JONATHAN CHAIT FEBRUARY 26, 2010
The way that Republican governors made a fuss last year about accepting stimulus dollars, and their continued uproar about growing deficits, it's worth another reminder that the most Republican states also get the most money from the federal government over what they put in. Here's a chart put together by a reader showing that, since 1981, some of the most conservative states have been the biggest beneficiaries of federal spending.
The 48 blue marks (the chart leaves off Hawaii and Alaska) show how much federal funding each state receives beyond what it pays in federal taxes. The seventeen states marked with the small blue dot pay more taxes than they receive in spending (see the lower-left). The thirty-one larger circles mark states that receive more spending than they pay in taxes. The size of the circle is proportional to the ratio of federal spending in to taxes out (the biggest being West Virginia, New Mexico, Louisiana, etc). The X and Y axis measure social and economic conservatism.
(To see a larger version of the chart click here.)