red state, blue state, welfare state, subsidizing state

So I just read something on CNN by Paul Begala, effectively saying, “Hey Republicans: Don’t like the Stimulus, Don’t take the money!” It’s partisan punditry, and not that enlightening. But Begala did inspire me to look into what states receive net gains from Federal Tax dollars, and what states are net losers. Not surprisingly, blue states tend lose out in the deal. With one exception, Red states gain big (I divide states by how they voted for Obama; not a great metric, but not a terrible one). A visual representation of this is after the break. What we basically see is that only one Red State pays in more than its share (Texas). Clearly, as Begala jests, Red States are big welfare states. Now I don’t object to this, because they happen to be poorer states. And I believe in wealth redistribution. But why do states that have a net gain from the Federal government vote against a party that wants to continue to support then, and why do states that lose out in the deal continue to support a party that wants to take money away from their local communities? I should ask my colleague, Andrew Gelman.

Per Federal Tax Dollar Paid, How Many do states get back? (From Tax Foundation)

New Mexico  $2.03
Mississippi  $2.02
Alaska  $1.84
Louisiana  $1.78
West Virginia  $1.76
North Dakota  $1.68
Alabama  $1.66
South Dakota  $1.53
Kentucky  $1.51

Virginia  $1.51

Montana  $1.47
Hawaii  $1.44
Maine  $1.41

Arkansas  $1.41
Oklahoma  $1.36
South Carolina  $1.35
Missouri  $1.32

Maryland  $1.30
Tennessee  $1.27
Idaho  $1.21
Arizona  $1.19
Kansas  $1.12
Wyoming  $1.11

Iowa  $1.10
Nebraska  $1.10
Vermont  $1.08
North Carolina  $1.08
Pennsylvania  $1.07

Utah  $1.07  29
Indiana  $1.05
Ohio  $1.05

Georgia  $1.01
Rhode Island  $1.00
Florida  $0.97

Texas  $0.94
Oregon  $0.93
Michigan  $0.92
Washington  $0.88
Wisconsin  $0.86
Massachusetts  $0.82
Colorado  $0.81
New York  $0.79
California  $0.78
Delaware  $0.77
Illinois  $0.75
Minnesota  $0.72
New Hampshire  $0.71
Connecticut  $0.69
Nevada  $0.65
New Jersey  $0.61


  1. Posted February 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    One piece of this, though I doubt the main one, is that undocumented immigrants pay taxes that they don’t see the benefits of (e.g., Social Security). Could be a factor for Texas?


  2. Posted February 17, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I honestly don’t know. That definitely could be. I also think it’s that Houston and Dallas are major financial centers. And oil. All that equals lots of money going out in tax dollars.


  3. aulacogen
    Posted March 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The subsidized states are generally low population states, often dependent on agriculture and the military. The ag subsidies are probably why North Dakota is up there, the military budget is skewed to southern states where there are bases galore. Why?
    Because those states have played the DC game so well, keeping the same Senators for decades so they became chairmen of the right committees and steered the money back home. Ultimately, all of this is the result of the weird, non-democratic method of producing the American “upper house”– the Senate.
    When one Wyomingian is worth 70 Californians, or 38 New Yorkers, then you know this isn’t a democracy.
    Alaska– well, former Senator Ted Stevens was famous as a Republican Super-pork accumulator. And that’s what’s so hilarious right now about the GOP– which is a porky a party as ever there was. They’re standing up there and denouncing all that
    pork spending that they were sending home until last November!


5 Trackbacks

  1. […] Originally Posted by smel Hey this whole thread is insulting. I was born in the South and have lived here all my life. I wouldn't leave for anything. Also, I have my doctorate, have traveled extensively, and actually read books. Yes, there are some Southerners that have managed to live a well-rounded life. I also choose to live in the country. I would much rather hear the barn owls and crickets at night and count the stars than try to breathe through the smog and listen to traffic all night long. Also, riding in a truck because it doesn't get stuck and is able to get me where I want to go is my choice. You do not know how I feel about any topic. You are lumping all Southerners together in some ignorant sterotype that you probably saw on some movie. If you told me I had to move to the North, I would refuse. I would much rather live where life is good, the people are genuine, and we let people live the way they want to. Why don't you do the same and leave us alone? It's actually born out in statistics. Southerners have higher divorce rates, higher teenage pregnancy rates, lower incomes, lower rates of health insurance coverage, score lower on scholastic tests, and purchase more porn. They also recieve more Federal Dollars than they pay in Federal taxes. Yet they hold themselves out as being the "true" Amercians. So moral and upstanding, and independent.…7blowlarge.jpg …………click to enlarge…idizing-state/ […]


  2. By Fun with Republicans: Yuri Hertzberg’s Party Picker on September 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    […] Scatterplot posted about this on their blog: […]


  3. […] government, not for welfare. Red States Feed at Federal Trough, Blue States Supply the Feed red state, blue state, welfare state, subsidizing state Red State Welfare: Why the "Real America" should quit complaining about pork and […]


  4. […] […]


  5. […] Answered:Here's the link you needed. […]



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