Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The federal dole: the common denominator in GOP stim opposition
Let's see... our folksy friend Bobby Jindal doesn't want the stimulus money ... nor does the equally folksy Sarah Palin of Alaska, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Sonny Perdue of Georgia, and even some Democrats, like Phil Bredeson of Tennessee. Most of them say they only object to giving their unemployed residents increased benefits. But since they have now been informed by Chuck Schumer that it's "all or nothing," perhaps some of them will stand by their "conservative principles" and not take any of the dough.

Still, as many observers, including political scientist Larry Sabato, have said, it would be a lot easier to listen to that kind of fiscal "discipline" from people who weren't feeding so heartily at the federal trough. Because see, it turns out, the states that are turning up their noses at the federal dollars Obama is offering, happen to also be the states sucking down far more federal pork than, say, Florida, Michigan, New York or California, which send more taxes to D.C. than they get back (and where the governors have said, "yes, please show us the money."

According to the Tax Policy Center, here's how the numbers shake out, in terms of dollars received per dollar of taxes paid, in the latest year they have records for, 2005 (states where governors or Senators have taken a yay or nay position on the stimulus in bold*)

State

Outlay to Tax Ratio

Ranking

New Mexico

$2.03

1

Mississippi*

$2.02

2

Alaska*

$1.84

3

Louisiana*

$1.78

4

West Virginia

$1.76

5

North Dakota

$1.68

6

Alabama

$1.66

7

South Dakota

$1.53

8

Kentucky

$1.51

9

Virginia

$1.51

10

Montana

$1.47

11

Hawaii

$1.44

12

Maine

$1.41

13

Arkansas

$1.41

14

Oklahoma

$1.36

15

South Carolina

$1.35

16

Missouri

$1.32

17

Maryland

$1.30

18

Tennessee*

$1.27

19

Idaho

$1.21

20

Arizona

$1.19

21

Kansas

$1.12

22

Wyoming

$1.11

23

Iowa

$1.10

24

Nebraska

$1.10

25

Vermont

$1.08

26

North Carolina

$1.08

27

Pennsylvania

$1.07

28

Utah

$1.07

29

Indiana

$1.05

30

Ohio

$1.05

31

Georgia*

$1.01

32

Rhode Island

$1.00

33

Florida*

$0.97

34

Texas

$0.94

35

Oregon

$0.93

36

Michigan*

$0.92

37

Washington

$0.88

38

Wisconsin

$0.86

39

Massachusetts

$0.82

40

Colorado*

$0.81

41

New York*

$0.79

42

California*

$0.78

43

Delaware

$0.77

44

Illinois*

$0.75

45

Minnesota*

$0.72

46

New Hampshire

$0.71

47

Connecticut

$0.69

48

Nevada

$0.65

49

New Jersey

$0.61

50

District of Columbia

$5.55


Note that of the state where governors or Senators are pooh-poohing the stimulus money, only Minnesota is a net tax payer. The rest, well, they're more like geographic welfare queens.

Go figure.

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