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Tilting at Windmills

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November 5, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

STATE OF DEPENDENCY....Hey, whatever happened to the Bridge to Nowhere? You remember: the $229 million piece of pork that Senator Ted Stevens earmarked in 2005 for a bridge across the Tongass Narrows that was intended to link the town of Ketchikan (pop. 8,000) to its airport on Gravina Island.

Well, it got scrapped. A couple of months ago Alaska's new governor killed the project. But in the November issue of the Monthly, Alaskan journalist Charles Homans says there's much more to the story:

To reduce the Bridge to Nowhere to a punch line, however, is to miss an important point. Life on the Last Frontier is complicated and expensive, and you pay for it.

....Simply put, Alaska has made a habit of transferring its operating costs to the federal government. The state pulls out nearly two times as much money as it pitches in to the Treasury, a drain that looks especially bad in light of the state's fiscal reality. Today, Alaska enjoys a healthy budget surplus, and it sits on a Permanent Fund of more than $39 billion. It also refuses to levy sales or income taxes on its citizens. In a state that fails to pull its weight, the Bridge to Nowhere is just an especially weighty example.

....In the late 1990s, people began to refer to a problem called the "Alaska Disconnect": the high expectations Alaskans continued to have of government even as they failed to pay in properly. This fiscal dissonance was abetted by Stevens's largesse, but ultimately it wasn't his fault. The problem had been triggered the moment Alaska struck it rich with oil. Psychologically, it had been cemented with the fateful 1980 decision to abolish the income tax.

Read the whole thing to learn how Alaska turned into America's biggest basket case. And while you're at it, take a trip down memory lane with "Alaska, GOP Welfare State," from our July/August 2005 issue. It's all about Ted Stevens, no-bid contracts, Alaskan tribal corporations, and federal loopholes big enough to drive a cruise ship through.

Kevin Drum 1:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (61)

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Comments

I'm from heavily Republican upstate New York, which sounds a lot like Alaska. Lots of people will rip your head off if you suggest reducing their Medicare or Social Security, closing their public schools, or the like. To them, these things have nothing to do with Big Bad Gummint. It's just the way life is. And Rush keeps telling them what to think.

Posted by: anonymous on November 5, 2007 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

So much for Alaska's myth of the "rugged and independent pioneer." That state's residents more closely resemble the profile of Ronald Reagan's fictitious "welfare queen."

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 5, 2007 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

Is Alaska still remotely important from a military defense standpoint? If so, subsidizing it as a state is a bit more understandable . . .

Maybe.

Posted by: New Talking Wall on November 5, 2007 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

So federal government good, if you know how to play it! Socialism for the well-connected?

Posted by: Kenji on November 5, 2007 at 3:54 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe we could exchange congressmen. At least until we fill all our potholes and get big government to take over the costs of our toll roads.

Posted by: B in CT on November 5, 2007 at 7:25 AM | PERMALINK

Sadly, the situation Kevin describes is a natural outgrowth of a federal government that's allowed to give money and other benefits to whomever it wants to. Even those of us who don't want goodies from the feds must fight to keep our money from being given for a Bridge to Nowhere or John Murtha's dubious projects in Johnstown, PA or loads and loads of others.

And, as anonymous pointed out, once people have become accustomed to receiving goodies from the feds, they think they're permanently entitled, whether it's Social Security recipients or sugar farmers. So, it appears that the situation can never get better and will only get worse.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

"Socialism for the well-connected?"
____________________

Every government works best for the well-connected.

Posted by: trashhauler on November 5, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Ted Stevens didn't earmark it. Don Young did.

Posted by: Pat on November 5, 2007 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans accuse the Democrats of being socialists while creating socialist welfare states of their own in the states and areas they dominate. It's true in Alaska, its true in the South (Privitize the TVA anyone? How about eliminate peanut subsidies?) it's true in the Rocky Mountain West (Subsidized water, Oil and gas drilling.)

That's why Ron Paul is the only "real" Republican, real conservative and real libertarian running for President. Because he going to stop these ex-Democrats and ex-Trotskiests and other phonies like Stevenson from continuing to wreck what's left of the Republican Party identity.

