Crom’s Crommentary: How the Democrat Party Machine Lives off of Defined Benefits
Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.
In the State of the Union address, Biden made the statement that he has reduced the deficit $1.7 trillion more than any other president. Of course, the way that he did that was he increased the deficit more than any other president in his first year in office.
And then and blamed the increase on Trump even though it was Biden himself. And the Democrats had increased spending by over $3 trillion in a very, very short period of time. And then that was one-time spending for that year. It blew the deficit way up.
The question is, okay, well then how are we really doing? Is the deficit getting better or is the deficit getting worse? What are the implications of that? There were a couple of stories that were interesting to me. One was from The Wall Street Journal editorial board. Our fiscal year begins October 1st.
And so, so for the first four months of the year, our deficit was $522 million in four months compared to $259 million in the same four months the year before. And so Biden might be able to claim that technically the deficit was lower in his second full year in office than it was his first full year in office.
But he’s going to be struggling mightily when it comes to the deficit numbers on his third full year in office, which is the deficit that will apply to when he runs for reelection, assuming that he does run for reelection.
But then I looked at another story, and this really gets into the tale of two countries, and this is comparing spending. And by the way, Tennessee falls very close to Florida in terms of these numbers on a per capita basis.
But this is an article comparing Florida to New York, and I’ve really found it to be fascinating because Florida, under Ron DeSantis, is a very red state that tries to take great care of how it spends money. New York, on the other hand, is a very blue state that spends money at an enormous rate.
But here’s what’s interesting. The population of Florida is 22 million. The population of New York is a little under 20 million. So just for purposes of discussion, let’s just assume that they’re pretty much the same. The top income tax rate in Florida is zero. The top income tax rate in New York is 10.9 percent.
The top income tax in the city of Miami versus the city of New York, it’s zero. In Miami total state and local, and in New York City it’s 14.8 percent. The sales tax in Florida is six percent. In New York, it’s four. But here’s what’s interesting spending in New York is $227 million a year. Spending in Florida is half that.
Now, when you have states that are that big and you have that much difference. In Medicaid spending alone in Florida, including federal money, it’s $28.7 billion. In New York, it’s $73.3 billion. And so here’s how that game works.
And this is where the problem is. The game works this way. The federal government will put in $2 for every dollar that the local government spends. That’s about what the ratio is. So if I’m at the state level and I waste a dollar, then the federal government will give me two additional dollars to waste.
What New York State does is it taxes the way out of its citizens, and then it turns around and wastes money in 10s of billions of dollars in Medicaid and other federal matching programs so that the state gets all of this money from the federal government.
Now, what is the effect on the people who live there? And the answer is this, in the state of Florida, from 2016 to 2021, Florida’s real state GDP grew 17 percent. In that five-year period, New York grew eight percent.
And so what happens over time is that some of the special interests in the state of New York make out extremely well. But the average person in the state of New York is getting crushed by the policies of the state of New York itself.
But in the state of New York, just as nationally, you have a Democrat Party machine. And it doesn’t matter, as you point out, whether or not there’s a cucumber running the party or running in the governor’s office, so long as the machine is in place spending gobs of money and taxing its citizens.
That’s true at the national level also. I’ve got some additional data we can talk about later in the show on national Medicaid and national Medicare spending and how much waste there is in those systems. But once again, the Democrat Party machine doesn’t care because it lives on defined benefits, on fixed amounts of money as opposed to being affected by the real economy.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this Crommentary:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Thuan Vo.