mississippi that receive more money from the federal government than they send back to Washington in the form of taxes.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) who represents New Jersey’s 5th District in Congress, held a press conference flanked by local officials to pat himself on the back for his efforts to win more federal grants for projects and public works in his district.

The two-term representative told constituents that his office was responsible for steering 35 percent more in federal dollars to his district in 2018 than in 2017. Gottheimer classified his grantsmanship for his district as “clawing” back federal dollars for New Jersey from what he referenced as “moocher states” and singled out Mississippi as a prime example of states that receive more in federal spending than their taxpayers contribute in federal taxes.

Gottheimer based his slam of Mississippi on a 2019 report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government which documented that in 2017 New Jersey received 82 cents for every dollar paid in federal taxes while Mississippi received $2.19 for each dollar paid in federal taxes. The congressman characterized his increased grant funding for New Jersey as “property tax relief.”

“It’s a joke,” Gottheimer was quoted in a May 23 story in the New Jersey Record. “I’m sick and tired of these states treating New Jersey like their piggy bank. We’re paying everyone else’s tab for their roads, bridges, law enforcement, while our taxes keep going up.”

Gottheimer’s “moocher state” rant earned criticism from Mississippi U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who called the congressman’s remarks “ridiculous” and said: “Mississippi is proud of everything it contributes to making this nation stronger, including world-class shipbuilding, multiple military facilities, defense manufacturing, and space rocket development. We’re also a leading agricultural production state.”

Compare Mississippi with New Jersey in this context. Mississippi, with a population around 3 million, receives net federal per capita spending of $6,880 per resident or $37.8 billion from the federal government. Some 15 percent of Mississippi residents receive federal SNAP or food stamps and the median household income is $43,529, second lowest in the country behind West Virginia.

New Jersey, with a population just under 9 million, receives net federal per capita spending of negative $2,368 per resident or $97.7 billion from the federal government. Some 8.9 percent of New Jersey residents receive federal SNAP or food stamps and the median household income is $80,088, second highest in the country behind Maryland.

Now let’s forget for a moment that by Gottheimer’s definition of “moocher states” that 40 states in addition to Mississippi fit the definition of receiving more from the federal government than their residents pay in federal taxes.
One area where Gottheimer’s “moocher state” rant falls particularly flat is in the area of agricultural production and food. Mississippi produces about $7 billion or 1.60 percent of the nation’s ag cash receipts and the food that goes with it. New Jersey, with almost two-thirds as many mouths to feed, produces $1.139 billon or .30 percent of the nation’s food.

Ten states generate 50 percent of the nation’s $395.06 billion in agricultural cash receipts: California, Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Indiana, Wisconsin and North Carolina. They are the nation’s leading food producing states. All “moocher states” according to Gottheimer. Another 30 states, including Mississippi, generate another 48 percent of that ag production.

The state’s “victimized” by all this mooching – New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts – combined produce 1.80 percent of the nation’s agriculture. One might ask just exactly which state is doing the mooching here?

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

NJ guy is correct.

MS should be cut up in pieces and merged to other states.

It’s just a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

Nice try, but i ain't buying it Sid.

Anonymous said...

This debate has been going on forever, with the complainers using the same tired arguments.

As a wise man once rebutted: "Don't complain with your mouth full"

Anonymous said...

One may also wish to ask: Is there anyone who would actually choose to live in New Jersey...jeez......what a toilet.

Anonymous said...

The last time I checked, Mississippi relied on Federal aid for 40.9% of its income. Why are Sid’s panties so wadded up? Can’t handle the truth?

Anonymous said...

Pork is bribing the taxpayers with their own money, after the feds take a huge cut for "overhead."

The money should be kept in each state and not given to the feds to divvy up to get them re-elected.

Get the fucking feds out of our lives!

Wake-up people!

Tony Soprano said...

Mississippi is like King Midas in reverse. Everything "we" touch turns to shit.

Anonymous said...

It is true. Mississippi is a Soybean (subsidy) Republic with an enourmous corporate welfare base. From the Ingalls Shipyard to MDOT, even the majority of employes are paid with federal tax dollars.

