Republicans often tout the virtues of smaller government, but a new analysis finds that Republican-leaning states often get more federal government funds than states that tend to favor Democrats, according to WalletHub, a personal finance site.
Some states receive a much higher return on their federal income tax contributions than other states. The analysis finds New Mexico, Mississippi and Kentucky are the most dependent states while New Jersey, Delaware and Illinois are the least dependent.
“Ironically, many states make clear that they would like less federal interference in their lives but generally support expanding federal funding support,” Barry Rabe, director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, told WalletHub.
There are a number of reasons some states have a higher dependence on federal funds. Transportation, border control, infrastructure, military bases and other government facilities all require increased payouts from the federal government.
In addition, non-productive federal land, national parks, large populations of federal retirees, Indian reservations and military bases play a critical role in how many federal dollars a state receives.
To reach its conclusions, WalletHub examined how many federal dollars each state receives compared to how much that state pays in taxes to the federal government, as well as the percentage of state funding that comes from the feds and the number of federal employees — both military and civilian — per capita.
Hover over each state below to see where it ranks when it comes to federal disbursements.