For each $1 paid in Federal taxes, how much does your state receive? (Political orientation approximated by the parties of states two Senators).

This is done on a per state basis, I’d like to see the data depicted on a per capita basis as well — both the paying and the receiving.


Red Staters Use The Safety Net Too
TPM, FEBRUARY 22, 2012  

Category: Digital Media, Politics, Taxes and Policy

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 “Is Your State A Net Giver or Taker of Federal Taxes?”

  1. dirge says:

    Congressional seats would seem to be a better, more up-to-date indication of the political leanings of a state.
    I’d be more interested in seeing the ratio when applied to how long the senators had been in office.

  2. patfla says:

    It doesn’t matter that red states are also ‘takers’. Before you ask what a person will do, you should ask what they believe. It’s rare that they’ll act contrary to their beliefs.

  3. patfla says:

    The Big 4 in population (in order) are: California, Texas, New York and Florida. These 4 states are just shy of being 1/3 of the total US population.

    NY pays its way at exactly 1.00. CA is a net beneficiary to the tune of 9 cents (1.09). Florida is a quite large beneficiary at 1.39. Texas, interestingly, is a net benefactor at .91 on the dollar. So among the Big 4 Florida is living the most off the federal government and Texas the least.

    Texas is the most interesting case to me. The next question is: is that Texas sends that much more in taxes to Washington and receives that much less in benefits?

    Which gets back to another thing about stats – I’d like to see the nominal amounts. The graphic says the source is “2010 BEA and IRS data” so that’s where I’d next look.

  4. Tim says:

    Alabama, Arkansas and West Virginia are not surprising “takers” but South Carolina is. I thought they was rich folk down there….

  5. DMR says:

    Adjusted for the poverty rate, I don’t see much of a political pattern here. Most of these transfers of wealth are welfare related. We can’t really blame a state for being too poor.

  6. formerlawyer says:

    This is not the proper measure of a federation. I anticipate that Florida gets the most “benefits” because they have the largest retiree population, Texas pays more because of oil and gas revenues, California gets more benefits as homeless and the poor move to California to eke out a living etc.

    Incidentally did you see this report:
    and the related report

    Look at the subsidies that oil & gas companies are getting as a result of one of the lowest royalty structures in the Gulf of Mexico:
    As recently as “…June 2007 indicate that the U.S. government take in the Gulf of Mexico is lower than that of most other oil and gas fiscal systems. For example, data we evaluated from a June 2007 Wood Mackenzie report indicate that the government take in the deep water U.S. Gulf of Mexico ranked as 93rd lowest of 104 oil and gas fiscal systems evaluated.” from http://www.gao.gov/assets/280/279991.pdf at page 6.

    See also this little gem:
    “In 1995, a time when oil and natural gas prices were significantly lower than they are today, Congress passed the Outer Continental Shelf Deep Water Royalty Relief Act (DWRRA), which authorized MMS to provide “royalty relief” on oil and gas produced in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico from certain leases issued from 1996 through 2000. This “royalty relief” waived or reduced the amount of royalties that companies would otherwise be obligated to pay on the initial volumes of production from leases, which are referred to as “royalty suspension volumes.” We recently reported that litigation over this royalty relief for deep water leases sold between 1996 and 2000 could cost the public in the range of $21 billion to $53 billion in forgone revenue over the next 25 years, depending on how much oil and gas is eventually produced on these leases and the prices at which the oil and gas is sold.”
    from: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09556t.pdf st. p. 6.

  7. devoish says:

    Crossed against a map of “right to work” states, 4 of 22 RTW states give less than they take. 1o of the remaining 28 union states give more than they take.



  8. call me ahab says:

    devoish . . .

    ok then . . .whatever,

    go unions . . .lol

    all I see is my home state of Virginia getting screwed . . .

  9. leveut says:

    A note on the captioning:

    The subheading for the table “The Ratio of Taxes Paid to Benefits Received, By State” is backwards.

    It should read: The Ratio of Benefits Received to Taxes Paid, by State”.


    Texas is an industrial state, with manufacturing, oil and gas production and it is also a major agricultural producer…or it was up until a year ago and the drought.

    Florida has a high population of geezers getting SS and Medicare.

  10. call me ahab says:

    keep keeping me on that short lease Ritholtz. . .

    as Marx said:


    and that was before he wrote the Communist Manifesto . . .dude knew some things . . .lol

  11. holzter says:

    Pardon me for pointing out that the headline at the top says it’s “the ratio of taxes paid to benefits received,” while the caption underneath says it’s the “benefits received … for every dollar paid.”

    And pardon me for commenting that graphics that head-bangingly lame probably don’t deserve to be reprinted.

  12. cmor says:

    In a few instances “Payments to Native Populations” appears to majorly skew these numbers, especially in Montana, Idaho, Arizona, and New Mexico. Obviously Social Security payments skew the numbers in Florida and Arizona as well.

  13. Kekepana says:

    No wonder DC gets upset about not having voting representation in Congress. They are getting screwed according to this. The entire population should move to West Virginia.

  14. SysAdmin says:

    Something does not make sense here. I wish the authors revealed more about their methodology.

