States Most & Least Dependent on the Federal Government

by John S Kiernan

WalletHub States Most and Least Dependent on Federal GovernmentThe extent to which the average American’s tax burden would vary based on his state of residence represents a significant point of differentiation between state economies.  But it’s only once piece of the puzzle.

What if, for example, a particular state can afford not to tax its residents at high rates because it’s receiving disproportionately more funding from the federal government than states with apparently oppressive tax codes?  That would change the narrative significantly, revealing federal dependence where bold, efficient stewardship was once thought to preside.

The idea of the American freeloader burst into the public consciousness when #47percent started trending on Twitter.  And while the notion is senselessly insulting to millions of hardworking Americans, it is true that some states receive a far higher return on their federal income tax investment than others.

Just how pronounced is this disparity, and to what extent does it alter our perception of state and local tax rates around the country?  WalletHub sought to answer those questions by comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of three key metrics:  1) Return on Taxes Paid to the Federal Government; 2) Federal Funding as a Percentage of State Revenue;  and 3) Number of Federal Employees Per Capita.

More information about the significance of these data points as well as a comprehensive state-by-state rankings breakdown can be found below.

Main Findings

 

Rank(1 = least dependent) State Name Return on Taxpayer Investment(Category Rank) Funding as % of Revenue (Category Rank) Federal Employees Per Capita (Category Rank)
1 Delaware $0.50
(1)
25.37%
(7)
6.17
(10)
2 Illinois $0.56
(3)
26.23%
(8)
6.45
(11)
3 Minnesota $0.56
(2)
28.47%
(12)
5.91
(8)
4 New Jersey $0.88
(10)
27.53%
(11)
5.75
(6)
5 Connecticut $1.28
(25)
23.68%
(4)
4.91
(1)
6 Kansas $0.71
(6)
27.21%
(9)
9.19
(31)
7 California $0.94
(14)
28.82%
(13)
6.65
(13)
8 Nevada $1.15
(23)
27.48%
(10)
6.60
(12)
9 Massachusetts $0.94
(13)
29.56%
(17)
7.09
(19)
10 Colorado $0.84
(8)
29.24%
(15)
10.67
(35)
11 New Hampshire $1.07
(18)
32.06%
(21)
5.61
(4)
12 Michigan $1.08
(19)
34.12%
(25)
5.33
(3)
13 Ohio $0.66
(5)
35.87%
(36)
6.78
(15)
T-14 Utah $0.86
(9)
31.65%
(20)
12.58
(40)
T-14 Nebraska $0.57
(4)
34.92%
(31)
9.06
(28)
16 Washington $1.05
(17)
29.38%
(16)
10.73
(36)
T-17 District of Columbia $1.15
(22)
23.90%
(5)
336.63
(51)
T-17 New York $0.79
(7)
37.74%
(41)
6.06
(9)
T-17 Iowa $1.12
(21)
34.85%
(29)
5.75
(5)
20 Wisconsin $1.68
(38)
28.93%
(14)
5.08
(2)
21 Alaska $1.42
(31)
20.01%
(1)
22.68
(48)
22 Arkansas $1.1
(20)
34.52%
(28)
7.01
(17)
23 Pennsylvania $1.31
(27)
30.91%
(18)
7.87
(24)
24 North Carolina $1.34
(28)
33.91%
(24)
7.22
(20)
25 Indiana $2.01
(41)
33.20%
(23)
5.76
(7)
26 Virginia $1.75
(39)
24.81%
(6)
21.52
(47)
27 Oklahoma $0.9
(11)
36.21%
(38)
12.78
(41)
28 Oregon $1.28
(26)
36.16%
(37)
7.26
(21)
29 North Dakota $5.31
(50)
21.04%
(2)
13.70
(44
29 Hawaii $3.19
(46)
23.60%
(3)
25.32
(50)
31 Idaho $1.4
(29)
35.16%
(33)
7.96
(25)
32 Texas $1.43
(32)
35.13%
(32)
7.77
(22)
T-33 Rhode Island $1.55
(34)
34.48%
(26)
9.80
(32)
T-33 Georgia $1.05
(15)
38.86%
(44)
10.44
(34)
35 Vermont $1.41
(30)
34.86%
(30)
10.38
(33)
36 Missouri $1.05
(16)
40.83%
(47)
9.19
(30)
37 Maryland $1.61
(35)
31.29%
(19)
25.06
(49)
T-38 Wyoming $0.91
(12)
39.73%
(46)
13.17
(42)
T-38 Florida $4.57
(49)
32.65%
(22)
6.96
(16)
40 South Carolina $7.87
(51)
34.49%
(27)
7.03
(18)
41 Kentucky $2.39
(43)
35.83%
(35)
9.10
(29)
42 Arizona $1.62
(36)
39.35%
(45)
8.71
(27)
T-43 South Dakota $1.16
(24)
41.53%
(49)
13.95
(45)
T-43 West Virginia $2.22
(42)
35.46%
(34)
12.56
(39)
45 Tennessee $1.64
(37)
41.27%
(48)
7.82
(23)
T-46 Montana $1.55
(33)
38.54%
(43)
13.53
(43)
T-46 Maine $1.79
(40)
36.63%
(39)
10.92
(37)
48 Louisiana $3.35
(48)
44.26%
(50)
6.76
(14)
49 Alabama $3.28
(47)
37.02%
(40)
11.66
(38)
T-50 New Mexico $2.83
(44)
37.90%
(42)
15.22
(46)
T-50 Mississippi $3.07
(45)
45.84%
(51)
8.67
(26)