Paul/Pallin, that should be the GOP ticket. No more corruption!

Posted by: Sean Scallon on November 5, 2007 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't let a batshit crazy like Ron Paul handle the remote control for my widescrren TV, let alone have the nucler launch codes.

Posted by: Pat on November 5, 2007 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

I was in Alaska last summer and every Alaskan I had the occasion to speak to for more than three minutes whined about the high cost of living. So even though they get all this money for transportation projects, all it does is enable the importation of extremely expensive goods, and it doesn't even lead to a satisfied entitled populace. And they also couldn't say enough bad things about regulations that limited their ability to poach off national forests, etc.

Posted by: Barbara on November 5, 2007 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Alaska is libertarianism for hypocrites.

Sure, the other supposedly conservative areas also get more from the Feds than they chip in, but Alaska pretty much brings to the fore the attitude of Republican voters: I want, I want, I want.

Posted by: freelunch on November 5, 2007 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Because he going to stop these ex-Democrats and ex-Trotskiests and other phonies like Stevenson from continuing to wreck what's left of the Republican Party identity.

Yeah, it has to be the fault of lefties and a few bad apples. Couldn't possibly be because libertarian notions of running a complex industrial society without oversight are juvenile, unrealistic, and unworkable.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 5, 2007 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

once people have become accustomed to receiving goodies from the feds, they think they're permanently entitled, whether it's Social Security recipients or sugar farmers. So, it appears that the situation can never get better and will only get worse.
Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

Wrong. People will do the right thing if they have leaders who will make choices and explain it to them. To govern is to choose. The inability of the libertarian minded to see the difference between social security and sugar subsidies, undermines the entire good government project the founders of America embarked on in 1776. Your pessimism is a failure to choose. You solution is to smash it all. That doesn't work. It never has. Choose the rational and the good. Don't run away behind simplistic social philosophies of 'the truth'. Whatever happed to no taxation without representation? What ever happened to observable phenomenon. Enough speculative philosophy. Enough living under religious conceptions of man and state. Away you libertarian ideologues, you stink of fanaticism and failure.

Posted by: Northern Observer on November 5, 2007 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

I was in Alaska last summer and every Alaskan I had the occasion to speak to for more than three minutes whined about the high cost of living.

Plus, it snows! Why doesn't the goddamn gummint do something about that?!

Fucking lefties, ruining everything... grumble grumble.

Posted by: craigie on November 5, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Strictly speaking, there were *two* "bridges to nowhere" in the 2005 Transportation Bill. The other, to link Anchorage to Nowheresville, is still going forward.

New Talking Wall: "Is Alaska still remotely important from a military defense standpoint?"

With Putin planting flags at the North Pole, maybe so.

Posted by: Grumpy on November 5, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on November 5, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Like typical European illegal immigrants, Alaskans stole from, imprisoned, tortured and killed Nanook and his family, then looked for a federal bailout to prevent their toes from freezing.

Posted by: Brojo on November 5, 2007 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I grew up in Alaska and left a few years after the oil pipeline was completed. The money that poured into the state from the oil was astronomical, Alaskans rebuilt half of the State: new libraries, schools, performing arts centers, roads, you name it. Up until the oil years, Alaska was a proudly libertarian state - marijuana was legal when I was a teenager. Alaska turned solidly Republican in the late 70's after the oil companies basically started buying local politicians for favorable treatment and has remained in the R column for 30 years because of the oil company backing.

Alaska today looks nothing like the place I grew up in, the populace is fat and lazy with the wealth provided from oil income. Like anyone handed too much money without having earned it, they whine that they should be getting more, that costs of living are too high. They would sell out the rest of the State to logging, mining or oil in a heartbeat if it meant they got more money each year in that dividend check. Greed and entitlement are what Alaskans are all about now - and I say that having been born and raised there.

They shouldn't be getting a dime of Federal dollars for anything, they have more than enough money to build all the bridges in the world and still have enough left over to dole out dividend checks every year....

