Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Sid Salter: Standoff Underscores Key Impasse in National Partisan Divide

Less than a year ago, Democratic New Jersey congressman 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.


Last week, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sang another verse of the same song when he blasted Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the same issue when McConnell suggested that perhaps states like New York – struggling as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. – might consider bankruptcy as a cure for their current coronavirus-driven fiscal woes.

McConnell said he didn’t want the most recent federal COVID-19 economic impact bill to be a “Blue State bailout” in terms of funds for state and local governments.

Cuomo said in response: “New York puts in more money into the federal pot than it takes out. His state (Kentucky) takes out more than it puts in. Sen. McConnell, who’s getting bailed out here? It’s your state that is living on the money we (New York) generate(s). Your state is getting bailed out, not my state.”

Cuomo argued that New York paid in $116 million in federal taxes than it received in federal spending while Kentucky receives $148 million more in federal spending that it pays in federal taxes.

McConnell fired back that he was reticent to give state and local governments more money without “thoroughly evaluated” study.

With many states struggling with state pension shortfalls unrelated to COVID-19, McConnell said there was “not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.”

The point of contention between Cuomo and McConnell is not a new one. The late former New York U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was railing against “balance of payments” in equities in which wealthy states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts paid substantially more in federal taxes than their states received in federal spending.

In federal Fiscal Year 2018, Kentucky received $2.41 in federal spending for every $1 the state’s population paid in federal taxes. New York, on the other hand, received 91 cents for every $1 that state’s population paid in federal taxes.

Mississippi, in FY 2018, received $2.01 in federal spending for every $1 our citizens paid in federal taxes. Over the last four fiscal years, Mississippi per capita received an average of $4,480 more than the U.S. average in federal spending opposed to federal taxes paid.

Cuomo’s New York over the last four fiscal years received an average of -$3,235 in federal spending opposed to federal taxes paid. But the “balance of payments” fight between wealthy states and poor states isn’t limited to New York and Kentucky.

That battle is so prolific that the Rockefeller Institute of Government has been studying the issue for nearly 40 years at the University of Albany. Mississippi has certainly not escaped scrutiny. During a 2019 press conference U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-Wyckoff, who represents New Jersey’s 5th District, held a press conference to pat himself on the back for his efforts to win more federal grants for projects and public works in his district.

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.

It’s beyond interesting that political support for steady, significant expansions of Social Security, Medicaid, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other programs that swell federal spending comes from so-called “blue states” like New York and New Jersey while political opposition to expansion of those same programs is far stronger in so-called poor “red states” like Kentucky and Mississippi.

Yet when the poor in those red states have the temerity to avail themselves of the federal resources the law affords them, somehow, we hear the “balance of payments” refrain from our “blue state” neighbors. Reminds one of the federal spending debates after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at sidsalter@sidsalter.com.


40 comments:

Anonymous said...

What exactly is Sid's point in this particular rant? Mississippi is totally dependent on federal dollars. You could say that Mississippi is "upside" down in it's cash flow and obligation to federal money....and what does Mississippi do? They steal as much of those federal dollars as is possible.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the wealthy liberal "compassionate" states help states like po' ole Missippi.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Mississippian who pulls the wagon for a lot of Mississippians.'

Anonymous said...

Sid's point is that it is progressive programs like Medicaid and SNAP that cause Mississippi to get so much Federal money. Mississippi is an undeniably poor state compared to NY and NJ with much lower per capita income and percentage of people in poverty. The imbalance in Federal dollars is mainly due to programs designed to assist those in MS that need help and the fact that just based on income Mississippi will never contribute as much in taxes as rich states where multi-millionaires are on every corner.

If Dems want the equity they are pushing with a minimum basic income, federal guaranteed jobs, Medicare for all, etc. then it is inevitable a poorer state is going to need more funding than a rich one. To call out MS for something that is a direct result of Democratic programs is hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

8:40. both R and D sides are to blame. the problem is that we’ve taken sides on issues that aren’t clearly divided into sides. for example we can’t solve poverty without reforming hand outs and education and infrastructure and probably many more.

Anonymous said...

"I'm a Mississippian who pulls the wagon for a lot of Mississippians". And I am sure they would thank you from the bottom of their hearts if they could. Pun intended.

Anonymous said...

Another rain is wet article. Great job Sid! You really brought a lot of insight into the topic that has been discussed off and on over the last 40 years.

Anonymous said...

@8:40

Exactly OR perhaps we could redistribute some of our population, that LBJ et al addicted to the gov't teet decades ago, to some wealthier states who could handle the burden and surely treat these poor folks better than they are treated here in po ole Mississippi. Any takers ? New York, Cali anyone anyone ? Yea kinda what I thought.

Anonymous said...

"I'm a Mississippian who pulls the wagon for a lot of Mississippians."

You built that.

Messick said...

Sid doesn't use a most operative word; "hypocrisy".

Anonymous said...

I think McConnell's message to governors is clear: Tow the line and don't make the Republican President look bad before the November elections, or we'll withhold assistance to your state. The only thing that matters to these people is winning the next election, and there will be consequences for jeopardizing their continued lust for power.