Top 5 Cities

 

Red vs. Blue States

Federal Gov Dependency

 

Correlation Analysis

 

 

Ask The Experts

Back to All Experts

Jonathan Justice, State: Delaware

School of Public Policy & Administration, University of Delaware

We're a high-household-income state, and so pay high levels of income taxes per household and receive less means-tested transfer payments compared to other states. We have relatively low state taxes and very low local property taxes, which means fewer federal income tax deductions, which adds to the effect. My colleague Ed Ratledge notes that for many years it has been the case that we've received back about 70 cents on the dollar.

There might be smaller effects related to corporate taxation and location choices, and the distribution of federal facilities, but I think PIT and transfers are probably the two main things.
Back to All Experts

Sheldon D. Pollack, State: Delaware

University of Delaware

The ironic thing is, Delaware is heavily dependent on tax revenue from citizens of other states. Something like 19% of the state’s revenue comes from the stock franchise tax, which mostly is paid by corporations outside of Delaware. Other taxes come from non-residents. The state gasoline tax is very low compared to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and NJ. That gets residents of other nearby states to fill up in Delaware. (The Governor has proposed a 10 cent per gallon increase, but something lower will be enacted.)
Back to All Experts

James J. Carroll, State: New Jersey

Georgian Court University

New Jersey pays more to the Federal Government and gets less back. When taxes were a smaller part of income, this pattern may have strengthened the state. Currently the high incomes are driving large employers out of the state.
Back to All Experts

Thomas Garrett, State: Mississippi

The University of Mississippi

The results of the study are not surprising if one considers the progressive nature of the federal income tax and the growing percentage of federal expenditures allocated to health and welfare (about 30 percent of federal expenditures in 1950, now about 65 percent), which are primarily consumed by lower-income individuals. So lower-income states generate a smaller percentage of total federal income tax receipts, but because the majority of federal income tax receipts are spent on health and welfare, these lower-income states receive a disproportionately greater amount of federal expenditures since lower-income individuals are more likely than wealthier individuals to receive their health and welfare benefits from the federal government.

Similarly, for identical state income tax structures (which are mostly progressive), lower-income states will generate a smaller amount of tax revenue than higher-income states. Given the previous point, it is then also not surprising that federal funding as a percentage of state revenue is higher for lower-income states.

Ultimately, what the data in the study generally reveal (although not the whole story) is the redistribution of national income from wealthier individuals (states) to lower-income individuals (states) in the form of health and welfare benefits. If the incomes of wealthier individuals continue to grow faster than the incomes of lower-income individuals, and the federal government takes a growing role in the provision of health and welfare benefits, then in the future we can expect an even greater disparity between the states in terms of federal taxes paid and federal benefits received.

Methodology

After reviewing previously published literature on the issue of state dependency as well as the correlation between federal funding and state taxation, we concluded that the following three metrics would best elucidate each state’s true financial independence, or lack thereof, from the federal government.

