As usual, button-pushing, short-sighted pandering trumps the outright truth. And this just in: conservatives only promote these distortions on days that end with the letter ‘y’.
“(Rep. Paul) Ryan (R-Wis), mind you, voted for 2008’s TARP program — a bank bailout in the purest sense of the term. But one lawmaker’s rank hypocrisy is less significant than how the word “bailout” is being used — and abused. Suddenly, the term suggests that federal aid would force taxpayers in allegedly “fiscally responsible” Republican states to underwrite taxpayers in supposedly irresponsible Democratic ones.
“Aside from stoking a detestable interstate enmity, this thesis ignores the fact that state-to-state wealth transfers are already happening. According to the Tax Foundation, most Republican-voting states receive more in federal funding than they pay in federal taxes (hello, Kentucky!), while most Democratic-voting states receive less federal money than they pay in federal taxes. That means traditionally blue states like California are now perpetually subsidizing — or in Ryan’s parlance, “bailing out” — traditionally red states like Indiana. Thus, federal aid to states could actually reduce the state-to-state subsidies conservatives say they oppose.
“Congressional Republicans will undoubtedly ignore these facts. Their proposed solution to the budget emergency could instead be a Newt Gingrich-backed initiative letting states default on outstanding obligations by declaring bankruptcy.”