Senator Tom Coburn, in yesterday's statement on disaster relief for his state, laughingly indicated that any relief for his state must be offset by government spending cuts elsewhere. I noted in yesterday's post that his expectations are unreasonable because the spending cuts proposed invoke the third rail of Social Security and Medicare cuts, things that are just not going to happen.
These are not, according to Coburn, entitlements. These are investments.
But now I have another angle on why Tom Coburn is full of cornfeathers. You see, Oklahoma is prone to disasters, as are California and Texas. But both California and Texas are net contributors to the federal budget, they contribute more than they receive from the feds. That's because California is the first most populous state in the Union, and Texas is the second-most populous state.
We pay our share and then some.
Not so Oklahoma. Oklahoma has a mere 3.8 million souls within its borders, a population that the city of Los Angeles, or the city of Houston can beat without blinking. These people do not contribute as much to the federal coffers as they collect. They are a needy, receiver state.
And on top of that, of all the states, Oklahoma ranks first in the country in terms of the number of major disasters to befall a state between the years 1950 and 2011. See the graphic courtesy of the Manchester Guardian.
Tom Coburn just needs to sit down and shut up before Americans start demanding that Oklahomans pony up and pay their fair share. Insurance companies certainly operate this way. Heavy users of insurance payments should, by rights, contribute more.
Or Tom Coburn needs to shut up. Both work for me.