  1. Return on Taxes Paid to the Federal Government – Weight: 1
    (Federal Funding in $ / Federal Income Taxes in $) This metric illustrates how many dollars in federal funding state taxpayers receive for every one dollar in federal income taxes they pay. We have excluded from the Federal Funding the Loans/Guarantees component because it does not represent permanent transfers from the Federal Government to a state.
  2. Federal Funding as a Percentage of State Revenue – Weight: 1
    (Federal Funding in $ / State Revenue in $) * 100 This metric shows how much of a state’s annual revenue, and theoretically its spending, is provided by the federal government.  Without this money, revenue would have to be found elsewhere – perhaps via tax hikes – or else key state services would suffer.
  3. Number of Federal Employees Per Capita – Weight:  0.5
    (No. Federal Workers / No. State Residents) This metric speaks to the federal government’s role as a nationwide employer, indicating the percentage of a state’s workforce that owes its very livelihood to Washington.

The following metrics were included in the report for context only.  They represent subsets of federal funding and are reflected in the first two metrics.

  • Federal Contracts / IRS Collections:  The federal government has more invested in states with a high ratio between federal contracting dollars and federal income taxes.
  • Grants / IRS Collections:  States awarded large grants from the federal government are either unable or unwilling to pay for certain services and/or infrastructure, necessitating that the FEDs do it for them.
  • Direct Payments / IRS Collections:  This reflects the return on taxpayer investment in terms of federal entitlement payouts.
  • Federal Insurance / IRS Collections:  Federally-guaranteed insurance programs (e.g. Deposit Insurance, Pension Insurance and Flood Insurance) help citizens recover from potentially catastrophic financial events.   A state with an especially high ratio of federal aid to federal tax payments is reaping relatively more benefit than it is paying for.
  • Red vs. Blue States: States as designated as being red or blue based on how they voted in the 2012 presidential election.

 

Sources:  Data in this report is courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service, the Census Bureau, Transparency.gov, US Department of Commerce - Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unless noted otherwise, the statistics underlying this report are from 2012.

Author
User
John Kiernan is Senior Writer & Editor at Evolution Finance. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Journalism, a minor in Sport Commerce & Culture,…
1221 Wallet Points
Some of these are... true but not really. The Western states are chopped up between federal agencies with the rest parceled out to citizens or counties, state ownership. NM is roughly 50% owned by the fed government, Add to that, with the gov's huge labs in NM, the fed government is one of, if not the, largest employers in the state. Families follow to the research stations so kids go to state public schools. So, the states are deprived the
right to zone what would be prime recreation land, or even access it. Medical facilities for the transient employees, schools, roads, etc for people who do not pay property taxes to the state or local governments. Yeah, the feds pay a lot to the western states because they are the largest landowners and employers in the western states. Oh, and in New Mexico, Arizona, others, are largest Native Reservations that also do not pay property tax. Schools may be BIA but many kids go to the public schools if they have a choice. Again, feds have to pony up or straight up pay property taxes. Exactly what would be the tax rate on Los Alamos NAtional Lab? Or Trinity site which is still too contaminated for civilians to even have access most of the time.
Sep 11, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
There's one phrase that's really infuriating me... "federal income tax investment". How is paying taxes to the federal government an investment? Also... states' rights on tax laws. Comment away.
Aug 22, 2014  •  Reply (1)  •  Flag
as I see it, taxes are an investment into the country and government has a vital role in the relative strength of our economy and standard of living. Federal taxes subsidize our businesses, fund basic research, provide income to individuals who, for whatever reason, cannot be self supporting, supplement low wages for American workers (food stamp use by fulltime workers), funding for infrastructure projects, jobs funded by federal contracts and grants. For better or worse, the Federal government
has a role in our success as a nation. Since the private sector is so dependent on federal funding, I don't see that changing anytime soon. Services aren't so much provided by the government as funded by it. Is there a more effective way to distribute money to where it's needed to meet national goals? I haven't seen one proposed.
Aug 31, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
It's hard to believe people are still dredging up, let alone paying attention to, this idiotic propaganda.

First, STATES don't pay taxes to the federal government, individuals and businesses do. Delaware is the state that's least "dependent" because 60% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware, but that's not where the revenue is generated. A couple of billion dollars in federal tax revenues sent in from New Jersey come from Exxon/Mobil, but it's not just the people of New Jersey paying all those fuel taxes. In other words, if the union were to dissolve tomorrow, and each of the 50 states became a separate country and each taxed these corporations on the income generated within their own borders, you'd have a completely different picture.
Second, it's downright asinine to describe states as being "dependent" on the federal government because federal dollars are spent there. Who benefits from highway spending on I-70 through Kansas, the people of Kansas, or the shoppers at a New Jersey Wal-mart whose Chinese goods were trucked THROUGH Kansas? Are the people of Texas the only ones who benefit from the tanks at Fort Hood? And how about farm subsidies - think only the Iowa farmers benefit from those? When you start paying $15/gallon for milk, come back and we'll talk.

