If there’s one thing that really hurts a red state conservative, it’s reminding them that their states tend to be welfare bums living off of the generosity of prosperous blue states. The 47%, if you will, who won’t take responsibility for themselves.
On Tuesday, Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie used that fact to return fire against Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who accused Christie and Republican Representative Peter King of being the reason the government was bankrupt.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Christie scoffed at Paul’s “gimme, gimme, gimme” jabs and reminded everyone that New Jersey is a donor state, according to Politickernj, getting .61 cents back on the dollar while Rand’s Kentucky gets $1.51 for every dollar.
“I find it interesting that Sen. Paul is accusing us of having a “Gimme, gimme, gimme” attitude toward federal spending when in fact New Jersey is a donor state and we get 61 cents back on every dollar we send to Washington. Interestingly, Kentucky gets $1.51 on every dollar they send to Washington,” Christie said, according to Huffington Post.
“So if Sen. Paul wants to start looking at where he’s going to cut spending to afford defense, maybe he should start looking at the pork barrel spending he brings home to Kentucky.”
Over the last few days, Republicans King Christie have been tearing into Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and his “anti-war” NSA foot pounding, saying he is weakening the Republican Party’s bona fides on national security. So Paul took it to the next level, slamming both King and Christie for being takers who are bankrupting the government.
Paul said, “The people who want to criticize me and call me names, they are precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending. They are ‘Gimme, gimme, gimme all my Sandy money now.’ Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not allowing enough money be left over for national defense.”
So now Christie fires back that if Paul’s state weren’t such a loser welfare state, maybe we wouldn’t be broke. True enough, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank called the idea of red states’ secession from the union a “Confederacy of Takers.” He wrote, “Red states receive, on average, far more from the federal government in expenditures than they pay in taxes. The balance is the opposite in blue states. The secession petitions, therefore, give the opportunity to create what would be, in a fiscal sense, a far more perfect union.”
Who can forget Talking Points Memo’s red state welfare status map, using 2010 data they compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Internal Revenue Service:
The bottom line is that this is an argument no Republican can win, because they belong to a party that pretends it cares about pork spending, when in reality much of its base lives off of the largesse of blue states. This is what happens when your party has a platform built on quicksand. Eventually there’s nothing else to grab on to and no one else to blame but each other.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.