Posted by: arteclectic on November 5, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Hey MHR, you know what the difference between Byrd and Stevens is? Byrd represents a poor state, with an extractative industrial base that has low price variability, serioul public health effects at the point of extraction and low royalty rates. In other words, West Virginia is a poor state. but it still has state taxes. Alaska has an extractative industray that passes on the public health exposure to the end points, zero taxes and high royalty revenue. if a million millionaires moved to West Virginia, the state, just like anyother state, would be in better financial health, the millionaires would spend money, buy things, create jobs, and all that increased revenue would help the state do things like pave roads, right? not in Alaska. if a billion billionionaires moved to Alaska, the state would be worse off financially. think about how absurd that is.

Posted by: northzax on November 5, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Hostile, if you wish to say that invading whites killed Inuits in Alaska, just say that. However, do not use Nanook - He was not from Alaska - Lived in the area of Quebec - The extraordinary film by Flaherty shot in 1922 was filmed off Hudson Bay in Quebec.

Would be similar to naming a north eastern tribal leader while discussing the atrocities of Gen Crook in Arizona against the Apaches.

And, FAUXlib, my social security check which arrives each month is not the same as a sugar subsidy. Do not really think of Uncle Sam as a Sugar Daddy.

Posted by: bert on November 5, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

America's biggest basket case? You trying to piss off the yahoos in Tejas?

Posted by: demisod on November 5, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Alaska today looks nothing like the place I grew up in, the populace is fat and lazy with the wealth provided from oil income. Like anyone handed too much money without having earned it, they whine that they should be getting more, that costs of living are too high. They would sell out the rest of the State to logging, mining or oil in a heartbeat if it meant they got more money each year in that dividend check. Greed and entitlement are what Alaskans are all about now - and I say that having been born and raised there.

Good post. Alaska's reality will be America's future unless Ron Paul is elected, otherwise we'll have two socialist parties in the U.S, the honest socialists (Democrats) and the scumbag hypocrites(Republicans) a large portion of whom are ex-Democrats (What would you expect from them?)

The goal of the Ron Paul campaign and of the movement is reinvent and recreate the Republican Party into the Taft-Goldwater vision. And compared to the rest of the GOP candidates, you can rest assured those nuclear codes will be in sane hands if Ron Paul is elected. The troops will be coming home. No more Empire!

Posted by: Sean Scallon on November 5, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Craigie

Best comment in a long time.

I recently talked with a friend who lives on Catalina Island (he's not rich). He talked about how being an "island person" meant you had to accept certain tradeoffs. Sure it's beautiful, but there's only 1 freakin grocery store. If you feel the tradeoffs are worth it, stay, if not, leave.

Alaska folks who complain about the high cost of living when they don't pay any state or sales tax are welcome to move to Mississippi any time they want.

Posted by: tomeck on November 5, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

I like Alaska and Alaskans, but contrary to the image of rugged outdoorsmen, a disproportionate number of Alaskans are pallid and overweight, just what one might expect from people who spend long winters inside eating, drinking and smoking too much. After the discovery of oil the usually bunch of loonies surfaced urging Alaska to declare independence from the U.S. and become a sort of Saudi Arabia of the north (quite a switch from WWII when Alaskans were begging the U.S. to save them from the Japanese). Wiser heads prevailed, realizing Uncle Sam was not only a protector but a serious sugar daddy. An oft cited Alaskan prayer goes: “Oh Lord, please let us discover more oil. This time we won’t screw it up.”

Posted by: fafner1 on November 5, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Those "loonies" you speak of (the Alaskan Independence Party) are probably the only "real" Alaskans left. What does it say when the populace begs to be attached to the U.S. because the government "was not only a protector but a serious sugar daddy." Just like whore to the pimp or the junkie to the dealer. If you are willing to let decision about where you live be made thousands of miles away, you deserve to be a slave.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on November 5, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing new. We in the People's Republics of the Northeast have been subsidizing the rugged individualists and proudly independent libertarians of the West since before the Civil War.