Anonymous said...

Sid Salter is very much part of the reason why Mississippi will always be 50th. He likes things just the way they are. No progress, no change. Keep talking about how important "conservatism" is while making sure we get congressman and senators who keep the pork flowing. Despicable.

Anonymous said...

9:16 Here's a simpler solution - let's move a bunch of multi-millionaires from NY to MD. Not only would this help right the imbalance in federal taxes vs federal money going to a state, it would be a big boost to MS state income tax collections as well.

I know those NY multi-millionaires would soon grow to love out cultural pleasures, and they would never miss the opera, Lincoln Center, the art museums, professional teams in every sport imaginable, world class universities, etc ;-)

Welcome, y'all!

Anonymous said...

This article actually shows the hypocrisy of BOTH parties, Republicans and Democrats.

Republican argue against big government, welfare, and handouts and argue that everyone should take care of themselves. But yet MS is a welfare State and depends on federal handouts. Over half of our annual budget is money from the federal government.

On the other hand, Democrats argue that we need to increase support for the poor and needy and give more handouts of various forms. But then, like this Rep from NJ, argue that MS is getting more than it gives and is getting too much.

They're both hypocritical, and it's sad that more people don't realize it.

Anonymous said...

It seems extremely logical to me. No one should receive more than they contribute. MAYBE if this practice stopped in Mississippi (and other states), large sectors of the population wouldn’t remain content on the government’s teat.

Sho Nuff said...

As a Southerner, and now Mississippian, I would be embarrassed by this fact, if I wasn't knowledgeable about this country's history. The monies received by Mississippi, and other southern states, pales in significance to monies distributed to other countries throughout the history of the U.S. Not to mention the funding of an organization, The United Nations, that is in direct opposition to the liberty we, supposedly, represent. I feel the extra monies we receive, as Mississippians, are partial payments for being the nation's whipping boy. In other words, there is no shame in our game.

Anonymous said...

What “Federal Money” are we talking about? According to the last Money In/ Money Out list I saw it included $’s spent on military bases like Kessler & Columbus AFB, Meridian NAS, Stennis Space Center, Gulfport Seabee Base AND $’s spent on ships being built at the multiple shipyards that build ships for the Navy and Coast Guard. Don’t just assume Federal $’s are talking about just welfare. Look into the article, don’t just read the headline.

Anonymous said...

9:16 am et.al.

Let me get this straight...

Mississippians bad mouth federal aid and hate taxes of any kind, even to help ourselves. Mississippians bad mouth the wealthier States like California, New York and Massachusetts. So, you are offended when they mouth off back at you? Whadda y'all expect?

Have y'all ever heard the phrase " Biting the hand that feeds you?"

Those States doing better have taken in Mississippians for decades. Sadly, they get our "best and brightest". Have you noticed we're losing population?

Still, Mississippi does it's best to dog cuss any young person who went to a highly ranked university and run them off with bullying when they love the best of Mississippi enough to return.

Indeed, many Mississippians refuse to pay for their children who are accepted and even get scholarships to MIT or Stanford or an Ivy League school. No flying home, no living expenses unless you go to Ole Miss or MSU or another Mississippi school. The irony is that once they graduate, they leave anyway for a well paying job.

Literally, those who stay, are, with rare exception, the kids whose fathers are either wealthy enough or connected enough for them to inherit/make a future here or continue in a successful profession. Some of those kids, who could have gone to the Ivy League school, could have brought back " connections" that would have benefitted Mississippi.

Those kids who stay can also have a family that is too poor to offer them a real way out or who feel an obligation to stay and help their families.
Oh, a few are content with the rural life and content not to move up in the social pecking order. And, content to join the dysfunctional chorus to live in peace.

There are a few exceptions we accept like Morgan Freeman and some with enough loyalty to at least, invest like the Mannings or bring some wealth back when they retire.They should be careful in not causing a ruckus and carefully chose their words, however.

Mississippians tolerate and defend those who engage in white collar or political corruption and wonder why the poor turn to crime or behave the same as those before them should they get an education, turn to politics and stay.

Sid and others wouldn't have to be talking about this for 40 years if most of you had listened.
If any of you complaining had actually tried to learn how a State rises out of poverty or what cultural values need to be in place for that to happen or tried to understand economics objectively.







Anonymous said...

in paragraph 12 he talks about how '' this problem has been studies for 40 years at the university of albany''.
2 things; first of all this is just numbers, dollars and cents, 1+1=2. if you haven't figured that out after 40 years you probably never will.
secondly , im willing to bet my medicade and food stamps that the ''40 year study'' has been paid for by millions of dollars in federal grants, so that every year a bunch of college professors can get paid alot of money to not do much, and arrive at the same conclusion.

Pork is Pork said...

Sooooeeeeeh, bring home that bacon.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi's politics stays huddled to the radio listening to Hannity, Limbaugh and Fox. They don't want to be confused with anything contrary to the Rupert Murdoch/Robert Mercer agenda 11:29.

It's amazing though that so many people are gullible enough to think that Hannity and Limbaugh are making $millions from sponsors like Spatula City and Juul.

