Because the cost of living is much less on the wide plains of the Republican states, incomes are lower too, and thus progressive tax rates works to redistribute wealth from Blue States to Red States. So, why has the GOP been so hot to cut progressive taxes like the income tax and the inheritance tax? Because they are responding less to Red State Republicans than to Blue State Republicans, who tend to be quite affluent. For example, I wonder what the mean income is of the small number of Republicans who live in Manhattan: $200,000? $400,000?