The expanding fiscal waistline

Happy day-​​after-​​super-​​Tuesday, every­body. If you’re as polit­ical as I am, you may not have real­ized that yes­terday was dif­ferent than any other day, but appar­ently it was.

Last night, we got a chance to see if money really does talk, as the fab-​​four of remaining repub­lican hope­fuls — Romney, Paul, San­torum, and Gin­grich — awaited results about their future and per­haps that of our country. I’m not going to pre­tend I know what the results mean. I was more excited to hear that the front page of the Herald’s said “Holy Toledo” than I was about what that head­line refers to. But hey.

With Super Tuesday barely a memory and Fat Tuesday not far behind, I thought the sim­u­la­tion below from Yu-​​Ru Lin of the Center for Com­plex Net­work Research, would be fit­ting today. It’s a polit­ical con­tri­bu­tions car­togram, illus­trating the rel­a­tive size of each state in the lower 48 based on the flow of money in and out over the last twenty years. Some states are fat an happy during par­tic­ular elec­tion years — like Mass­a­chu­setts the year Scott Brown came on the scene. Overall, the money flow has exploded like a Chili’s onion blossom, as you can see by the changing size of the entire country, and yes, it’s been nor­mal­ized for inflation.

As stated on Lin’s web­site, the video is the sum of three sets of maps:
1. money flow: orange — money flow in the state; gray — money flow out of the state
2. where the money comes from: red — money from the state for Repub­lican; blue — money from the state for Demo­crat
3. where the money goes to: red — money giving to the state Repub­lican can­di­dates; blue — money giving to the state Demo­crat candidates

Sim­u­la­tion used with per­mis­sion from Yu-​​Ru Lin.