Gail Collins makes a snappy point about the Governors who are most vocal in making a show of declining federal money:
Louisiana has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid. How is it that the stars of the Republican austerity movement come from the states that suck up the most federal money? Taxpayers in New York send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana. Which is fine, as long as we donâ€™t have to hear their governors bragging about how the folks who elected them want to keep their tax money to themselves. Of course they do! Thatâ€™s because theyâ€™re living off ours.
The Tax Foundation monitors donor states versus beneficiary states. 2005 is the most recent data I saw immediately. The top 10 beneficiary states: New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Virginia. (Receiving, on average, $1.70 in federal tax dollars per tax dollar contributed.) That’s a pretty red grouping of states. Colorado, New York, California, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Nevada, and New Jersey were the top 10 donor states (receiving, on average, $0.73 in federal tax dollars per tax dollar contributed.) That’s a pretty blue grouping of states.
So, when Louisiana’s ($1.78/$1) Bobby Jindal says he’s refusing stimulus dollars, maybe he’s really saying, “No, no, you’ve already been too generous.” I propose we balance the budget by bringing those federal tax beneficiaries down close to a $1/$1 ratio. Then we’d really hear those rugged individualist Alaskans ($1.84/$1) howl.