Arizona, home of Barry Goldwater, started as a territory where the only economic activity was support services for the army, which was there to protect the white people, who were there to support the army.

Get government off my back! - as long as you continue to pay for my unsustainable water supply, send out my ag subsidy checks, and keep open the local military base that hasn't served a purpose since WWII. And since we hate taxes, and everybody knows those freeloading socialist Northeasterners love them, they can pay for it all.

Posted by: alex on November 5, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Just like whore to the pimp or the junkie to the dealer. If you are willing to let decision about where you live be made thousands of miles away, you deserve to be a slave."

Well said.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on November 5, 2007 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Sean Scallon: If you are willing to let decision about where you live be made thousands of miles away, you deserve to be a slave.

Good point. Quick. let's dissolve the Union.

Posted by: alex on November 5, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

What the f are you people talking about.Go back to the time your state was brought into the Union and see just how much money has been spent in your state before you start clammoring on about Alaska.We all go to work every day just like you people do,Yes we have fat lazy people here, are you saying you don't.Anchorage is in a bowl the water to one side the moutains on the other,Your bridges to nowhere is a bridge to Mat su Valley where a huge part of the populace lives.I'll bet you guys have more than one road out of your largest city and paid for buy the Big Bad Guvment.

Posted by: john john on November 5, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

As a twenty-two year resident of Alaska, I think that Charles Homans' article makes some valid points. Alaska and Alaskans would be better off with a state income tax. This was suggested by former Governor Jay Hammond after oil price declines caused the state its first post-Prudhoe Bay budget shortfalls.

However, while Charles Homans' article has a point, he and the posters up-thread overlook (or more likely are unaquainted with) many of the local issues.

Alaska is as big as the five western most states combined. The distance from Southeast Alaska to the tip of the Aleutian chain is nearly the distance from San Francisco to Washington, DC. Yet the population state wide is the size of a medium sized city in the lower-48. There is no highway infrastructure in most of the state. Hell, when I came here in 1985 there were still a lot of villages where the people shit in "honey-buckets" and hauled it to the local sewage lagoon. Many communities have to generate their own electrical power. In much of Alaska that means running diesel powered generators.

Alaska communities are frequently bounded by federal lands which significantly inhibit opportunities for local economic development. I live in Sitka and the city needs to add a hydro-electric plant. The nearest, best site is in a wilderness area, so that's a no go. The development costs for alternative locations are prohibitive for a town of fewer than 9,000 residents.

Sitka's cost of living is 140% of the national average. Lots of people that I know depend upon their permanent fund dividend checks for more than vacations and new pick-up trucks. Every employer in town is short of help due the cost of living. It helps to think of the Permanent Fund dividend as a state subsidy to help keep residents in state.

Now, I am not complaining. Moving to Alaska is the best decision I have made. But, its crazy to pretend that Alaska doesn't have unique challenges and that they can be met without federal participation.

Posted by: AK Liberal on November 5, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Whoever wants to leave should be allowed to leave for whatever reason. Scession is not outlawed in the Constitution.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on November 5, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I felt bad when Anthony Quinn, playing Nanook, killed that poor dog to save that scum European illegal immigrant in the fictionalized film version of Nanook of the North. I did see the original documentary in a film class in HS, though. Poor Nanook is said to have died of starvation.

Posted by: Brojo on November 5, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

...and another thing. Is it too much to ask a journalist living in-state to get the population of our fith largest city right? A quick check of the Alaska Department of Commerce and Economic Development website shows that Ketchikan has closer to 14,000 residents, not 8,000.

Posted by: AK Liberal on November 5, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

john john: Go back to the time your state was brought into the Union and see just how much money has been spent in your state before you start clammoring on about Alaska.

My state wasn't "brought into the Union" - it helped form the Union. And the infrastructure project that made the greatest contribution to its development (the Erie Canal) was a state project. Since then we've been subsidizing other states and territories.

Posted by: alex on November 5, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Is Alaska still remotely important from a military defense standpoint?

Oddly, it will be more so in the future thanks to a confluence of a coming energy shortage and the melting of the Arctic due to global warming. Control of the Northwest passage, and the freshwater and oil and natural gas reserves in the Artic, will be increasingly important for this country's energy independence.

