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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As of 48 hours ago, few people knew that Kentucky was the nation's leading recipient of federal largess, and certainly had no clue just how much the state received compared to the rest of the country. Then, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican from Kentucky, started whining about "Blue state bailouts," and the shit has hit the fan.


Looks like it's time to reexamine Kentucky's privileged status.

Blue states have been happy to carry the burden of funding red states for … kinda forever. California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, in particular, have pumped untold hundreds of billions over the last several decades into mostly rural red states.

That dynamic carries forth in states themselves, with large urban centers paying for rural regions, like the upstate-downstate divisions in Illinois and New York, or Philly-central Pennsylvania.

And that would be fine! Liberals are okay with helping out those that are less well off. Liberals have no problem with the federal government subsidizing telephone and mail service to rural areas—services that would not be justified by capitalistic math. We're okay subsidizing rural health care. We're okay subsidizing rural education, or opioid treatments, or transportation networks (e.g. roads).

The problem here isn't our willingness as liberals to help our disproportionately rural Conservative brothers and sisters. The problem is twofold: 1) the bullshit pretense that these same people are "anti-government" and that urban liberals are somehow feeding off the government trough, and 2) the refusal of these same assholes to help when blue states get hit with catastrophe. Instead, Mitch McConnells and his asshole buddies suddenly discover the evils of the budget deficit—a deficit that wouldn't be so large if Kentucky wasn't bleeding the country dry.

Still, once upon a time, liberals and Blue states were like "whatever, we've got it good, we're the United States of America. We'll help." But McConnell's toxic brew of greed and cruelty has shattered that pretense.

Conservatives have pretended for far too long that it is they, the "heartland," the "real America," that supposedly makes this country great, and it is the cities, the Brown and Black people, the feminists, the liberals, who are dragging it down. Yet it is us paying for their infrastructure, for their health care, for their Medicare and Medicaid and food stamps and aircraft carriers and all the things that make their society functional.

They wouldn't last a week without our assistance. Yet not only is there zero appreciation, but they act like they're the ones being screwed over.

If Republicans want to finally acknowledge that we are all in this thing together, that we are a United States of America, then great, we can continue being generous.

But that's not what's happened. Quite the opposite. Their divisive up democratic talk, in fact, has sown the seeds for a national breakup.

And so now, Kentucky's largess is firmly in the sights of Democratic lawmakers. No more flying under the radar. No more free ride. I'm going to embed this tweet one more time for effect:

No more red-state bailouts.

So every time Mitch McConnell mentions the deficit? Kentucky first.

Mitch McConnell doesn't want state bailouts? Kentucky first. Return the $148 billion in extra money it received the last five years.

Mitch McConnell wants to rail against the evil federal government? Then by all means, Kentucky, return that evil tainted federal cash.

Mitch McConnell wants to rail against New York or California? Return the money paid by New York and California taxpayers.

The red-state anti-government scam is fully exposed. No more.

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.