Forbes magazine has completed a comprehensive look at “The Global Debt Bomb” and in the course of compiling the results found this very interesting tidbit:
“The five states in the worst financial condition–Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey–are all among the bluest of blue states. The five most fiscally fit states are more of a mix. Three–Utah, Nebraska and Texas–boast Republican majorities and two–New Hampshire and Virginia–skew Democratic.”
But wait, it’s actually more serious than that when you look at the 10 states in the worst financial condition, according to Forbes:
“Of the 10 states in the worst financial condition, eight are among a total of 23 defined by Gallup as “solidly Democratic,” meaning the Democrats enjoy an advantage of 10 percentage points or greater in party affiliation. These states include the ones listed above as making up the bottom five, plus Massachusetts, Ohio and Wisconsin.
“Of the three other basement-dwellers, Kentucky is defined as “leaning Democratic” (a five- to 10-percentage-point Democratic advantage) and the remaining two–Louisiana and Mississippi–are termed politically “Competitive” (less than a five-percentage-point advantage for either party). Louisiana tilts slightly Democratic and Mississippi slightly Republican.”
Forbes quotes an Illinois political science professor who explains why these rankings turn out as they do:
“Why do Democratic states appear to be struggling more than Republican ones? It comes down to stronger unions and a larger appetite for public programs, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political studies and public affairs at the University of Illinois’ Center for State Policy and Leadership.
“‘Unions in general have more influence in Democratic-controlled states,’ he says. ‘This isn’t to say that unions are bad, but where they’re strong you have bigger demands for social services and coalitions with construction companies, road builders and others that push up debt.'”
There is much, much more to the Forbes piece, which you can read in its entirety here.