According to a study by The Tax Foundation, the seven states who take in the most federal tax dollars all, had one thing in common. They all voted Republican in the presidential 2012 election.
Here is the Tax Foundation’s map showing the percentage of federal aid that each state receives:
The Tax Foundation summed up the data, “Though taxes are the most common and recognizable source of state government revenues, it’s important to remember that they’re not the only source. In fact, state governments received 31.5 percent of their total general revenues from transfers from the federal government in the 2012 fiscal year.
That number varies pretty widely for specific states, however. For example, Mississippi obtains 45.3 percent of its total state general revenues from the federal government (the largest share in the country). Also on the high end are Louisiana (44.0 percent), Tennessee (41.0 percent), South Dakota (40.8 percent), and Missouri (39.4 percent).”
Here’s the 2012 presidential election results map:
The states that use the most federal aid are the same states who vote Republican in presidential elections. A 2010 study by the Fourth Branch found, “There is a very strong correlation, then, between a state voting for Republicans and receiving more in federal spending than its residents pay to the federal government in taxes (the rust belt and Texas being notable exceptions). In essence, those in blue states are subsidizing those in red states. Both red and blue states appear to be acting politically in opposition to their economic interests. Blue states are voting for candidates who are likely to continue the policies of red state subsidization while red states are voting for candidates who profess a desire to reduce federal spending (and presumably red state subsidization).”
Red states also use the most food stamps. Red states are the base of the Republican Party. The majority of individuals living in these states continue to vote for Republican candidates who want to shrink the size of the federal government and eliminate entitlement programs. The states who are pushing this platform the hardest are also the ones who are taking the most federal tax dollars from blue states.
States that mostly support Democrats are subsidizing the red state conservatives who claim to hate them. The message is clear. Red state economic policies don’t work without heavy taxpayer subsidies. The reddest of the red states continue to mooch off of the rest of the country, as the battle cry don’t tread on me has been replaced by please pay for me.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association