Via Visual Economics, we get this map showing the states that contribute the most in Federal tax dollars, and consumes the most in Federal Tax monies:


click for ginormous chart
US Fed State tax


Hat tip Chart Porn

Category: Taxes and Policy, Web/Tech

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

25 Responses to “US Federal Tax Dollars Payments/Allotments by State”

  1. Thor says:

    Interesting that most the states who pay the least and receive the most are red states. . . .

  2. flipspiceland says:

    Massachusetts surprises. As does N. Mexico.

    Are these numbers to be believed or are they subject to audit?

  3. Marcus Aurelius says:


    You’re not supposed to notice that. Small government proponents are apparently the least self-sufficient and would starve to death if they they had their own way. We would save money by giving them 0 tax liability and 0 tax benefit.

  4. Mannwich says:

    @Thor: Not surprising though. This has been the case for a LONG time.

  5. Thor says:

    Manny – no, I suppose not. These are the same people who tend to vote against their own best interests as well . . . .

  6. Mannwich says:

    @Thor: Facts are stubborn things, but so are emotional people who prefer to not look at facts.

  7. bergsten says:

    You’re apparently also not supposed to notice that Washington DC is far and away the biggest beneficiary (clocking in at 5.62).

    It’s “interesting” that DC isn’t listed in the table below the maps.

    It’s also “interesting” that if you take NM’s numbers, dividing 10,733 by 5,153 you get 2.08, not 2.03 as it says in the table.

    So, either my HP calculator no longer handles division properly, or this is yet another purposely or incompetently incorrect chart.

    The truth is out there — but it certainly ain’t in here.

  8. Thor says:

    Bergsten – “The truth is out there — but it certainly ain’t in here”

    No, it’s in every other government and non government statistic that reports on these things telling us basically the same thing. You’re not telling us that this is the first time you’ve seen something like this is it?

  9. bergsten says:

    “Per Capita” is also a somewhat misleading measure. For example, let’s assume we move everybody out of, say Nevada. Now the population is zero.

    We still need to move people and goods THROUGH NV. So, the interstates, rail beds, etc. have to be maintained, as do all the other things that government subsidizes, power lines, pipes, etc. Hoover Dam. All the other money you get from the Feds for some regulation or another, whether you want it or not

    Point being, each state has a base requirement that has nothing to do with the size of the population.

    Sorry, all. It’s just that every few weeks or so, I get fed up with being bullshat from all directions. I’ll feel better in a bit, once the Kool Aid takes effect.

  10. bergsten says:

    @Thor — not even close to the first.

    Take a gander at this article from our local paper (motto: “we’re so bad, we get yesterday’s weather wrong”):

    It’s saying that the number of jobs gained due to one Fed handout or another wasn’t 2 million, it was more like 600K, and even that’s probably wrong. OK. Right or wrong…

    It’s buried inside the business section, not on the front page. It’s titled, Voros: New hire tax credit offers incentive, transparency — implying that whatever it’s about is a good thing, as in, “well, we f**ked it up the last time, but this time it will be all better.”

    No, not the first time by a long shot.

  11. Thor says:

    Bergsten – also not really news, all the information in the article has already been reported on extensively.

    What is news though, is that the Contra Costa Times is still in business. That was my local paper before I moved to LA. I’m shocked it’s still around.

  12. madman130 says:

    Another meaningless graph.

    I bet most of these states taking more than they give either have huge military installations or some other federal shit.

  13. Thor says:

    madman and bergsten – I think the answer as to “why” is that 1. they are very poor states and 2. they have very powerful senators (Alaska until recently) who know how to push the pork home. Overlay a map of per capita GDP for each state and I wouldn’t be surprised if they match up fairly closely.

  14. Thor says:

    Bingo – Interesting site, not sure how accurate the data here is but they have some fascinating stuff here.

  15. madman130 says:

    #2 is the answer. I don’t think ND, SD, VA and AK are necessarily poor states.

    Short sided powerful idiots. Fuck industry/business, we will get rich by having a military installation. Just like Durbin touting that how housing the Guantanamo bay prisoners in IL will create so many high paying jobs for IL. I mean that’s the level of intellect you get from our elected leaders.

  16. trotsky says:

    New Mexico is famously (to residents, anyway) dependent on the federal teat. Military. Los Alamos National Labs. Indian reservations. Lots and lots of federal land.

    The real outlier is Nevada.

  17. midasbob says:


    You wouldn’t be surprised that the CC Times is still in business if you lived here. I live in Walnut Creek and everyone on my block gets it. Both dems and repugs. Mainly for local news, events, advertiesments, etc.

  18. midasbob says:


    As for DC. Yes it is high, but when I lived there years ago, the justification was always that since the federal gov’t didn’t pay any property taxes on all the property there and the fact that the gov’t is not a revenue generating business that paid income taxes on its income, then the federal largess was to replace that.

  19. Lugnut says:

    Ah yes, my lovely home state of New Jersey leads the way again. “Trenton makes, the world takes”. The state with the highest taxes in the nation gets the least amount of benefit from them, not only does the state give us the shaft, so does the Federal Government.


    Thank you sir, may I have another


    Thank you sir, may I have another…..

  20. Rikky says:

    Lugnut, i fully expect this statistic to be leveraged by Dobbs when he runs in 2012. I’ll hazard a guess he’s going to wipe his rear end with Menendez before this is over. Forgive me if I don’t shed a tear for a guy who’s done next to nothing for the state of NJ>

  21. ThatsNotAll says:

    This graph is the best evidence yet that Red State voters do vote their self-interest.

    It is blue state residents in high income cities such as Boston, NYC and Philadelphia who are paying the highest marginal tax rates and whose taxes are subsidizing lower income but still middle class red state residents.

    Self-interest is all about getting more for less and Red State residents have the formula figured out.

  22. bergsten says:

    Oh, for Pete’s sake.

    The JOB of Senators is to represent their State. The JOB of Congressmen (“Congress-people?”) is to represent their Constituency. Of course, they are voting their self-interest, that’s what they are there for — representin’.

    If the “others” are getting more pork per capita than your representatives get, you need new representatives.

    You don’t like what them thar “red” states are getting, move there, turn them “blue” and feast away.

  23. Paul Jones says:

    One glaring error:

    The money received is not all “tax” money. A lot of it is borrowed.

    To those who say the Red State voters don’t vote their self-interest: ie they vote for tax-cutters:

    those same tax-cutters never cut government spending. That is exactly what the people want: to have their cake and eat it too, then eat some one else’s cake on top of that.

    We need good government, not popular government.

  24. thetanman says:

    Yeehaw. If you Yankees were so damn smart, how’s it that EVERYONE is ripping you off. Even us lowly ignorant ‘necks. PJs got it right.

  25. Jack Gavin says:

    And people say Jersey is corrupt? Dumb is more like it. 61 cents back on every dollar sent in – sheesh.

    Maybe the only way we can get our due is to steal it.