Robbing Blue States to Pay Red

Much of the debate over the Republican House and Senate tax plans has centered on how they will shift income toward the affluent. But there is a second kind of redistribution in the plans — from Democratic blue states to Republican red states.

Call it the Republican two-step: redistribute upward, then sideways. The biggest beneficiaries are corporations and the rich regardless of where they are. But under the Republican plans, half of these big cuts have to be paid for in the first 10 years (the other half will be added to the national debt, increasing it by $1.5 trillion). And these “pay-fors,” as they’re called, are predominantly aimed at blue states. …

Republican leaders are betting that enough blue-state Republicans will put loyalty to party ahead of the prosperity of their state — or at least recognize that the first part of the Republican two-step (big tax cuts for rich people in blue as well as red states) may redound to their benefit even if the second (pay-fors aimed at blue states) doesn’t.

But if their bet pays off, it isn’t just blue states that will suffer. Red America may hold the key to Republicans’ control of government, but blue America holds many of the keys to our nation’s economic future. CONT.

Jacob S. Hacker (Yale) & Paul Pierson (Berkeley), New York Times