Native rubes are oblivious to the irony of so much federal dependency while flying the flag of traitorous sedition.

The irony isn't lost on the rest of the nation. This is why Mississippi is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Rep. Gottheimer sounds like one of those "yankees" that came down here during the 1960's to lecture us but didn't stick around for the aftermath (Jackson 2019)

Anonymous said...

Travel to New Jersey regularly on business. The state is a dump. Jackson would be a perfect fit, physically and mentally, in New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

Sid displays the same type of magical (marginal?) thinking that led the smart guys in Duh Souf to secede from the United States when the Northerners provoked the Northern War of Aggression.

Bales of cotton, mint juleps and all them slaves will rule them city folks who don't know how to have either a debutante ball or a proper duel to defend one's manhood amirite?

Hold my beer while Sid and company send the Redneck Yacht Club crew to Hoboken to kick some a$$ and bring some of them famous cheesesteaks back. Tell em to be sure and order them "wit"! They can already spell wit I think?

Anonymous said...

On the bright side, 25% of third graders can’t read the insult.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love a democrat complaining about the federal dollars sent to Mississippi, particularly as considering a good portion of those federal dollars are for SNAP and Medicaid. Would he like to cut those programs?

Anonymous said...

My how the US has changed... the Pork Pirates bragging about how much they can spend, and saddling future generations with debt...

Just like the late Thad Cochran bragging about how much pork he steered to our state...

Where does it end? When China owns us? We are almost there...

Anonymous said...

8:56. every state has dumpy areas. ever been to Summit, Ridgewood, Westfield? Those places aren't a dump. Morristown, Moorestown? Again, not a dump. Camden, Newark-OK--those are dumps. I'm guessing you aren't really going to NJ regularly on business...

Anonymous said...

It's all a part of the very real social contract all citizens subscribe to in civilized nations. A lib self-serving politician or some neo conservative wag can point to this stuff as unfair governmental taxation on the producers in favor of the "moochers", but only those who won't work at all and contribute nothing are moochers. A garbage man who makes minimum wage and works his ass off may need more governmental help educating his children than a mortgage banker but he's no moocher. Similarly, a state whose contribution may be agricultural, (which could ultimately be most valuable) is not a moocher because it's needs are greater. The real point is, who is really working
and who is not?

Anonymous said...

Eagerly awaiting a defense from Bennie Thompson

Anonymous said...

I don't understand Hyde-Smith response. What does ship building and farms have to do with a bunch of people on federal assistance?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, New Jersey is a wonderful place.

...the recently released report commissioned by New Jersey Policy Perspective does in fact show that there is currently a net out-migration of Millennials from New Jersey, corroborating New Jersey Future’s 2017 report. The fact that Millennials are leaving the state is not a myth.

Anonymous said...

What was New Jersey's return on investment in the year after Hurricane Sandy?

Anonymous said...

It are...any state that gets 40% of it money from Uncle Sugar is a moocher. And that's MY money by the way - federal dollars come from somewhere (sorry to break it to you liberals who don't know how this works.)

Anonymous said...

And Sid is a moocher state employee, given what does he really do of value there?

Anonymous said...

In my lifetime I've lived in four different states. Once in Mississippi where I was born a moocher. Once in Texas going to school where I must have been a productive citizen since Texas is a non-moocher state. Once in Louisiana where I also went to school i suppose as a moocher. Once in Arizona where I was unemployed paid no taxes, but maybe not a moocher, (gotta check that one). Back to Mississippi where I live and work and pay more taxes than I paid in all the other states combined, but I guess I'm now a moocher again since this is the moocher state.

I wonder when China is going to declare the U.S a moocher nation?

Anonymous said...

Hyde-Smith's response is not surprising at all. All that incompetent fool can do is regurgitate talking points over and over when presented with facts.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in Mississippi is on welfare in one way or another because the state does not have a real economy and does not want one. Every household in this state is subsidized by someone in New Jersey or California or some other place because all of the taxes raised in the entire state do not even cover 30% of the actual cost of what the federal government sends to this state. Whether you live in a $1 million house in Madison or get $60 in food stamps in Bolivar there is someone in another state paying your way for you.

