Is there a word for “the opposite of Stockholm syndrome”?

From the outside, I’m sure that one of the more curious features of American politics is the vitriol many poor Americans feel towards government assistance. This is especially curious since so many of these less wealthy Americans are actually on some sort of government assistance. I could cite countless personal anecdotes demonstrating this odd phenomenon, but that’s no fun and it makes me sound bitter. Instead, I’d like to show you how it looks at the state level; as above, so below.

I started with by dividing the states into three buckets: “Red” (Republican/conservative), “blue” (Democratic/liberal), and “divided” (pretty much what it sounds like). I chose a composite of how the states voted over the last 4 presidential elections with states split 2/2 going into the “divided” bucket. It’s not a perfect method, but it passes the sniff test with flying colors. The northeast, the west coast, and the midwest are blue; the deep south and pretty much everything west of the Mississippi fall are red.

Then, I matched this up against the federal spending versus tax revenue by state. That is to say, the amount of money states contribute in income tax and the amount of federal spending by state. I took the net number for each state and then added ’em up by category (red, blue, and divided). It went pretty much how you’d expect:

Blue states: $357 billion contributed

Red states: -$145 billion contributed

Divided states: -83 billion contributed

Note: They don’t balance to zero because the federal government takes in $130 billion more than it distributes to the states.

Now, remember, one of the key talking points of the Republican party and it’s demented cousin, the Tea Party, is that liberals are taking their hard-earned money and giving to lazy, undeserving bums. Fortunately for its adherents, one of the signature features of American conservative ideology is an immunity to cognitive dissonance. Otherwise, the fact that those awful liberals are ponying up billions of dollars to support good, hard-working conservatives might make them reconsider a few articles of faith, eh?

Dollars (millions)
Blue States Revenue Spending Net
California $334,425 $228,474 $105,950
Connecticut $53,703 $55,947 ($2,244)
Delaware $20,062 $6,247 $13,815
District of Columbia $24,464 $21,148 $3,316
Hawaii $7,140 $10,410 ($3,270)
Illinois $137,068 $61,147 $75,921
Iowa $21,189 $17,944 $3,246
Maine $6,745 $10,645 ($3,901)
Maryland $56,332 $57,329 ($996)
Massachusetts $90,464 $66,838 $23,625
Michigan $68,915 $61,133 $7,782
Minnesota $90,704 $48,375 $42,329
New Hampshire $10,002 $8,126 $1,876
New Jersey $128,052 $61,088 $66,964
New Mexico $8,547 $18,716 ($10,169)
New York $231,880 $134,887 $96,993
Oregon $25,716 $21,804 $3,912
Pennsylvania $120,398 $169,083 ($48,685)
Rhode Island $13,011 $9,806 $3,205
Vermont $4,046 $4,266 ($221)
Washington $59,880 $45,258 $14,622
Wisconsin $46,381 $82,998 ($36,618)
Blue State Total $1,559,124 $1,201,669 $357,452
Divided States Revenue Spending Net
Colorado $46,539 $29,854 $16,685
Florida $141,178 $284,585 ($143,407)
Nevada $15,858 $13,659 $2,199
Ohio $124,731 $63,276 $61,455
Virginia $71,365 $91,133 ($19,768)
Divided State Total $399,671 $482,507 ($82,836)
Red States Revenue Spending Net
Alaska $5,293 $5,034 $259
Arizona $36,769 $53,823 ($17,054)
Arkansas $28,772 $17,844 $10,929
Georgia $74,301 $51,404 $22,897
Idaho $8,669 $10,148 ($1,479)
Indiana $50,994 $92,418 ($41,423)
Kansas $24,729 $13,264 $11,464
Kentucky $27,744 $60,562 ($32,818)
Louisiana $40,185 $54,897 ($14,712)
Mississippi $10,430 $24,450 ($14,019)
Missouri $54,412 $45,127 $9,286
Montana $4,997 $6,168 ($1,171)
Nebraska $23,802 $9,706 $14,096
North Carolina $66,102 $58,297 $7,806
North Dakota $7,562 $28,976 ($21,415)
Oklahoma $30,057 $21,627 $8,429
South Carolina $20,446 $109,910 ($89,464)
South Dakota $6,317 $5,040 $1,278
Tennessee $53,909 $70,282 ($16,373)
Texas $249,912 $198,705 $51,207
Utah $17,658 $11,715 $5,943
West Virginia $6,799 $12,979 ($6,180)
Wyoming $5,305 $2,908 $2,397
Alabama $23,766 $58,475 ($34,709)
Red State Total $878,930 $1,023,759 ($144,826)
TOTAL $2,837,725 $2,707,934 $129,792
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