John McCain is turning Barack Obama's, "Spread the wealth around" statement to the omnipresent Joe the Plumber into a scary tale of socialism on the prowl.
Socialism! The ads for McCain cry. Obama's a socialist! He wants to take money away from you (good American people who work hard) and give it to them you know the... er... other Americans who... uhh... do other stuff. In this ad, the folks all repeat, "I'm Joe the Plumber."
News flash: we'are already socialist. We take money from people who don't have kids and use it to fund public schools. We take money from people who will never get sick or old and fund Medicare and Medicaid. We take money from all kinds of people and spend it on lots of different kinds of people. The money is called "taxes" and the benefits are socialist in nature.
The Tax Foundation has a "Taxes paid vs. spending received by state" analysis. If you match that data up against a red-state-blue-state map, you'll find that of the top 10 states for taxes paid vs. spent are Colorado, New York, California, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Nevada and New Jersey. Eight blues, one red and one fence sitter. The top 10 states on the spending side are: New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky and Virginia. One blue, six red, three middling.
To put that in narrative terms, Alaska (Palin) spends $1.84 of federal tax money for every dollar they take in. Arizona (McCain) spends $1.19. Illinois (Obama) gets only $.75 of federal spending for every dollar it provides. And Delaware (Biden) gets $.77. That's right: if you're from Illinois, 25-cents of every federal tax dollar you pay goes to help the fine people of Alaska and Arizona... Who apparently resent you for helping them out.
I'm not Joe the Plumber. I'm the guy subsidizing his socialist public works and proud to do so.
[PS: I know that Ohio, where I live now, is in the "spend more" column. I'm identifying in a political, philosophical sense with blue states, like Massachusetts, where I grew up, and New York, where my family is from and I went to school.]