Anonymous said...

I am guessing that like me in New Jersey there are a lot of liberals (a majority) and we pay more taxes than quite a few of you. At the end of the day we have more take home pay than most Mississippians (80%). Unlike the congressman we don't mind. We are just doing what's right by sharing the wealth.

Anonymous said...

6:04 So everybody in Mississippi is on welfare huh. Rich or broke. So everybody in New Jersey or California is paying the freight huh. Rich or broke. I pay more taxes than most people in California but I'm still a bum
and some California bum is paying my way. WOW.

Anonymous said...

in paragraph 6 of the article cindy mentions all the things that mississippi 'produces". read it. everything she mentions is nothing but federal spending including subsidized agriculture . that woman is dirt road stupid.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh 6:04. I see what you're doing. Trying not to make the citizens of Jackson and other Dim-O-Krat utopias feel bad about being total dregs of society, so you just use broad terms to cover Bennie Thompson's district.

Lose that blight on Mississippi and we're up in middle of the states rating.

Anonymous said...

Cindy only issues prepared statements. The GOP forbids her from speaking off the cuff.

Anonymous said...

6:04 PM worte, "Everyone in Mississippi is on welfare in one way or another because..."

While I agree that Mississippi does not have much of what is commonly called "an economy" beyond relying upon tax dollars, you are incorrect about "every household" being subsidized. Federal income tax is uniform in all states so income in New Jersey is federally taxed at the same rate as the same amount of income in Mississippi and it all goes into the same "pot." Since the average income is higher in New Jersey, New Jersey residents are susceptible to paying more tax per capita. Moreover, the number of people in Mississippi who pay no state or local tax yet receive benefits from tax dollars is greater than in certain other states.

There are some number of people in Mississippi who do pay both federal and state taxes and pay more in taxes than the per-capita federal budget expenditure in Mississippi.

The bottom line is that Mississippi is a "moocher state." While one may take exception to that verbiage, one cannot argue with the premise. The real problem is that those who pay tax, whether in Mississippi or any other state, are carrying the load of far too many people who consistently take more than they contribute.

Anonymous said...

I love Mississippi. Sure it's backward and poor in lots of ways but the quality of life is second to none. The decency worn on the faces of its people, black and white, Christian and otherwise. is obvious and palpable. Where would you rather your wife and babies break down on the side of the road?

I confess I once lived in New Jersey. I spent April until Thanksgiving 1967 living and working on a construction project there. The pay was unlike anything I had ever seen -- I was able to save a huge (for me) amount and spend the winter collecting New Jersey unemployment compensation here. At the super market the folks would aim their buggies at you like weapons. Likewise their cars on the roads. The day I arrived in Newark the place was burning (MLK had just been killed). You could buy looted appliances on the street for cash. No sales tax. They live like ants in a hive. They know it and they don't like it.

What rational person would not prefer to receive over $2 back from the feds for every dollar contributed versus 82 cents? Yeah we're backward and corrupt and life here is easy. They're progressive and corrupt and living there sucks. Who'd you rather have for a governor/senator/congressperson? Our drooling halfwits or theirs? Mississippi ain't perfect but it beats the Garden State cold.

Besides we get to execute criminals -- not near often enough but sometimes.

Rod Knox said...

There's always someone who looks on the BRIGHT SIDE like 5:08. And it's so disgusting.

Anonymous said...

NJ, tell us again how many billion$ you received for that "super storm."

Still waiting...

Anonymous said...

8:11 am Most of New Jersey is very beautiful. I suspect your only view of NJ is from New York City.

Anonymous said...

5:08 am This isn't about " loving Mississippi" or comparing it with New Jersey.
Why you think Newark is indicative of the whole State. You are just like someone who goes to the worst areas in the Delta and think all Mississippi is like that.

The real resentment is just as much that we take the money and then " bite the hands that feed us".

Anonymous said...

