Although America’s official name is the United States of America, it is obvious based on the past five years with an African American man as President that the states of this country are anything but united. However, the one factor that does contribute to the country allegedly being united is the federal government that Republican-led states hate with a passion. The reasons red states detest the federal government vary depending, in part, on the geographical location of the states although the physical location has little to do with why they hate a centralized authority. In general, red states hate the federal government because their leaders do not control the direction and policies of the nation, and it has led to calls to secede from America to start their own conservative Utopias where every citizen is heavily armed, an evangelical Christian, and pays corporations for the privilege of living in a libertarian theocracy.
As much as red states hate the federal government, they never complain about the level of other taxpayers’ dollars the feds send to Republican states to accommodate state laws that keep wages low, poor people hungry and unhealthy, and state income and corporate tax rates lower than the rest of the nation. In fact, it is reasonable to compare American taxpayers feeding, housing, and providing healthcare for Walmart employees barely surviving on low slave wages to red states inordinately collecting federal tax dollars to make up for low state tax rates primarily benefitting corporations and wealthy residents.
It is stunning that Republicans complain so bitterly about Americans who earn so little they require government assistance just to survive that garners the label moochers and freeloaders, and yet red states mooch off the federal government just to provide low corporate tax rates and little to no income taxes for the very rich. According to a comprehensive study detailing the disparity between red and blue states regarding the level of federal government assistance as it relates to state tax rates, there are three areas that revealed red states are more dependent on the federal government than blue states.
Wallethub analyzed the disparity between all 50 states and their share of federal funding based on government data and three key metrics including; the return on taxes paid to the federal government, federal funding as a percentage of a state’s revenue, and the number of federal employees per capita. The return on taxes paid to the federal government is how many dollars in federal funding state taxpayers receive for every dollar they pay in federal income taxes. Federal funding as a percentage of state revenue is, as it seems, how much of a state’s revenue is provided by the federal government that means without it states would have to cut services or raise taxes. And the number of federal employees in a state addresses how much a state owes the federal government for providing a percentage of a state’s workforce that owes its livelihood to the federal government.
The results of the study are not surprising, and as it turns out all but one of the 15 states most dependent on the federal government are Republican controlled, have very low state tax rates, receive inordinately more federal government-provided revenue than states with higher tax rates, more federal workers than blue states, and receive a higher percentage of return for every dollar paid in federal taxes. There is a reason Republican-controlled states boast they have lower taxes than blue states, and it is solely because they are more dependent on federal funding to support state revenue and low taxes. In fact, there is a 34.4% correlation between how much a state depends on federal assistance and its tax rates that means the more federal money Republicans can leach from Democratic state’s federal tax dollars, the least likely they are to impose higher tax rates. Overall, red states had an average federal government dependency ranking of 33.5 as opposed to blue states that ranked 19.2 on average.
As an example, the state most dependent on the federal government was Mississippi that received $3.07 for every dollar spent on federal taxes, had 8.67 federal employees (per capita), and allowed the federal government, and other taxpayers, to fund 45.8% of the state’s revenue. Contrast Mississippi with the state least dependent on the federal government, and other taxpayers, Delaware that received $0.50 for every federal tax dollar sent to the government, Connecticut with 4.91 federal employees per capita, and Hawaii that received 23.6% of its revenue from the federal government. There is also a direct correlation between blue states with higher tax rates that received the fewest federal contracts, fewest and lowest amount in federal grants, and least amount of federal insurance assistance. The disparity between blue state and red state dependency on the federal government means, without exception, that red states boasting low tax rates are the storied 47% that are mooching off the federal government and other taxpayers in predominately blue states.
Americans living in blue states typically earn more that allows them to pay more in federal and state taxes than those living in red states, particularly Southern states, that boast right to work for less laws, higher rates of uninsured residents, and lower tax rates primarily benefit the wealthy and corporations reaping profits off low wages and other taxpayers subsidizing their profits. The majority of Americans, especially those living in Democratic-controlled states, are more than happy to help their brethren living in pathetic Republican-controlled states because they comprehend that this is supposed to be a United States. However, they would overwhelmingly prefer their tax dollars went to education, infrastructure repair, and providing Veterans with the highest quality healthcare. Unfortunately, that cannot happen when their tax dollars are supporting tax cuts for the rich and corporations in Republican states mooching off the federal government while threatening to secede if they cannot install a Christian theocracy, carry firearms in any public place, restrict voting rights to white Christian gun owners, control women’s vaginas, or discriminate against gays.
Republican states already boast the stupidest populations, more guns, most religious extremists, most people living in poverty, substandard living conditions, and lowest taxes and still have the temerity to hate the federal government to the point they want to secede. It is getting more difficult to feel empathy for the residents suffering in red states because they would not be red states if the voters did not continue electing Republicans keeping wages low for workers and taxes low for the rich and corporations. It is noteworthy that the states most dependent on the federal government are primarily in the South where hating the government, and Democrats, is as prevalent as mooching off of other taxpayers’ largesse. It is time for Republican-controlled states to start pulling their own weight and contributing to this nation instead of living off the generosity of the federal government, and for Democrats to tell their supporters why their tax dollars cannot be utilized repairing the infrastructure, funding education, and building new Veteran’s hospitals. As usual, it is the same reason why Republicans in Congress refuse to fund domestic programs; providing low tax rates for the rich and corporations.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.