Third, why on earth would anyone pay attention to someone whose degree is in journalism (with a "sport commerce and culture" minor) on issues related to either the economy or politics?
Jul 16, 2014  •  Reply (3)  •  Flag
LITTLE JUMPY THERE PATRIOT? WHY DON'T YOU WORRY ABOUT THE KOCH BROS VS THIS? YOU ARE A 'RED' ...RIGHT? A REDCOAT? OK..SO GO KNOCK 'EM OFF. DO YOUR JOB AS AN AMERICAN
Jul 17, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
"This metric illustrates how many dollars in federal funding state taxpayers receive for every one dollar in federal income taxes they pay..." COME ON NOW PATRIOT. ARE YOU A SPY?.
Jul 17, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Ah, but see the job of a journalist on your average website is not to create a logically valid argument about economics or public policy, it's to get eyeballs. You get eyeballs by being provocative and taking a side. That's what turned Fox into an empire, and why (almost) everyone else started copying them. It is, in fact, stodgy reports created by actual economists, which I happen to be, that no one pays attention to. If
you want to read real economics, go to the Fed's website or maybe try The Economist.
Jul 17, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
This "report" is polar opposite of near to all legitimate studies. Let us take one state for example, Illinois...In other reports that are not skewed by the liberal "thought" process, or conservative for that matter is ranked in the 40's...But, one of the top four states for social havens will always be loved in "reports" made by the libs.
Jul 16, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
I presume that federal expenditures include social security retirement checks and federal employee/military retirement checks and if this is correct then the entire analysis is bogus. Retirees are free to live wherever they wish and often flee high cost blue states. Military and other federal installations are another source of bias/error.
Jun 6, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Does any one else find this article tough to follow?

What is the reasoning behind this statement? "What if, for example, a particular state can afford not to tax its residents at high rates because it’s receiving disproportionately more funding from the federal government than states with apparently oppressive tax codes? ".
Is the author trying to saying taxing more would cause fed money to dry up? Probably not. Or are trying to say the people are already low income and taxing more would hurt those who could afford it least? If so what's the point? Are we trying to say we hold up welfare states as models of efficient government?

