Steve Knight: Republican House Member Voting to Make His District and Constituents Poorer
Eleven California Republican House Members Voting to Make Their Districts and Constituents Poorer

Ken Calvert: Republican House Member Voting to Make His District and Constituents Poorer

Calvert Riverside


District 42: Inland Empire: Corona—West Riverside

R+09: Safeness of Seat   
42%:  Percent of Returns   
6.9%: Percent of AGI   
$1.28 billion SALT in 2014

304,000 tax returns in 2014
$18.545 billion AGI in 2014
$1.2819 billion deduction amount in 2014

35.1%: Income <$50K/year
12.0%: Poverty Rate
35.8%: White Collar
5.0% : Income >$200K/year

42% of tax returns in Ken Calvert's 42nd California Congressional District in 2014 would have been penalized had state and local tax payments been added into the federal income tax base. The total increase in the tax base in 2014 would have been 1.28 billion dollars. We do not have sufficient detail to produce a precise estimate of how much taxes would have gone up—the Trump administration could, if it wanted to—but the rough ballpark number is 300 million: the Republican tax bill will, if enacted, take 300 million dollars a year out of the incomes and spending of Mimi Walters's constituents.

As a rich suburban district in Greater Los Angeles, the 42nd contains a slice of people who are possible beneficiaries from the tax bill: 5.0% of returns in 2014 reported adjusted gross incomes greater than 200,000 dollars a year. But by the same token that was less than one-seventh of the number of returns that itemized SALT.

The 42nd is a safe Republican district. While the highly enterprising and prosperous traditionally-Republican California upper middle class's concerns are not the Republican Party's core concerns any more, and hence the Republican Party's traditional base has been leaking away, the Republican Party continues to win victories even though—or is it because?—one-third of the district is now Hispanic. The 42nd was one of the districts most strongly damaged by the foreclosure crisis of 2007-9.

Calvert has served in Congress for 26 years now. He has been a long-time reliable supporter of Republican leadership, a member of the Steering Committee, and an Appropriations Committee subcommittee chairs. Appropriations subcommittee chairs rarely return to their districts: they are lobbyists-in-training.

Calvert's district is one of those in which the Republican Party's new base of plutocrats seeking money and activists seeking validation of ethnocultural grievances works well. He is under little threat. And for him it appears that the game is to entrench his future place in the lobbyists' mecca of K-Street rather than representingconstituents, district, and California.

(Assuming, of course, there has not been a programming mistake in moving from zipcode-level IRS Statistics of Income to Congressional District level. Programming mistakes are easy to make.)