Saving Oklahoma: Federal Spending Surges In 2009

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The U.S. Census has released a report showing that federal domestic spending in 2009 rose by 16 percent nationally from the previous year.

The federal government, according to the report, spent $37.5 billion in Oklahoma, which is an 18 percent increase from 2008. Oklahoma ranked just below the national average in the amount of domestic spending it received from the federal government.

The increase has been attributed to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to a U.S. Census press release:

The annual percentage change (16.0 percent) is the largest since the Census Bureau began compiling these data in 1983. The increase is in part from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

Entitlement programs Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security comprised 45.7 percent of all funding, or $1.5 trillion. Social Security alone accounted for $709.7 billion of that total. The one-year increase ($136.0 billion) in spending for these three programs was approximately $401 for every person in the United States.

Chris Casteel, a Washington correspondent for The Oklahoman, lists the specific state figures here.

Oklahoma has been described by the Tax Foundation as a “receiver” state, which means it gets more from the federal government than it pays in federal taxes. In 2004, for example, Oklahoma received $1.48 for every dollar it spent in federal taxes, according to a report by the organization. In 1994, Oklahoma received $1.28 per dollar so the trend has been for the state to increase how much it receives from the federal government.

The point here is that Oklahoma continues its reliance on the same federal government so many of its conservative citizens criticize and protest. Given the current budget crisis, this state would have been in terrible financial shape without the recent federal stimulus money. Also, think about all the years the state essentially took money from taxpayers in places like New York and Massachusetts, which are donor states. What if Oklahoma had just broken even on its federal taxes? Can you imagine what this place would have been like then?

According to the Tax Foundation:

For whatever reason, so-called "blue states" tend to be high-income areas that pay the vast majority of federal taxes. Some 84 percent of federal individual income taxes—which account for over 40 percent of federal revenue—are paid by those in the top 25 percent of the income distribution. The majority of these taxpayers live in wealthy, urban, politically "blue" areas like New York, California, and Massachusetts.