Countering those concerns, some leftists have resurrected the myth that it’s actually red states that are “welfare queens.” While this represents a pivot from the original argument (which is over states in better fiscal condition subsidizing those in worse), it is relevant, as it would imply that perhaps the reason red states are in better fiscal condition is because the federal government has been giving them an assist.
And it would be false.
In my 2019 book Debunk This!, I analyzed a similar argument from two angles; that Republicans themselves were more likely to be moochers, and that red states as a whole are.Liberals Resurrect Myth That Blue States Subsidize Red States
In other words, Sammin points out that because red state budgets tend to be smaller, it would make more sense to look at intergovernmental grants (payments from the federal government to state governments) on a per-capita basis, not as a percentage of state budgets.
Against a national average of $1,935 in intergovernmental spending per American, red states receive just $1,879. Blue states get considerably more, at $2,124 per resident. Purple states see the least of their money returned to them per capita, at just $1,770.
States Population InterGov. InterGov. Per Capita Total Red State 96,086,631 $180,551,551,000 $1,879 Total Purple State 77,676,459 $137,532,631,000 $1,771 Total Blue State 134,982,448 $286,776,111,000 $2,125 Grand Total 312,471,695 $604,860,293,000 $1,936
To address the question of “subsidizing”, it might be interesting to look at per capita taxes paid by each class of state.