Electoral Finances

Would you trust a bankrupt company with your money?

I try to not put political commentary on this blog, but this is something that has been bothering me. I was listening to the radio in the car and a politician was stumping for a bunch of woke platforms to make America more “fair”. Since I was flipping channels I never got the name of who it was, but the specific candidate is irrelevant as this is a recurring theme today.

Quite a few liberal politicians have been calling for amending the US Constitution to remove the Electoral College under the presumption that the current system does not fairly count the vote of every citizen. Several previous elections were determined by the Electoral College even though the “popular” vote went to the other party, one such resulting in deliberate minority voter suppression. Since it takes 3/4 of states to ratify an amendment to the constitution, and the majority of states vote conservative, removing the Electoral College is unlikely to happen. An entire separate debate can (and should) occur around the definition of “fair” since a majority vote system would specifically disenfranchise the states with smaller populations.

I wanted to look at a separate aspect of this desire to alter the will of the people. Money. Specifically fiscal responsibility.

Top Half, color coded by Party

In 2018, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University compiled a state ranked fiscal health report. The data comes from 2016, so it is decent to compare to the 2016 Electoral College. The healthiest 25 states comprise 248 electoral votes, 215 of which voted for President Trump. Those states comprise roughly 150 million people, not all of whom voted the same as their respective Electoral representative. The top 25 are clearly in the Red camp.

Bottom Half, color coded by Party

The least fiscally healthy 25 states comprises 287 electoral votes, 197 of which voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Roughly 175 million people reside in these bottom 25 states, a clear majority of the US population. In fact, because of Illinois, New York, and California, almost 1/3 of the US population lives in the bottom 10 states. In general, this means that the more insolvent the state, the more likely it was to vote Democrat.
Does that mean that people who are less fiscally responsible tend to vote liberal? I do not know. On the aggregate however it appears to be the case.

Clearly, conservatives and libertarians do not like the idea of handing control of the country to the ideals of the worst performing states. What I wonder is why would liberals in California trust liberal New Yorkers with their future? Why would anyone trust the liberals in Chicago (face it, the rest of the state is conservative) with the ability to make sound fiscal plans? From the looks of it, the conservatives are doing their best to keep the country on solid footing despite others’ best intentioned efforts.

On a similar note, unless you are a classist, consider carefully next time you vote who makes the majority of your food.