Which states are most “dependent” on federal government?

Wallet Hub map; dependent statesThe state that ranks #1 most dependent on the federal government is not a bastion of support for the public sector. Mississippi tops the charts according to this Wallet Hub study, receiving back $3 for every $1 sent to Washington. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Delaware contributes far more to the federal government than it receives in return. The Huffington Post, naturally, took the results further and examined the larger ramifications, concluding that:

While the rankings are obviously somewhat arbitrary — one would get different results using different metrics — they do broadly correspond to patterns of poverty. States like Mississippi and Alabama, which are hugely dependent on federal tax dollars to help feed, clothe and shelter their citizens, are among those with the largest deficits, in terms of what they get in federal help versus what they give back in tax dollars.

For most of American history, bringing home the federal pork, in extra benefits for citizens or spending projects, was a badge of honor for elected officials. The rise of the Tea Party has changed this calculus. Now in the most conservative states it is seen as a political boon to turn down federal handouts. In essence, they are trying to become less taker-y.

The most obvious evidence of this trend can be seen in the expansion of Medicaid, the health plan for the poor, under the Affordable Care Act. Of the 10 states with the biggest dependency gap, as determined by Wallet Hub, seven — Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, South Dakota and Tennessee — have decided not to expand their Medicaid programs, even though the funding would come from federal coffers.

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