Monday, February 07, 2005

Red Staters Heart Social Security

Josh Marshall writes roughly what I've been meaning to write for awhile:

It is not just that Social Security phase-out is proving unpopular in some states where President Bush is popular. It's turning out to be most unpopular in some of the reddest parts of the country. Alabama is a good example. Montana is another. Or Rep. Virgil Goode (R) in Southside Virginia. And they're not the only ones.

This isn't particularly surprising when you think about it. These are areas are often older, more rural and have more voters with lower incomes. These are states where President Bush has campaigned on a pseudo-populism which is belied by his own economic policies.

I'll take it a step even further and say that despite their Republican voting habits, people from big rural farm states are probably more directly in touch with their cradle-to-grave government largesse. This isn't my usual attack on red state welfare -- I would just imagine that people in farm communities are quite aware of their subsidy checks and their expected Social Security and Medicare retirement benefits. While people in the decadent coastal metropolitan enclaves have various types of corporate retirement benefits and 401K plans and whatnot, which reduce the degree to which people imagine they will depend on Social Security and Medicare, I imagine those on the "family farm," to the extent that such a thing still exists, are well aware of the importance of Social Security to them and their recent ancestors...