Posted by: Stefan on November 5, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

bert: "if you wish to say that invading whites killed Inuits in Alaska, just say that."

In Alaska, the indigenous people of the Arctic are called Inupiat, not Inuit.

tomeck: "Alaska folks who complain about the high cost of living when they don't pay any state or sales tax..."

In my experience, most Alaskans don't complain about the high cost of living; they snicker that they've fooled everyone else into thinking Alaska costs more. Hence a federal COLA for "overseas duty." This does not apply to rural Alaska, where things really do cost more -- $10 for a gallon of milk, for example.

AK Liberal: "...Ketchikan has closer to 14,000 residents, not 8,000."

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough has 14,000 residents. How many live within the city of Ketchian proper? Close to 8,000.

Posted by: Grumpy on November 5, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Stop funding of the Federal Alligator Preserve at Point Barrow before it is too late.

Posted by: Brojo on November 5, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Grumpy, have you been to Ketchikan and the Gateway Borough? Outside of Ketchikan, there isn't much there. I'll stand by my comment on Ketchikan's population.

Posted by: AK Liberal on November 5, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo: Stop funding of the Federal Alligator Preserve at Point Barrow before it is too late.

Oh, come on. With global warming, alligator preserves in Alaska are just thinking ahead.

Posted by: alex on November 5, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck, sales tax in Alaska is left to the municipalities. In my town we pay 6% sales tax in the summer and 5% the rest of the year. One gripes that we have with Anchorage and Mat-Su residents is that they receive a dispraportionate amount of state funding and services and pay no municipal sales tax.

Posted by: AK Liberal on November 5, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

AK Liberal: Alaska communities are frequently bounded by federal lands which significantly inhibit opportunities for local economic development. I live in Sitka and the city needs to add a hydro-electric plant. The nearest, best site is in a wilderness area, so that's a no go. The development costs for alternative locations are prohibitive for a town of fewer than 9,000 residents.

That's the only legitimate defense of federal subsidies that I've heard so far. In such a case it would be reasonable for the feds to compensate for the extra costs imposed by keeping the best site off limits.

Alaska is as big as the five western most states combined.

So? There are economies of scale inherent in higher population densities. I see no reason for the feds to fight that tide with subsidies.

Sitka's cost of living is 140% of the national average.

And where I am it's 145%, yet we get no federal subsidies to compensate. In fact, money flows out of here to the feds.

Alaska is the state with the 6th highest median family income, so even with a high cost of living it's not as though it were a bastion of poverty in need of federal relief.

Posted by: alex on November 5, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Alaska is the state with the 6th highest median family income, so even with a high cost of living it's not as though it were a bastion of poverty in need of federal relief."

In general, yes. But ironically, the poorest Alaskans live in the most expensive places, namely The Bush.

Posted by: Grumpy on November 5, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Alex: And where I am it's 145%, yet we get no federal subsidies to compensate. In fact, money flows out of here to the feds.

Good point, except that Alaska doesn't produce that sort of wealth to share outside of the energy sector. If you think that BP and Phillips Petroleum should pay more in corporate income tax, you won't get much argument from me. Sixth in median income or not, most Alaskans are not rich. As in many places, a few a the top skew the chart.

Regarding subsidies, I don't think that anyone has been asking for that. In fact, I recently read that most federal spending in Alaska is for things like military bases, federal land management and other programs that most people don't have a problem with. It's the investment in big ticket infrastructure that seems to give folks in the lower forty-eight heartburn. Of course they all enjoy their federal highways and flood control projects and the economic growth they have brought.

Posted by: AK Liberal on November 5, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Sitka's cost of living is 140% of the national average.

It's 212% here in New York (source link below). And yet not only do we not receive any federal subsidies, we also subsidize Alaska and the rest of the Southern and Western welfare states with our tax dollars.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0883960.html

Posted by: Stefan on November 5, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

AK: Sixth in median income or not, most Alaskans are not rich.