At 8:53, false. I arrived in Newark during the riots. I lived and worked in Morris County in Madison and New Hanover. And I got the year wrong. It was actually 1968 not 1967. I'm old. I confuse easily.

I transferred into the old Hod Carrier's Local union in Madison, which consisted of one hugely extended family of Italian Americans divided into two camps. American-born and "greenhorns" -- fresh off the boat. I learned some swell pidgin Italian, mostly racist stuff directed at African Americans, and was required to work "off the books" for my foreman on Saturdays. We would visit the job site, steal building materials, and then go to jobs that my boss had lined up for himself. I got time and a half from our "real" employer. He got cash on the side. The weapon the union delegate used to get "our" way with the boss was a fellow named Deedee Disalerno who would be sent out on a job to blunder around and generally get in the way. If the boss slipped the delegate a few bucks (and all the building supplies we could carry off) Deedee would go to a different job.

It's funny in retrospect -- kind of like the Sopranos -- probably less fun to pay for.

As an aside, last winter I met a family of Russian Jews who had relocated from St. Petersburg to Madison. The wife actually worked at the old Sandoz compound in New Hanover in a building I helped build. They love New Jersey. Like Russia the government there takes more than it gives back. Like Russia there's endemic corruption. They can't have guns but they don't care they didn't have guns in Russia. But unlike Russia they were not assaulted on the street for being Jewish. So for them New Jersey is a step up.

For me it's not. I'm a Mississippian. I know, we're dumb, we're morbidly obese, we're racists . . . but we live better than the folks in New Jersey AND Russia, so far as that goes.

Rod Knox said...

The irony of the situation is that conservative Mississippians remain certain that they are ENTITLED to take the money from hard working people in BLUE states with no concern for the opinions of those hard working people yet they demand that the ENTITLED POOR in this state should be beholding for their support even though 40% of it is from out of state.

Anonymous said...

This guy from NJ should vote to make the Fed government smaller and smaller. You say he is a Dim. Normally, they vote to make it larger. You can't have it both ways. The larger you make the government, the more money the poor states get. The alternative is to give every state back exactly what it pays in taxes. Under that plan we could save billions by eliminating the Feds altogether.

Anonymous said...

This thread has been one of the better ones in a long time.

Rod, the powers that be are mad that they aren't getting a larger slice of the pork pie.

Anonymous said...

8:15 pm You and others miss that those of us who are wealthy, are not wealthy because we did it all by our lonesome.
At some points, there were people doing our dry cleaning, making the things we use in our lives and building the roads we travel. There were those who taught us, helped our doctors keep us alive and they in turn relied on others.
You don't see the " invisibles" apparently. You think you fed and clothed yourself and built your home by your own hand and are self-taught the knowledge you needed. I'll bet you've always ironed your own clothes, made all your own repairs and even cut your own hair. You seem to think everyone has the time you needed to get rich and remain " rich". You wouldn't have that time except for the "invisibles".
Those who helped and supported our efforts, including the lowest level employee are not " invisible" to me. We got to know them and knew when they needed help beyond what we could pay them...when they couldn't come up with enough case to repair their car so they could get to work. We lent a helping hand just like others had to us. And, yes, we even helped them navigate the bureaucracy to get care for their elderly parents etc.
You are a self-centered jerk if you think you accomplished whatever it is you have all by your lonesome.

Anonymous said...

@9:29 Your diabribe is based on an exaggerated premise. Most of American's "accomplishments" over the last 80 years is in fact "inflated" due to government largesse. If FDR had never started "putting people to work" with government money, the floodgates of government subsidies for everything wouldn't have been opened. Things would have eventually improved based on market forces....even if it took fifty more years - but instead of people depending on government assistance, they would have been forced to live within their means....for REAL...and make do with what they were able to earn, or do without. That's the way it's always been until FDR and every politician since. So we can say "yes, that's true" to your statement that people rarely accomplished things all by themselves....but it's relative to the wrong FDR set in motion, and never should have - that's why America is in the trouble it's in now. The music is going to stop soon, and there just won't be enough chairs. Everyone can thank FDR, the original democratic socialist who instilled in a nation that they can't accomplish anything by themselves.

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