Re the graphs, the correlation looks weak to me, I am guessing an R of .6 or less. Seems this article is trying to prove causal with possible non causal data.
May 17, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
The largest problem with this study is that it doesn't take into account the distribution of people older than 65 in a given state. Southern states have a higher percentage of people 65+ per capita (many of which migrated there after they retired). To truly do this analysis correctly one would have to adjust for retirees as they are not producers in the economy, but take a large portion of federal government
outlays. If one looks at the percentage of retirees as a percent of the total population (http://proximityone.com/st003065.htm) for 2010 you will notice that many of the states that are red above also have a large percentage of their population 65+ (FL, WV, and ME top the list and all are red in the above analysis). Per normal it is not as simple as idiotic ideologies (i.e. red vs. blue) or analyse, truth is never that simple.
May 14, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
The methodology for getting at federal funds by state is flawed due to the termination of the Consolidated Federal Funds Report in 2010. Other attempts to get at this will be have to cobbled together from a variety of sources.
May 6, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Does this factor in State taxes. I just paid 43,000 to Illinois. This resulted in 17,000 less to the Feds. so shoulnt Illinois be credited in this scenario with receiving 17,000 back from the fed.
Apr 9, 2014  •  Reply (1)  •  Flag
@tippet523: Illinois in real evidence takes more from the feds than over 40 states.
Jul 16, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
That should be, they have HIGH "Federal Funding as a Percentage of Revenue."
Apr 7, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Just a note that one of the reasons many of the western states have low "Funding as % of Revenue" is that large percentages of those states are federal land - meaning there is no property tax revenue to be had,or any of the other taxes that often come from property owners and tenants. Utah, for example, is 57.4% federal land. States do receive funds known as PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) but the amount is entirely at the
discretion of Congress - states have no ability to set the tax rate on federal land.
Apr 7, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
hmmm, so is that bad? why not break it down by party affiliation then? or race?
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Wow, the more I look at this the more biased it becomes... look at where you used per capita and where you didn't. You only use per capita where it helps blue, but on things like direct spending you don't. Federal workers don't always directly help states. HIgher tax rates for states don't help either... and how do you account for state's like texas and Florida with NO state income tax. This report is ridiculous, even
by left wing standards... Your (ROI) standard is also completely absurd. http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/02/is-your-state-a-net-giver-or-taker-of-federal-taxes/
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply (4)  •  Flag
This math is probably alittle to complex for you. You should start with something basic like food stamp use per capita. Doing that you'll see red states have a larger per capita on food stamps. Sample:
% of state population on food stamps:
TX: 14.8% -- 3,916,115 people on SNAP (pop. 26,448,193)
CA: 11.2% -- 4,295,452 people on SNAP (pop. 38,332,521)
(Note: CA has 12 million more people in population, and a higher cost of living--which makes their smaller % and only 379,337 more people on food stamps ironic in comparison to TX.)
‪#‎foodstamps‬ ‪#‎snap‬
Data sources:
USDA SNAP use:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/29snapcurrpp.htm
State populations:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population
All states alphabetically / % capita on SNAP:
Alabama 18.79%
Alaska 11.88%
Arizona 15.88%
Arkansas 16.78%
California 11.21%
Colorado 9.58%
Connecticut 12.16%
Delaware 16.43%
Florida 18.01%
Georgia 17.80%
Hawaii 13.86%
Idaho 13.41%
Illinois 15.66%
Indiana 13.83%
Iowa 13.38%
Kansas 10.63%
Kentucky 19.11%
Louisiana 19.27%
Maine 17.76%
Maryland 13.30%
Massachusetts 13.10%
Michigan 17.11%
Minnesota 10.14%
Mississippi 22.23%
Missouri 14.58%
Montana 12.36%
Nebraska 9.56%
Nevada 13.28%
New Hampshire 8.53%
New Jersey 9.86%
New Mexico 20.29%
New York 16.07%
North Carolina 16.08%
North Dakota 7.41%
Ohio 15.56%
Oklahoma 16.22%
Oregon 20.41%
Pennsylvania 14.00%
Rhode Island 17.06%
South Carolina 17.93%
South Dakota 12.00%
Tennessee 20.30%
Texas 14.81%
Utah 7.94%
Vermont 15.74%
Virginia 11.33%
Washington 15.53%
West Virginia 19.13%
Wisconsin 14.61%
Wyoming 6.46%
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
@maximusb1: That is actually incorrect. You got that information off MSNBC, didn't you. Those numbers are entirely made up. As an average--blue/red, red has less people in poverty and debt. Look at Detroit, damn. Almost every single entity with a very high poverty area are controlled by blue. Darn, is it really that easy to show how false your argument is? Yes, yes it is. Blue destroys the economy, true red fixes
it. Blue makes people poor, true red does the opposite, of course desire needs to play part as well.
Jul 16, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
@Michaelh1 - False. This data is directly from the FDA (you can read, correct?)
http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/29snapcurrpp.htm

And is backed by other true data:
This billionaire data also parallels state data showing:
► Red states take more in Federal aid than they pay in taxes (2010 census data.)
► Blue states pay the taxes that support the red states.
► Red states have 6% fewer college graduates per capita than blue states.
► Red states have a higher % of their populations on food stamps (SNAP, usda.gov).

Top US Billionaires:
1. Bill Gates - Democrat - $72B - founded Microsoft.
2. Warren Buffett - Democrat - $58B – investments, Berkshire Hathaway.
3. Larry Ellison - Democrat - $41B - founded Oracle.

...now the Republicans...
4. Charles Koch - Republican - $36B - inherited father's company.
4. David Koch - Republican - $36B - inherited father's company.
5. Christy Walton - Republican - $35B - inherited father's company.
6. Jim Walton - Republican - $33B - inherited father's company.
7. Alice Walton - Republican - $33B - inherited father's company.
8. S Robert Walton - Republican - $33B - inherited father's company.

So while the top US billionaire Democrats had the business savvy & work-ethic to build their own companies from start-ups, the Republicans needed to suckle their fathers' to become billionaires.

In other words--it took 8 Republican billionaires (2 Kochs, 4 Waltons and their 2 fathers who they suckled-off of) to match the top 3 Democrat billionaires.