Anonymous said...

11:29 lost credibility with me when he boiled it all down to wealth, connections, and social status. How about a lifetime of hard work and character development, showing to life every day and building a successful business one day at a time, year after year?

To me, the comment at 11:29 reads like its author figured it all out while smoking dope in a dorm room. (I can spot this because I did it too).

Anonymous said...

@11:29a- "... or what cultural values need to be in place..."

That phrase alone hits the nail on the head regarding MS. It is FAR too acceptable for families to be broken, whores to procreate, and for education to be the enemy of the minority.

The acceptance and allowance of grandparents raising their grandchildren escalated these issues.

MS has the resources. MS has the potential. MS DOESN'T have a majority population willing to move themselves forward independent of government through education, training, and hard work.

Anonymous said...

@12:00PM
I am a Mississippi politician and I don't tune in to Rush and Hannity. That's because it conflicts with Alex Jones and Michael Savage, who I listen to from 11:00AM to 4:00 PM when I switch it over to the Kim Wade Show.

Anonymous said...

to 12:05... if you gonna tell it, just tell it all. ''whores to procreate''?????...........how about a shout out to the guys who help that along??????????????? what do you call them? happily married men?

Anonymous said...

@12:37p- I don't care if they are male or female... they are both whores. What made you think I was only calling the women whores? I didn't say "whores who have babies"... I said "whores who procreate" to include them both.

Anonymous said...

to 12:43..... i never knew Mississippi had so many male whores. thats for the info. my , what a talented cultural warrior you are.

Anonymous said...

to all the unreconstructed southerns who love to refer to mississippi as a ''whipping boy''...strap this one on............mississipi is not required to take all that federal money , but of course they do. and when you take it you gotta do what the feds say. thats why mississippi is effectively run by federal agencies such as HUD, the justice department, the dept of health , education and welfare, or what ever its called today, the EPA, all of which are run by federal government appointees, and of course, our precious , appointed for life, federal judges.
take a cue from a state like north dakota that doesn't accept any federal funds. north dakota is run by, guess who? ........north dakotans.

Anonymous said...

LOL @1:07p- If your concern lies with being a "talented cultural warrior" you are EXACTLY what's wrong with MS. (I have to assume at this point you think you're being smart with what you believe is the only definition for a whore... it has more meanings than a female hooker... don't hurt yourself learning more about the word.)

The bottom line is we will never rise until those on the government teat decide to better their lives through education, training, and hard work... and deciding to keep their pants on (for the boys) and legs together (for the ladies.)

Sho Nuff said...

I don't know if what I posted pushed the central government enthusiast over the edge, or it was the prior break with reality that caused the silly post above. I could simply give you a definition of the term, whipping boy, but I couldn't understand it for you. I have no problem taking every fake dollar that is sent this way, none at all. In my opinion, it's better for the money to stay here, in the country, than sent somewhere else. Are you telling me the federal agencies you listed don't have power over the other states, including North Dakota?

Anonymous said...

North Dakota accepts plenty of Federal funds. They take Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, Title V and Title VII funds for education. They take Medicaid. They take Older Americans Act funds to provide congregate meals, home delivered meals, family caregiver support, escort shopping assistance, transportation, senior companion services, and others. They provide SNAP (food stamps), TANF, and JOBS programs. Their highway funds are 2/3 Federal funded. All that is directly from their various agency websites. I'm sure there is more.

North Dakota may not have a high a percentage of benefit recipients as Mississippi, but they most certainly take Federal funds.

Anonymous said...

to 2:02...only in mississippi can a guy get so excited over the word ''whore''. kinda like the word ''lawsuit''. they just start foaming at the mouth. you must be one of those happily married men.

Anonymous said...

@4:12p- Nope! Wrong! Happily, married woman here... just stating facts... no foaming involved.

For the record, I don’t like lawsuit-happy folks either. Should I call them legal whores?

Anonymous said...


(No doubt this man is very intelligent ).

But I really wish his topics were more engaging . . . for a lack of a better phrase.
Sid's writing style is extremely boring.

I'm sure he means well, but his columns fall short of appealing to the average Mississipian.

Nothing personal against Mister Sid . . . only offering a bit of constructive criticism.




Sho Nuff said...

To all that have a problem with the way, monies are distributed by the U.S. government, what do you say to Nancy Pelosi's comment about basic income? What are your thoughts on this proposal?

Anonymous said...

And if Sid listens to Supertalk Radio what will he find out that appeals to the average Mississippian 5:24?

Anonymous said...

5% of the country's GDP is derived from NYC business and all those whose future is riding on the equities market should realize that the Big Apple has your future in their greedy hands and they'll make money whether you win or lose on your bets.

Anonymous said...


"And if Sid listens to Supertalk Radio what will he find out that appeals to the average Mississippian 5:24?"

He would learn quite a bit 9:13 PM.

Anonymous said...

9:07 Are you really tryin to hijack KF's blog?

Anonymous said...

And speaking of talk radio and Rush. One of his program sponsors today was UNCF. Imagine that. Such and imaginative way to get Koch money to Rush.

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