    For example, does this map takes into account all taxes, including FICA, SECA, etc, and for spending data why use BEA? I would suggest going to the source; the Consolidated Federal Funds Report.



    You can get down to spending at the county and state level. For a “translation” of what the program numbers are, look here: https://www.cfda.gov/

    For IRS data on revenue, I suggest:


    Finally, who knows what the “real” answer is; this is from 2005; as you can see it gives some different numbers.


  15. Michael Gat says:

    The problem I see with this chart is a pretty simple one. They cherry pick which federal spending is going “back to the states.” If you look at the numbers at the Taxpayer Foundation (http://taxfoundation.org/taxdata/topic/92.html), you get a slightly different picture because they look at total spending, rather than just at a select chunk of the spend. Unfortunately, they have not updated their numbers in a while and are seeking funding to do so because the federal government, who have the numbers, won’t publish them in such a useful manner.

    To my mind, looking at just a piece of the spend is being intellectually dishonest. The underlying presumption would seem to be that social security payments are “benefits received” (even though the recipient may have “earned” them while living elsewhere), but bridges to nowhere that subsidize unproductive activity are not a “benefit” to the states. Nor, apparently are USFS activities (mostly subsidies for logging companies), USDA programs (subsidies for agriculture) or for that matter our highly-politicized military and security spend. I’m actually more interested in the discretionary spend because all those ridiculous programs and earmarks should be the easiest places to cut.

    So it’s an interesting piece of the puzzle, but only a piece. I’d love to see more pieces. (Federal Highway dollars compared to Federal fuel excise tax paid by state might be interesting, to think of just one.)

  16. “…The problem I see with this chart is a pretty simple one…”

    “…Something does not make sense here…”

    “…They cherry pick which federal spending is going “back to the states.”…”

    “…This is not the proper measure of a federation…”

    “…looking at just a piece of the spend is being intellectually dishonest…”

    Wow, guys, remember, if ‘We’ don’t keep the bar, Low, TPM wouldn’t get to Play..

    Now, really, Would that be “Fair”?

    past that, just, ‘consider the Source’..

    Red Staters Use The Safety Net Too
    TPM, FEBRUARY 22, 2012

    ‘Hack’-ingpointsmemo doesn’t have the same ‘Ring’ to it, does it?

  17. rktbrkr says:

    Texas is the most interesting case to me. The next question is: is that Texas sends that much more in taxes to Washington and receives that much less in benefits?

    TX surprises me too. Maybe taxes paid incl oil extraction paid by TX based oil cos? TX has lots of military.

    FL has dynamic duo of military (and winding down space coast) and lots of Soc Sec/Medicare inflow. People contributed to these “entitlement” programs when they were in the rust & snow belts and now draw the benefits in the sunbelt. Don’t think TX has nearly the same proportion of retirees.

  18. theexpertisin says:

    It appears that MOST states win.

    The illustration above displays why we are in the financial mess at present. Many more states receive more than they pay. This is unsustainable.

  19. Greg0658 says:

    my state IL white dot is wrong – Durbin#2D Kirk(replace POTUS)newR – & get well-your ok(so far :-)

    Fed Fisher on CNBC this morning – this chart kept coming to mind with that TX 91 cents and his comments on great state of .. I too found it hard to believe – just what do they count – hurricane inflows to rebuild (ok thats insurance not gov) gasoline/oil outflow/inflow (ok thats commerce) NASA, Ft Hood, presume run of the mill social programs

  20. boogabooga1114 says:

    By all accounts California (my home state) was for years a substantial net donor. So at least in our case, it’s the recession that shifted it. Just for the record, we’ll be more than happy to flip the other way again, if we can get 2 million jobs back in the deal.

  21. myold41 says:

    New Mexico has sizable Native populations, lots of illegals, very low median income, and only 1.5 MM persons counted. The main contributor to our largesse is none of the above, it is military-industrial spending at our two national labs, read weapons development, and our numerous military bases. It didn’t hurt that for many years we had Sen. Pete Domenici, who was the top Repub. on the Senate budget process and In Charge for Repub. majorities. We have a lot of vacant land and hidden testing areas which are really great for weapons testing away from the burdensome eyes of the EPA, to boot. What’s not to like. We’ve just had a huge legislative argument over giving driver licenses to illegals, that’s really pertinent to our current condition as a “poor state.” The forecast in the “land of the flea, home of the plague” is ten days of sunny clear skies and it’s in the mid 80′s today for Carlsbad, except down in the caverns, where its always 50.

  22. GuinnessFan says:

    Maybe this is a trivial point, but I guess I’d like to see Federal employee and military wages that are paid to each state included as a “benefit”.

    I recall an article in Barron’s a year or two ago that looked at the fiscal health of the states. One of the metrics was the percentage of a state’s GDP that came from Federal sources. Not surprisingly, Maryland and Virginia topped the list for this. This didn’t leave me with the impression that Virginia was getting “screwed”.

  23. Greg0658 says:

    Guinness / Coors here .. thanks for the focus over there .. 30 cents in DC / are you F’in kiddin me WTFIWTSUp

  24. flocktard says:

    You guys may want to check out this link- the “Red State Ripoff”

    The point is that those who complain most about “government intrusion” are the ones benefiting the most from it.