Fiscal Federalism 14: Federal Expenditures by State

Today the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest Consolidated Federal Funds Reports (CFFR) for Fiscal Year 2010. The CFFR is the most comprehensive analysis of federal spending by state available. A few weeks ago I blogged on Federal Aid to the States which is one of many components included in the CFFR.

Overall, the major moocher states off of Uncle Sam include Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, North Dakota and New Mexico with per capita federal spending topping over $12,000. On the flip side, the states that receive the least (ranging from $0 to $8,999 per person) from Uncle Sam include New Hampshire (Yes!), Texas (Gov. Perry anyone?), Illinois, Minnesota, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California.

Check out the map below to see where your state falls on the moocher scale . . .

Chart Showing Per Capita Federal Expenditures by State for Fiscal Year 2010

Fiscal Federalism 13: The Impact of Federal Aid on Oklahoma

Free Money from Uncle Sam and Unintended Consequences in Oklahoma

Continuing on the theme about federal aid to the states, here is my latest article–“‘Free Money’ and Unintended Consequences”–in the Perspective magazine published by the good folks at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.  Here is the money line:

There is no such thing as “free money” from Uncle Sam. Absent the recent run-up in federal grants to Oklahoma—which has spurred higher state spending—Oklahoma nearly would have been able to eliminate its individual income tax.

Fiscal Federalism 11: Federal Aid to the States

I’ve always found the phrase “Federal Aid to the States” to be rather demeaning to states–does Uncle Sam think the states need aid the same way international aid is given to basket-cases across the globe?  In most cases, this so-called “aid” is more about scoring political points than it is anything else, but I digress.

At any rate, the U.S. Census Bureau produces this series of reports–“Federal Aid to the States”–(pdf) that is a companion piece to the series of reports I’ve been discussing previously known as the “Consolidated Federal Funds Report.”  The FAS delves into more specific detail pertaining to the grants that Uncle Sam sends down to the states.

As part of a study I’m working on for the good folks at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, I’ve been going through these reports.  What I have found will amaze you–or horrify you depending on your ideological persuasion.

The chart below comes from the most recent FAS report and it shows per capita federal grants to state and local governments by state.  The dark green indicates the states with the highest degree of federal aid while the light green indicates the states with the lowest degree of federal aid.

What I found interesting was that there are two low aid states that are stuck in a region of high aid states–New Hampshire in the Northeast and Texas in the south.  We all know that New Hampshire and Texas stand out for their small(er) government policies at the state level, but how does that translate into less federal aid?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as I delve into specific grant programs that will help answer that question–as well as providing its own shocking data.  If you want to venture an guess, please weigh-in in the comment section.

Chart of Federal Aid to State and Local Governments Fiscal Year 2009


Fiscal Federalism X: Federal Salaries and Wages

Following on my five previous blogs (Procurement, Grants to State and Local Governments, Other Direct PaymentsRetirement and Disability and All Federal Spending) . . . this blog shows federal “salaries and wages” spending as percent of personal income. What is this?

According to the Consolidated Federal Funds Report (pdf) from which this data is drawn from, “salaries and wages” constitute federal dollars that are used for:

  • Department of Defense personnel
  • U.S. Postal Service employees
  • U.S. Coast Guard personnel
  • Office of Personnel Management which manages all civilian employees except the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency

The table below shows the wide range of federal “salaries and wages” dependency by state. The states that are most dependent are: Hawaii (8.5 percent), Alaska (8.0 percent), Virginia (4.7 percent), Maryland (4.4 percent) and Kentucky (3.5 percent).  Of note is the District of Columbia at 49.2 percent.

On the other hand, the states that are least dependent are: Connecticut (0.9 percent), New Jersey (1.1 percent), Wisconsin (1.1 percent), New York (1.2 percent) and Michigan (1.2 percent).

This is the last major federal spending category published in the CFFR.  Next we will turn our attention to looking at these categories over time–which has seen the largest percentage increase in federal spending?  Stay tuned.

Federal Spending on Salaries and Wages as a Percent of Personal Income by State for 2008