One of the most hilarious talking points coming from far-right Republicans and the Tea Party is that when “red states” like Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are asked to bail out California or Massachusetts, that’s when they will finally become “fed up with socialism” and secede from the Union once and for all.
The problem with that meme is that it has no basis in reality: the more prosperous and Democrat-leaning areas of the United States are likely to be subsidizing dysfunctional “red states,” many of which are suffering from insufficient tax revenue and an abundance of low-wage workers who don’t have much to tax. Tea Party Republicans like to point out that poor cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Camden, New Jersey are run by Democrats, but they neglect to mention that some of the most affluent parts of the United States—from Manhattan to the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area to Cambridge, MA to Seattle to Chicago’s North Shore suburbs—are dominated by the Democratic Party. People in those heavily Democratic areas pay a lot of federal income taxes, and quite often, their tax dollars go to red states.
1. Mississippi: Mississippi was receiving $2.47 from the federal government for every dollar it was paying in.
2. Alaska: Alaska receiving $1.93 from Uncle Sam for every dollar paid in.
3. Alabama: Alabama receives 37% of its revenue from the federal government and receives $3.28 for every dollar it pays in federal taxes.
4. Louisiana:Louisiana receives $3.35 from the federal government for every dollar it pays in; 44% of Alabama’s funding, WalletHub says, comes from Washington, DC.
5. Indiana: Indiana receives $2.01 from the federal government for every federal tax dollar it contributes and receives 33% of its funding from Uncle Sam.
6. Montana: Montana’s intake from Uncle Sam was $1.92 for every dollar paid.
7. South Carolina: South Carolina was receiving $1.92 from the federal government for every federal tax dollar it was contributing.
8. West Virginia: West Virginia receives $2.22 for every dollar it pays.
9. Tennessee: Tennessee, according to WalletHub, receives $1.64 from the federal government for every federal tax dollar it contributes—and WalletHub notes that 41% of Tennessee’s funding comes from Uncle Sam.
10. Kentucky: Kentucky receives $2.39 from the federal government for every dollar it pays.
Data shows that these hypocritical GOP-leaning states are likely to be the biggest recipients of federal tax money.