Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Which States Really Benefit From Federal Government Spending?

Football is only in preseason mode and I'm a Mets fan so that only leaves politics and lists to talk about. Given recent events, I've started watching multiple episodes of Man vs. Wild so I can be prepared for the collapse of the modern economy and the end of our civilization as we know it. Until everything falls apart, it's still fun to look at some of the facts and figures about how our government wastes money.

Now to the interesting chart that is based on data from the non-partisan Tax Foundation. To be fair, this chart only includes data from 2005 since the foundation hasn't had the funds to update it (go figure).

This chart represents all the states for which there was a Senatorial election during 2010 AND the state in question gets back more federal money than they pay out in federal taxes. If we assume that a Republican victory was a statement regarding voters interest in a smaller federal government with less federal spending, isn't it interesting that voters in states with a net influx of cash from D.C. voted this way? Curiously, if we look at all the states that pay out more in federal taxes then they get back in spending, Republicans only won about 1/3 of the available seats in the Senate.

So what the hell does this mean? Do people in these states really want to stop getting back their "subsidy" from other states? A great example of this is Sarah Palin's state of Alaska. While it doesn't appear in this chart since there wasn't a Senatorial election in 2010, Alaska ranks number 3 in terms of taking in more money then they pay out to the federal government. In 2005, the federal government spent $1.84 in Alaska for every $1 dollar in federal taxes paid out. So when Palin talks about making government smaller, I'm guessing she is all for giving up this subsidy for her home state? In all seriousness, maybe that is a good idea, but I'm going to wager that most of the heated conservatives in these states don't understand the implications of what they are supporting.

I know this is only a small part of a very complex issue that I've oversimplified quite a bit. However, when you lay the data out this way, it may not be what you expect....


  1. Nex Mexico was #1 and Mississippi was #2.

  2. Wait till Staten Island hears about Mississippi being #2

  3. I'm waiting for that Staten Island vs. Mississippi post, the excitement is building.