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Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Blue States are the Real Tea (and States Rights) Parties

The Tea Party movement was intended to reflect concerns of the original settlers who resented paying taxes to England when they weren't represented. Ironically, many of the large states, most of them blue, find themselves in precisely the same situation because of the Electoral College where every state gets a number of electors equal to its congressional delegation. The Tax Foundation did an analysis of how much each state gets back from the federal government compared to what it pays in federal taxes. It revealed substantial inequities. (http://taxfoundation.org/article/federal-taxing-and-spending-benefit-some-states-leave-others-paying-bill-1) For example, New Mexico and Mississippi get back over $2.00 for each $1.00 sent to Washington. That's true of many of the smaller states. Yet because of the electoral College, the residents of those smaller states have far more power in the Electoral College per voter than do larger states. "So California's 55 electoral votes reflect 53 House members and two senators. For seven states, including Wyoming, Delaware and the Dakotas, those extra two electoral votes bring their total to the minimum of three. Put another way, Alaska's three electors will cast 0.56 percent of the 538 electoral votes despite casting just 0.23 percent of the national popular vote. But the advantage doesn't just favor Republicans. Democratic Nevada makes up 1.12 percent of the Electoral College but cast less than 1 of a 100 national ballots. (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6e5abe6acf0249b1a63a4e541b7c8f81/gop-electors-cite-rural-voice-electoral-college)

On the other hand, because the federal government really has little enforcement power in the states, any president has to rely on local enforcement since it doesn't have the resources to accomplish any president's goals. Marijuana is a perfect example. Several states have effectively legalized the sale of the drug even though it remains illegal under federal law. The feds just don't have enough manpower to enforce it. Trump may discover that enforcing his immigration policies may become impossible in those states where the state (or city) government refuses to assist in enforcement. How he goes about making deals to accomplish his goals may be interesting to watch.
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