Tuesday, June 30, 2009

California's most Republican county lives off tax dollars

If you happen to travel through a politically conservative, relatively well-off community, don't just assume that residents' vast riches paid for all the amenities the community has. Some of it comes to town for free, courtesy of the taxpayers.

Modoc County now has the highest Republican registration of all 58 counties in California. It always elects diehard conservatives who scoff at tax dollars flowing from the rich to the poor.

Yet Modoc County benefits from reverse redistribution: Taxes paid by poor central cities flow straight to Modoc County. The most Republican county in California gets more tax dollars per person than any other county in the state except one.

Republicans demand cuts in health care, education, and assistance for poor families in the name of balancing the state budget. But all the money for Modoc County remains sacrosanct. Because it's Republican, you see, and therefore special.

The only county that consumes more tax revenue than Modoc is another conservative county. Conversely, the counties that send in the most tax money per person are among the state's most liberal.

It's right-wing machine politics at its worst. Republican communities live off a spoils system that we're all paying for.

This is a bit like how several years ago, Wyoming got 7 times as much per capita homeland security funds as New York state, even though Wyoming had no likely terrorist targets, while New York had many.

If there's a budget crisis, the least the Republicans can do is share the burden. If the state can't afford to fund schools and hospitals for the public, it's only fair that Republican constituents should have to shed some of their perks.

(Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/06/30/MNUU18ETCF.DTL)


  1. What the Bandit has decided not to tell you, but you can easily find out for yourself by reading the article he cites, is that Modoc County is sparsely populated and more tax money goes into the county than goes out due to state-mandated spending.

    Also, Tim meant to say Modoc has the highest PERCENTAGE of Republican registration.

    The "perks" Tim thinks the county is getting are actually things like roads, schools and hospitals -- mainly spending the state requires.

  2. If rural counties must get more tax money per person, then how come the rural counties that vote Democratic don't get as much?

    Mono County voted for Obama, and it's just as rural as Modoc County is. Yet it didn't get nearly as much money.

    The only county that gets more money than Modoc is Tulare County. Tulare County is Republican, yet it has at least one major city. So there goes your argument that Modoc gets more money because it is rural.

  3. Since you're not busy, you could go out there and find out for us. You could probably get a flight tomorrow.