Tuesday, December 16, 2008


RJ Eskow at the Huffington Post:

Do Southern Senators Really Want to Start a New War Between the States?

When my Southern pals used to say "The South is gonna rise again," I doubt this is what they had in mind: A cadre of Southern Senators, heavily financed by foreign automakers and special interests, declaring war on the American Dream of good wages and decent benefits. When did they decide that hard-working people trying to make a better life for themselves are the enemy?

These Senators may want to think twice. Southern states have been benefiting from Northern taxes for years. If they start another War Between the States, the Federal gravy train might suddenly stop at the Mason-Dixon line.

Studies by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation have consistently shown that these Senators' states receive far more from the Federal government than they pay back in taxes....

Mitch McConnell's Kentucky took in $1.45 from the Feds for every dollar it paid in taxes. That's a 45 cent free ride. Bob Corker's Tennessee received at 30-cent Federal giveaway. And Richard Shelby's Alabama extracted a whopping 71-cent subsidy from Northern taxpayers.

What about Michigan? They lost 31 cents for every dollar they paid....

Keep dreaming, RJ -- this wealth transfer is never going to stop. The South regards itself as a region, with a regional identity and regional pride; the North doesn't. For more than a century, the South has nursed a sense of grievance; the North, despite the fact that the South gained a stranglehold on national politics forty years ago that only now is beginning to loosen, has never developed a sense of grievance.

We in the North will never form or rally around a movement to demand tax equity or anything close to it -- we're just not angry enough. And if we did, the South is permanently angry enough that it would be able to stop us dead in our tracks.

Eskow's question is wrong -- there already is an ongoing War Between the States, and there has been for as long as I can remember. It's like the class war in this country -- nobody acknowledges it, and nobody will unless we start shooting back.

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