Nor are most people in NJ, yet they, believe it or not, have the highest median family income.

As in many places, a few a the top skew the chart.

That's why I cited median rather than mean - a few high rollers doesn't skew the median much.

It's the investment in big ticket infrastructure that seems to give folks in the lower forty-eight heartburn. Of course they all enjoy their federal highways and flood control projects and the economic growth they have brought.

Federal highway dollars disproportionately benefit people in low population density areas. Around here almost all the major roads were built by the state.

As for things like Boston's Big Dig, I'm no fan of that gravy train either.

The problem I have with Alaska is that, because it has such a small population, the spending per capita is very high.

Posted by: alex on November 5, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Alex Nice thought your state did dig the erie canal,But it has been enlarged a few times.Any guess on who paid for this.

Posted by: john john on November 5, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'll bet you guys have more than one road out of your largest city and paid for buy the Big Bad Guvment.

No, not really. See, here in New York we pay more in taxes to the federal government that we get back in services -- so when the feds build a road, they're only using our own dollars to do so, so for us it's a net loss. On the other hand, you guys pay much less in taxes than you get back in services, so when the federal government builds roads in Alaska it's essentially using New Yorker's money to do so.

Now in theory I don't mind -- I'm happy to pay to support my less fortunate and less enterprising countrymen. On the other hand, it irks me when the recipients of my largesse start pretending that they're some kind of rugged individualists and I'm the one getting rather than giving the handout.

Posted by: Stefan on November 5, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

john john: Nice thought your state did dig the erie canal,But it has been enlarged a few times.Any guess on who paid for this.

No need to guess - it was New York State (the federal money was going to subsidize westward expansion, and come to think of it, still is).

What can I say? We Socialist Northeasterners pride ourselves on our self sufficiency.

Posted by: alex on November 5, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Alex and Stefan You forgot to tell us all about the bailout some years ago. Oh and how about all that money for 911 Oh and guess what I also pay Fed tax "suprise" Oh and Google has some good info about fed money to your state ,But I don't mind supporting my less fortunate and less enterprising countrymen. On the other hand it Irks me to think you people like to think you have never got fed money, and in case you want to check we don't have much in roads. But thanks for playing The fool in NY NY.

Posted by: john john on November 5, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

john john: On the other hand it Irks me to think you people like to think you have never got fed money ...

Don't let it irk you, because neither of us said that. What we did say is that NYS pays much more in federal taxes than it receives in federal monies.

NYS receives $0.79 for every dollar of federal taxes, while Alaska gets $1.84.

Cheer up - Alaska isn't the worst freeloader (only #3). Another bastion of rugged Western self sufficiency - New Mexico - is #1 with $2.03. Oh, and NYS isn't the worst. Our fellow Socialist Northeasterners in NJ get only $0.61.

and in case you want to check we don't have much in roads

Nor do you have many people to justify the cost of building those roads.

But thanks for playing The fool in NY NY.

Fools? For subsidizing the freeloader states? Yeah, I guess you're right.

Posted by: alex on November 5, 2007 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ha Ha didn't have a whole lot to say about all the freebies you guys have recieved but thats O.K. I took the median 650,00 (Our polulation)and 650,000 median of your population and you know what i found out. We paid the same amount of fed tax WOW just WOW.So unless your 263 years of age THERE IS NO DIFFRENCE. Congrats to Boston Red Sox.

Posted by: john john on November 5, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Look Alex and Stephan I,m not going to get into it with you we all come from the same side of the politcal spectrum.Saying that we have been rep.by consevative republicans since statehood.Socialism is not in there blood.ha ha. Have a nice day guys..

Posted by: john john on November 5, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Sean S.

Scession is not outlawed in the Constitution.

Yes it is, just ask Mr. Lincoln.

Posted by: tomeck on November 5, 2007 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe I should ask Gen. Musharaff. He seems to take after Lincoln's example.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on November 6, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Sean Scallon: Maybe I should ask Gen. Musharaff. He seems to take after Lincoln's example.

Good point Sean - we should all remember how Lincoln canceled the election of 1864.

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