People from states where "Terrorist Hunting License" bumper stickers proliferate love to hear the Michele Bachmanns and John Klines of the world blister on about America's creeping socialism. The sickening growth of government, they warn, is about to suffocate the last gasps of the American Dream.
Under this line of logic, blue states are the driving force, with effete liberal cauldrons like California, New York, and -- weep! -- Minnesota leading the way.
The one small problem: It's just not so.
Ask the decidedly non-socialists at The Street, the website run by shrieking CNBC stock picker Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money. It found a marvelously simple way to gauge the level of socialism taking place across the country. By taking each state's government spending, then dividing it by its gross domestic product, The Street calculates the percentage to which it was slouching toward evil.
But when the final tally came back, the usual suspects were missing.
Yes, Vermont made the Top 10. So did squishy liberal boutique states like Hawaii and Rhode Island. But red states, those Tea Party hotbeds where they apparently doth protest too much, made a clean sweep of the Top 5.
West Virginia practically genuflected before Trotsky, finishing at No. 1. It was followed by Alaska, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
The five least socialist: Texas, Nevada, New Hampshire, Washington, and Missouri.
Minnesota fell in the middle of the pack, not to be found in either Top 10. Wisconsin, on a four-year lurch to the right, was deemed the 10th most socialist.
Sometimes God works in mysterious ways.