Minnesota plays the sugar daddy to America’s top welfare states


Though conservatives howl the most, they're the greatest beneficiaries of the U.S. welfare system. Just don't expect a thank you. Wikimedia

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

Karl Marx said that many moons ago. And many conservatives would be surprised to discover how much they’re benefitting from his commie adage all these years later.

A new study by WalletHub is the latest to drive home that message. It measured how much states kick to the federal treasury, compared to how much they receive back in the form of contracts, grants, and general assistance. Minnesota is not getting a very good deal.

It ranks 45th among U.S. states, meaning it has one of the highest discrepancies between money sent and money received. Only Delaware, Kansas, Illinois, New Jersey, and Massachusetts rank higher. And when it comes to federal grants, Minnesota ranks dead last.

Though there are exceptions to the rule – see Kansas – the giver states tend to be high-income, high-prosperity locales. In a twist of irony, their money is largely going to states where residents bray most about personal responsibility, standing on your own two feet, and the sins of the public dole.

Those would be the bloody red conservative states of the south and the west. The nation’s 10 greatest welfare queens, respectively: New Mexico, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, South Carolina, Arizona, Alaska, Montana, and Louisiana.

It’s hard to blame the feds’ imperfect calculations. And it’s hard to argue that the wealthiest should lend a hand to the poorest, though most of these states tend to ensure their poverty through regressive taxes and an unwillingness to fund things like education, driving away their best and brightest.

But Minnesota does the same with its own in-state collection of taxes. Out of the state’s 87 counties, the seven composing the metro area produce 64 percent of the state’s tax revenues.

A thank you would be nice. But you probably shouldn’t expect one.

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