"'Without the estate tax, you in effect will have an aristocracy of wealth, which means you pass down the ability to command the resources of the nation based on heredity rather than merit,' Warren Buffett told the New York Times in 2001. '[Repeal would be like] choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics.'"

http://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/list/
Jul 16, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Wait a minute...did you just base your entire argument on a single sample anecdote? I'm confused why someone with such a low level of education would even be on this site. You didn't even present an argument, just a slice of red herring, a dose of hyperbole, and a string of nonsense. When you present an actual argument with concurrent data (as the study authors did) you can sit at the adult table.
Jul 17, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Federal employees per capita should not be included. Federal subsidies to state industries shouldn't be included... they aren't up to the state... You're skewing... here is a link directly to Taxes PAID to Fed vs. Monies Received from the FED, by state. http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/02/is-your-state-a-net-giver-or-taker-of-federal-taxes/
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Every smart business man knows: It takes money to make money.... Sadly, the public is naive to the reality of the con-job known as CONservative ideology
Mar 27, 2014  •  Reply (3)  •  Flag
@danny_livewire: Wow, that thought promise was....out there. True matter is that true-conservative ideology built this state. How can a business, or a person, thrive in the socialist havens the blues love so much...? Lemming.
Jul 16, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
@michaelh1: Michaelh cannot read 7th-grade data charts. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President.jpg
Jul 16, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
The problem is actually spelled as: LEARNING. ... If you do the math, Conservative ideology fails because it doesn't account for the economy. It only accounts for individual budgeting, and completely ignores the fact that we are all connected in an economy. ... And actually, Texas used to be a Democratic state before the Civil Rights Act was signed by President Jonson (from Texas, read his writings: he knew racism would make Texans switch sides after signing the Civil Rights
Act, but it was the right thing to do).
Jul 18, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
From a friend of mine, after I sent him your article! I would love to know your thoughts on the following: "Several dubious assumptions. 1. that states with high share of federal workers "depend" on government because they wouldn't be doing something else, (most likely something more productive) without those government jobs; and 2. Federal revenue would need to be made up with other sources or face declines in services. A low/ tax/ low spend state could have a high
share of federal revenue, and have excellent private sector services, or, those grants and such could easily be pork projects and bridges to nowhere that have little to do with overall service delivery. I would call it terrible analysis but since it doesn't really even draw a conclusion, ill call it a bunch or arbitrary statistics and scatterplots that show no causation, or correlation."
Mar 27, 2014  •  Reply (2)  •  Flag
@aaronf666: That doesn't negate the fact that they ARE taking Federal money--those employee incomes are paid by Federal taxes (which the majority of comes from blue states). The GOP ideal is "lowering government spending"--which by those ideals would included fewer Federal workers. The GOP condemns Federal spending--but the GOP/red states are the biggest users' per capita of Federal aid.
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
So, in your estimation, blue states chase away businesses, jobs, Military Bases, retirees of every stripe and somehow this is the fault of the red states? Well, you are right. We can't help it if we are far smarter than dumb ass blue states.
Aug 5, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
There is no mention of what years were used in the study nor how the "Red"/"Blue" status was determined. These lacking qualities make replication difficult, which relegates this to "junk" science status, speculation at best.
Mar 27, 2014  •  Reply (5)  •  Flag
@LeoDragon: Most likely 2013/2012 data. The data correlates with food stamp use per capita. Doing that you'll see red states have a larger per capita on food stamps. Sample:
