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Welfare Queens

Republicans, especially Reagan, liked to talk about the waste represented by “welfare queens”, mythical urban dwellers in “liberal” states who were soaking the Federal budget dry. Of course this ignores what a truly tiny portion of the Federal budget is spent on assistance and the the fact that the largest group that receives the aid are rural white children, but they continued to put out their lie.

If you take the trouble the Tax Foundation does to see where Federal money goes, you will notice a pattern: the money goes to states with senior Senators on certain important committees, like Appropriations.

It’s amazing, most people probably wouldn’t picture Pete Domenici, Trent Lott [this is from 2005], and Ted Stevens when you say “welfare queen”.

Federal Spending in Each State
Per Dollar of Federal Taxes
FY 2005
State Amount Rank
New Mexico $2.03 1
Mississippi $2.02 2
Alaska $1.84 3
Louisiana $1.78 4
West Virginia $1.76 5
North Dakota $1.68 6
Alabama $1.66 7
South Dakota $1.53 8
Kentucky $1.51 9
Virginia $1.51 10
Montana $1.47 11
Hawaii $1.44 12
Maine $1.41 13
Arkansas $1.41 14
Oklahoma $1.36 15
South Carolina $1.35 16
Missouri $1.32 17
Maryland $1.30 18
Tennessee $1.27 19
Idaho $1.21 20
Arizona $1.19 21
Kansas $1.12 22
Wyoming $1.11 23
Iowa $1.10 24
Nebraska $1.10 25
Vermont $1.08 26
North Carolina $1.08 27
Pennsylvania $1.07 28
Utah $1.07 29
Indiana $1.05 30
Ohio $1.05 31
Georgia $1.01 32
Rhode Island $1.00 33
Florida $0.97 34
Texas $0.94 35
Oregon $0.93 36
Michigan $0.92 37
Washington $0.88 38
Wisconsin $0.86 39
Massachusetts $0.82 40
Colorado $0.81 41
New York $0.79 42
California $0.78 43
Delaware $0.77 44
Illinois $0.75 45
Minnesota $0.72 46
New Hampshire $0.71 47
Connecticut $0.69 48
Nevada $0.65 49
New Jersey $0.61 50

4 comments

1 hipparchia { 06.18.08 at 11:19 pm }

trent lott, welfare queen!

ok, that image just made my day. 😀

2 Bryan { 06.18.08 at 11:30 pm }

Before anybody brings it up, Louisiana and Mississippi aren’t there because of Katrina. Notice that both Florida and Texas are at near parity.

3 andante { 06.19.08 at 6:33 am }

Every time I make the trip to the county Dept. of Social Services (trying to apply for medically-needy Medicaid) I wish I could bring along some of my wingnutty-minded acquaintances. The waiting room is always full, the caseworkers are incredibly overworked and no doubt very underpaid.

And brown or black skin is RARE. I’d estimate one black face and one brown for every twenty Caucasian.

4 Bryan { 06.19.08 at 12:01 pm }

With all of the plant closings in your area that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Andante, but it always seems to.

Under Roosevelt’s WPA things were built by local people and the money stayed in the local area helping the local economy, but these days public projects are built by corporations and the money leaves the area.

When a Congresscritter gets a new road built, that road might ease traffic congestion, but it provided few, if any, local jobs and the profits went somewhere else, which is why the Federal government may be spending a lot of money in the South, but the poverty picture isn’t changing because not much of it stays here.

Of course, logic and facts are no use against prejudice.