. . .
In other words, while progressive Democrats are mainly arguing for greater social justice, they can also make a much better case than conservatives ever could that their proposals would help the economy and at least partly pay for themselves.
Last but not least, if your view is that the progressive agenda is morally wrong, that people shouldn’t receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes, you should be aware how many Americans are already “takers,” “moochers,” whatever. In fact, we’re talking about a vast swath of the heartland that includes just about every state that voted for Donald Trump.
I’ve been reading a recent Rockefeller Institute report on states’ federal “balance of payments” — the difference for each state between what the federal government spends in that state and what it gets back in revenue.
The pattern is familiar: Richer states subsidize poorer states. And the reasons are clear: Rich states pay much more per person in federal taxes, while actually getting a bit less in federal spending, because Medicaid and other “means-tested” programs go disproportionately to those with low incomes. But the magnitudes are startling.