Autarkh Profile picture
11 Mar, 9 tweets, 3 min read
1/Yet another "I'm tired of hearing" thread.

Republicans claim the #CovidReliefBill is a "blue state bailout"—or one for CA & NY.


1st, it's disaster relief, not a bailout.

2nd, it provides proportional funding to Blue & Red states based on neutral criteria.
2/USA Today did this useful graphic showing how much each state will receive, grouped by governor's party then by 2020 presidential vote.

As should be evident, this is not just a blue state thing. For example, TX will be one of the largest recipients.…
3/If you look at a scatterplot of state/local aid per capita in the #AmericanRescuePlan vs. the 2020 presidential margin, you see there's not a strong correlation and, in any event, states are grouped fairly close to the per-capita average, but low pop states tend to get more.
4/The funding formula is based on need (i.e., a state's share of the national unemployment, modified such that it gets at least a minimum payment based on last year's CARES Act), population, & the existing Community Development Brock Grant (CDBG) criteria.
5/As should be clear this is not a "bailout" exclusively for some states based on party.

Rather, the law apportions fiscal support to state & local gov'ts in a neutral, systematic fashion to promote the objectives of a *national* COVID relief plan by Congress & the President.
6/By my calculation, Blue states get about $11.73B more than they would based on a simple per capita apportionment. For perspective, this is 0.62% of the bill.

Baseless "blue state bailout" charge aside, it's totally in bounds to ask: is this apportionment fair?

Yes—here's why:
7/Over the course of the 5 most recent years with data, 2015 to 2019, the same Blue states paid ~$79.4B more in federal taxes per year than they received in federal spending relative to the national average. Red states have an equal & opposite negative payment balance.
8/Since Red states accepted a disproportionate benefit nearly 6.8x as large for at least those 5 years while they were gaining from it, there's no real basis to object to the smaller/temporally-limited $11.7B on equitable grounds. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
9/Addendum: what I mean by "neutral" is that it isn't purposely discriminating by partisanship.

If you have a funding formula that gives more help to places there's more unemployment (perfectly logical), one side may benefit more, but that's totally incidental.

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More from @Autarkh

1 Dec 20
@imillhiser 1/Ossoff & Warnock win. Dems can pass a big stimulus & infrastructure bill thru reconciliation. The new admin's efforts to control the pandemic are successful & the econ improves significantly. Barrett Court hands down unpopular decisions. Biden goes into the midterm w/ 55%...
@imillhiser 2/approval. Dem voters don't fully demobilize & we narrowly lose the House while picking up 1-2 net Sen seats. Dems pass a budget thru end of Biden's term to prevent sabotage. Riding on return to normalcy & Trump 2024 candidacy dividing the GOP, Biden is re-elected w/ coattails.
@imillhiser 3/With unified control in 2024, made possible by narrow loss in 2022, Dems pass structural pro-democracy reforms including restructuring of unpopular federal judiciary, admission of PR & DC as states.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov 20
@Redistrict 1/Based on where the election stands right now, there are 37,350,155 Trump voters in states that went for Biden, including California. The Electoral College renders their votes irrelevant.

They should be in favor of a popular vote.
@Redistrict 2/Likewise, there are 27,945,265 Biden voters in states that went for Trump. (This number is smaller because Biden won more states, but in 2016, it was the reverse.) Their votes are irrelevant.

They should be in favor of a popular vote.
@Redistrict 3/There are 6,859,157 "excess" Biden and 4,010,738 "excess" Trump voters in states won by their respective candidates who were unnecessary to carry the state. Their votes are irrelevant.

They should be in favor of a popular vote.
Read 4 tweets

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