States That Oppose Obama Are More Dependent On the Federal Government

Now this is an interesting phenomenon.

Barack Obama is enjoying increasing approval ratings as he approaches the end of his second term, but the states that rely on the federal government the most are not showing him any love.

A new analysis out of the Pew Charitable Trusts showed that states that voted against Obama are almost doubly dependent on federal dollars.

The average state that voted against Obama relies on federal dollars for almost 35% of its budget. That’s an interesting fact, considering that the states who supported Obama in both 2008 and 2012 on average only received around 30% of their state budgets in federal dollars.

States are now more dependent on federal dollars than they were prior to the 2008 recession.

The average state budget in 2014 was comprised of nearly 31% federal dollars. This was the lowest level since the height of the recession, but still higher than in 2008. Federal money made up only 27.8% of average state budgets before the recession.

Federal dollars fill gaps in state budgets in the aftermath of recessions and economic downturns like the 2008 collapse. There were spikes of these dollars in both 1992–1996 and 2001–2004.

As revenues drop during recessions, the federal government spreads stimulus money to minimize negative effects.

Republican states, especially in the South, rely heavily on federal dollars due to higher percentages of residents living in poverty.

Mississippi and Lousisiana rely on federal money for over 40% of their annual budgets. Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri and Kentucky get almost that much. They clock in above 36% annually.

These are all states that voted against President Obama twice.

Around 2/3 of federal dollars go towards Medicaid programs. Mississippi and Louisiana are huge beneficiaries of Medicaid programs. Lower state revenues mean more federal dollars.

Larger blue states like New York have substantially bigger Medicaid programs, but benefit from stronger tax bases to fund them. Programs such as transportation grants, education funding, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are also major sources of federal dollars.

While the percentages are still higher than in 2008, progress has been made in lowering the amount of federal dollars that fill state budgets.

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