Last month there was an article in our local paper regarding our state tax dollars. The article conveys the breakdown by California county showing which counties pay the highest taxes per-capita versus those which pay the least. The article also shows, again per capita, which counties receive the most state aid.
The expectation, I’m sure, is that democratic counties would be receiving the most aid. After all, traditionally democrats are the ones who want higher taxes for more services. While these are the counties paying the most taxes, they are not the counties receiving the most state aid. Those counties would be highly republican.
Now I don’t think it’s curious that those who define themselves as democrats are paying higher taxes (per capita), or that those who consider themselves republican are paying lower taxes. I’d like to say I’m stunned to see that the republican counties are using a lot of state aid, but I’m not. Part of this is a hard-core judgment call. Normally the people who complain most bitterly about paying taxes and welfare cheats both avoid taxes and try to get every advantage they can. It’s the people who willingly pay into the system and play by the rules who are most often denied benefits when they need them.
The article isn’t really judgmental at all. The article does a good job of outlining all of the social reasons why this may be the case. Many of these counties are rural, they don’t have enough resources close to them, many are farmers with unstable or unpredictable pay, and many are older. Also, the urban area paying for them tend to have more people vying for the same resources.
I do, think, however, we might want to start looking at WHO is using the resources paid for by our taxes. I think that will give us the clearest sense of should we continue to fund when it comes time for cutting costs.