If we learned nothing else during the 2012 election, it is that some of us are makers, hard-working folk solely responsible for America’s prosperity, while others are takers, who want the federal government to pay for luxuries like food and health care.

What may come as some surprise is where these two warring tribes tend to live. The states with elected officials most likely to espouse anti-taker sentiments — i.e., Republican-dominated states — are the most dependent on federal spending, while returning the least to Washington in the way of tax dollars.

The “makingest” state, according to the analysis, is Delaware. They pay $1 in taxes for every 50 cents they get back from the federal government. Delaware also has the lowest rate of federal contracts received, as a proportion of federal tax dollars paid. And the state has the highest gross domestic product per capita, at $72,642.

The “takingest” states, in a tie, are Mississippi and New Mexico, according to the analysis. Both states take about $3 in federal spending for every $1 contributed in taxes. Both states are highly dependent on federal funding as a percentage of state revenue. And New Mexico, especially, has lots of federal workers.

The state with the lowest return on taxpayer investment is South Carolina. Its citizens pay $1 in taxes per capita for every $7.87 in federal funding received.

The two states that come closest to breaking even are Washington and Georgia. These states get back $1.05 for every $1 in taxes paid.

States like Mississippi and Alabama, which are hugely dependent on federal tax dollars to help feed, clothe and shelter their citizens, are among those with the largest deficits, in terms of what they get in federal help, versus what they give back in tax dollars.

For most of American history, bringing home the federal pork, in extra benefits for citizens or spending projects, was a badge of honor for elected officials. The rise of the Tea Party has changed this calculus. Now in the most conservative states it is seen as a political boon to turn down federal handouts. In essence, they are trying to become less takers.

The most obvious evidence of this trend can be seen in the expansion of Medicaid, the health plan for the poor, under the Affordable Care Act. Of the 10 states with the biggest dependency gap, seven — Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, South Dakota and Tennessee — have decided not to expand their Medicaid programs, even though the funding would come from federal coffers.

Rank 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)

 

Is it not interesting that the top 10 states most dependent on federal monies (handouts & federal employees) are all GOP strongholds and yet who screams and shout about over spending by the federal government. I guess it is that same old game of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, and who is being hypocritical?

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