% of state population on food stamps:
TX: 14.8% -- 3,916,115 people on SNAP (pop. 26,448,193)
CA: 11.2% -- 4,295,452 people on SNAP (pop. 38,332,521)(Note: CA has 12 million more people in population, and a higher cost of living--which makes their smaller % and only 379,337 more people on food stamps ironic in comparison to TX.)
‪#‎foodstamps‬ ‪#‎snap‬
Data sources:
USDA SNAP use:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/29snapcurrpp.htm
State populations:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population
All states alphabetically / % capita on SNAP:
Alabama 18.79%
Alaska 11.88%
Arizona 15.88%
Arkansas 16.78%
California 11.21%
Colorado 9.58%
Connecticut 12.16%
Delaware 16.43%
Florida 18.01%
Georgia 17.80%
Hawaii 13.86%
Idaho 13.41%
Illinois 15.66%
Indiana 13.83%
Iowa 13.38%
Kansas 10.63%
Kentucky 19.11%
Louisiana 19.27%
Maine 17.76%
Maryland 13.30%
Massachusetts 13.10%
Michigan 17.11%
Minnesota 10.14%
Mississippi 22.23%
Missouri 14.58%
Montana 12.36%
Nebraska 9.56%
Nevada 13.28%
New Hampshire 8.53%
New Jersey 9.86%
New Mexico 20.29%
New York 16.07%
North Carolina 16.08%
North Dakota 7.41%
Ohio 15.56%
Oklahoma 16.22%
Oregon 20.41%
Pennsylvania 14.00%
Rhode Island 17.06%
South Carolina 17.93%
South Dakota 12.00%
Tennessee 20.30%
Texas 14.81%
Utah 7.94%
Vermont 15.74%
Virginia 11.33%
Washington 15.53%
West Virginia 19.13%
Wisconsin 14.61%
Wyoming 6.46%
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
@LeoDragon: And needless to say, the first map (green-red), is party-irrelevant. You can look at the map, and you generally know which starts are the red & blue states. You can tell the majority of GOP/red states are the takers (displayed by red), and the majority of blue states are makers (displayed by green)
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
statistically weak using so few years
Apr 1, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
@maximusb1: "generally know" - indication this is junk science!
Apr 1, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
@maximusb1: Keep spewing your false statistics...Jeeze, this is only like the fifth thread of this I have read, and I keep seeing the same lie.
Jul 16, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
I observe that major U.S. military installations are concentrated in the red states displayed on the map. If you were to control for these installations, how different might the results be? Presumably, those states will have significant government contracting and federal employee levels.
Mar 27, 2014  •  Reply (2)  •  Flag
The simpliest Federal aid per capita mapping can be found in food stamps usage. Doing that you'll see red states have a larger per capita on food stamps. Sample:
% of state population on food stamps:
TX: 14.8% -- 3,916,115 people on SNAP (pop. 26,448,193)
CA: 11.2% -- 4,295,452 people on SNAP (pop. 38,332,521)(Note: CA has 12 million more people in population, and a higher cost of living--which makes their smaller % and only 379,337 more people on food stamps ironic in comparison to TX.)
‪#‎foodstamps‬ ‪#‎snap‬
Data sources:
USDA SNAP use:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/29snapcurrpp.htm
State populations:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population
All states alphabetically / % capita on SNAP:
Alabama 18.79%
Alaska 11.88%
Arizona 15.88%
Arkansas 16.78%
California 11.21%
Colorado 9.58%
Connecticut 12.16%
Delaware 16.43%
Florida 18.01%
Georgia 17.80%
Hawaii 13.86%
Idaho 13.41%
Illinois 15.66%
Indiana 13.83%
Iowa 13.38%
Kansas 10.63%
Kentucky 19.11%
Louisiana 19.27%
Maine 17.76%
Maryland 13.30%
Massachusetts 13.10%
Michigan 17.11%
Minnesota 10.14%
Mississippi 22.23%
Missouri 14.58%
Montana 12.36%
Nebraska 9.56%
Nevada 13.28%
New Hampshire 8.53%
New Jersey 9.86%
New Mexico 20.29%
New York 16.07%
North Carolina 16.08%
North Dakota 7.41%
Ohio 15.56%
Oklahoma 16.22%
Oregon 20.41%
Pennsylvania 14.00%
Rhode Island 17.06%
South Carolina 17.93%
South Dakota 12.00%
Tennessee 20.30%
Texas 14.81%
Utah 7.94%
Vermont 15.74%
Virginia 11.33%
Washington 15.53%
West Virginia 19.13%
Wisconsin 14.61%
Wyoming 6.46%
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Part of the reason for concentration of military bases in red states has to do with: 1) Woodrow Wilson's desire to put Army bases in the south in WW I; and 2) Putting strategic nuclear weapons bases away from the coasts during the Cold War.
May 6, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
This is quite an interesting data analysis. I enjoyed reading about it and about your (perhaps) surprising results, but I also have several questions.

