- Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested last week that federal aid amounted to a “blue state bailout,” adding that states should file for bankruptcy instead of receiving emergency cash.
- His home state of Kentucky received more federal cash, on balance, than 47 other states, according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
- McConnell’s comments amounted to “one of the really dumb ideas of all time,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.
- Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said: “The last thing we need in the middle of an economic crisis is to have states all filing bankruptcy all across America and not able to provide services to people who desperately need them.”
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Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office released a press statement with the headline “blue state bailout” last week, but the Senate Majority Leader’s effort to politicize the coronavirus response was rebuked by Democrats and Republicans alike.
And besides, the description is false, as Washington Post columnist Allan Sloan noted Monday.
In fact, McConnell’s home state of Kentucky receives more federal funds than it pays back to the federal government than almost any other state.
Kentucky has a bigger balance than 47 other states from the 2015 fiscal year through 2018. It received a net total of $148 billion. It’s behind only Maryland and Virginia, which receive a large amount of funding partly because of their proximity to the country’s capital.
That’s according to a 2020 report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government, titled, “Who Gives and Who Gets?”
Per capita, the Bluegrass State beat out 49 states over that period.
Even so, McConnell has pushed to preempt bailout cash to states, saying they should file for bankruptcy instead.
“I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated,” he said in a radio interview. “There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, the coronavirus epicenter, called McConnell’s comment “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.” It’s “irresponsible and reckless,” Cuomo added.
New York contributes more funding to the federal government than any other state by a significant margin, losing $71,770 billion over hhe same 2015 to 2018 timeframe.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland echoed Cuomo’s criticisms.
“The last thing we need in the middle of an economic crisis is to have states all filing bankruptcy all across America and not able to provide services to people who desperately need them,” Hogan said.