First, if possible, I'd like to try to replicate/validate these findings. Can you point me to the specific data sources you used?
Also, I have a few thoughts/questions, mostly on the methodology:

1. You state as a goal: "elucidate each state’s true financial independence, or lack thereof, from the federal government."
1.a. In metric 1, you state that you exclude the Loans/Guarantees component from the Federal Funding "because it does not represent permanent transfers from the Federal Government to a state"; however in metric 2, you make no statement to that regard. Do you also exclude it there?
1.b. In metric 2, you state that "Without this money, revenue would have to be found elsewhere – perhaps via tax hikes – or else key state services would suffer." With this as a measure, I believe it may be important to include the Loans/Guarantees component in the analysis (perhaps with a lesser weight). Without the loan money or guarantee of payment, states would have cash flow problems in paying for key state services. Although not direct, permanent receipt of cash, this represents a form of financial dependence which I believe cannot be ignored. Did you try including this? If so, what were the results?

2. You claim that "Blue States Are Less Dependent on the Federal Government". By what measure do you determine whether a state is "Red" or "Blue"? Party of the Governor? Party of the U. S. Congressmen? Party of the state legislators? Party of registered voters in the state? Historical voting record of the public from major elections? Without this measure, the claim seems specious and rather flimsy.

Thanks in advance.
Mar 27, 2014  •  Reply (1)  •  Flag
Blue/red states are fairly well known. If you use just the last 2012 POTUS election, as the red/blue definition for SNAP (food stamp) usage, you'll find red states overall, have a higher per capita use of food stamps. However, that 2012 POTUS election as the definer--is being very generous to the GOP, as it would put Florida, which has a high per capita on food stamps into the blue--which officially it wouldn't be since it has:
Governor: Rep
Senate: Split
House: Rep advantage.
POTUS: Rep advantage since 1977.
Officially FL would be a red state, that has recently become a swing state, and at this point could go either way in the next elections.
Sample:
% of state population on food stamps:
TX: 14.8% -- 3,916,115 people on SNAP (pop. 26,448,193)
CA: 11.2% -- 4,295,452 people on SNAP (pop. 38,332,521)(Note: CA has 12 million more people in population, and a higher cost of living--which makes their smaller % and only 379,337 more people on food stamps ironic in comparison to TX.)
‪#‎foodstamps‬ ‪#‎snap‬
Data sources:
USDA SNAP use:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/29snapcurrpp.htm
State populations:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population
All states alphabetically / % capita on SNAP:
Alabama 18.79%
Alaska 11.88%
Arizona 15.88%
Arkansas 16.78%
California 11.21%
Colorado 9.58%
Connecticut 12.16%
Delaware 16.43%
Florida 18.01%
Georgia 17.80%
Hawaii 13.86%
Idaho 13.41%
Illinois 15.66%
Indiana 13.83%
Iowa 13.38%
Kansas 10.63%
Kentucky 19.11%
Louisiana 19.27%
Maine 17.76%
Maryland 13.30%
Massachusetts 13.10%
Michigan 17.11%
Minnesota 10.14%
Mississippi 22.23%
Missouri 14.58%
Montana 12.36%
Nebraska 9.56%
Nevada 13.28%
New Hampshire 8.53%
New Jersey 9.86%
New Mexico 20.29%
New York 16.07%
North Carolina 16.08%
North Dakota 7.41%
Ohio 15.56%
Oklahoma 16.22%
Oregon 20.41%
Pennsylvania 14.00%
Rhode Island 17.06%
South Carolina 17.93%
South Dakota 12.00%
Tennessee 20.30%
Texas 14.81%
Utah 7.94%
Vermont 15.74%
Virginia 11.33%
Washington 15.53%
West Virginia 19.13%
Wisconsin 14.61%
Wyoming 6.46%
Mar 28, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag
Why doesn't this surprise me? I live in Southeastern Idaho, which is as Republican as any state in the nation, but the economy in this area is heavily dependant on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). This is a nuclear testing facility, that has been located in this area for over 50 years. The INEL employs anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 employees, in an area where the largest city is Idaho Falls, with a population of approximately
50,000 people. Our Republican Congressmen preach limited government, but have managed to retain funding for the INEL, since its existence. There are numerous other facilities, across the country, that perform the same functions, so I'm sure that this isn't a national security need, or anything. The same people who are radical conservatives and live in a state where the Medicaid expansion wasn't accepted (but Medicaid matching funds were accepted when Bush was President) make up the majority of those employed at the testing facility. There is a standing joke about the INEL being "welfare with a time clock and a lunchroom", due to so many employees, not having enough work to do, the amount of wasteful spending and regulations prohibiting any type of sharing of jobs, or responsibilities, due to security clearance issues, etc. This means that a plumber, for example, couldn't hold a section of conduit, for an electrician, etc. Anyway, the hypocrisy is rampant, in the state and the INEL also contracts with Union contractors. Idaho is a 'Right to Work" state and very anti-union, but most seem to pick and choose their values, while being as big of an Obama hater as the KKK. This is also a predominately Morman state, so the hypocrisy is even worse, when you combine the religion and the Tea Party folks. I can't wait to send this to Facebook!
Mar 26, 2014  •  Reply  •  Flag