Alaska Aims to Make Pork Kosher

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Alaska gets $1.89 from D.C. for every dollar it pays in taxes, which makes it the second biggest recipent (after New Mexico) of federal largesse. Troubled by the state's well-deserved reputation for sponging off the rest of the country, which was reinforced by last year's allocation of $450 million for two widely ridiculed "bridges to nowhere" in Alaska, Gov. Frank Murkowski is planning a P.R. campaign "to change the perception of Alaska and its people as greedy for federal money," as the Associated Press puts it. Maybe he can get a federal grant for the project.

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  1. I think they should make the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend payable to everyone BUT Alaskans. After all, if the other 49 states are subsidizing them, why not cut us in to a piece of the action?

  2. “…P.R. campaign “to change the perception of Alaska and its people as greedy for federal money,”

    Perception is reality.

    What a shmuck.

  3. “to change the perception of Alaska and its people as greedy for federal money,”

    Perception is NOT reality. $1.89 back for every $1.00 in IS reality. Whether that’s greed or not is another issue altogether and one that the PR flaks will bill well to pretend they can change.

  4. Rather than change the actual reality.

  5. Playing devil’s advocate here, but isn’t a part of that subsidy imbalance due to the high cost of maintaining infrastructure, such as the alaskan pipeline, crucial to oil production?

  6. Neil Boortz revealed that Murkowski’s sister owned land on one island that was to be connected to one of the two bridges. And that Alaska’s only US Congressman’s family owned land at the end of the other bridge. Those bridges are just common graft.

    BK

  7. I think you’ll find that maintenance of the oil pipeline is the responsibility of a private company not the federal government.

  8. “I think you’ll find that maintenance of the oil pipeline is the responsibility of a private company not the federal government”

    And if not, should be. Otherwise, I want my share of the profits that flow through that pipeline since I am forced to subsidize the costs…

  9. That certainly doesn’t explain why New Mexico gets all that pork. Or is it Los Alamos that gets a bunch of that money?

    And look at how much DC gets!

    My state (AZ) is in the middle of the pack at 21st. Not something to be proud of, and again, why do we get more than our $1 back (border, anybody)?

  10. Where is Area 51 again? That’s got to be expensive to run.

  11. Actually, I don’t perceive Alaskans as being greedy for federal money. I perceive Alaska’s ELECTED REPS as whores for federal money. A lot of the people in Ketchican where the alleged bridge to nowhere is going to be built didn’t even want the damn thig.

  12. Interesting, look at all those rugged “red” states leading the list in federal largesse. I had heard and seen this before, several years ago, but I don’t remember it being so skewed back then. But I guess those in power gotta pay back those who put them in power.

  13. Here’s want we need to do.
    All states should get .99 cents for every dollar. The left over penny should be sent to DC, since it is the Federal District and all.

  14. OK, which are the states that get less then they send?

  15. Eryk, see here and here for starters:

    “In 2003, the top subsidy-sucking state, in percentage terms, was red-lite New Mexico, which received $1.99 in federal money for every dollar it sent to Washington, D.C. All the next eight net recipients of federal spending were redder yet: Kentucky, Virginia, Montana, Alabama, North Dakota, West Virginia, Mississippi and Alaska, which received $1.60 to $1.89 back for each tax dollar.

    The list of net losers in the state-federal exchange, by contrast, reads like a Who’s Who of Blue. Two of the top 14 were traditionally red Western states that are starting to turn purple, Colorado and Nevada. The other 12 are all blue: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Wisconsin and the biggest chump of all, New Jersey, where the federal government spends just $.57 for every dollar it collects . . . Only five blue states were net recipients of federal subsidies. Only two red states were net payers of federal taxes.”

    Yep, the states cram-packed with liberals suck up fewer Federal tax dollars than the government-hating, up-by-their-bootstraps red states.

  16. All the next eight net recipients of federal spending were redder yet: Kentucky, Virginia, Montana, Alabama, North Dakota, West Virginia, Mississippi and Alaska,

    of course, states don’t pay taxes, people do.

    I’d be more interested to know how much federal largesse each individual gets versus the median taxable income

  17. …I’d be more interested to know how much federal largesse each individual gets versus the median taxable income…

    in these low-pop red states

    (is how it should have ended)

  18. Until recently NJ had the highest median income (CT beat us last year) so it’s no surprise they don’t get much “back”.

    An interesting study would be federal spending related to party in power. I would think its worse now, if only because the current group are so shameless (cf. DeLay’s remark about spending restraint).

  19. “…I’d be more interested to know how much federal largesse each individual gets versus the median taxable income…

    in these low-pop red states.”

    I don’t think that’s relevant in this case. If I understand this statistic correctly, for every dollar the people in state X pay, they receive back $Y in federal dollars regardless if they earned $100,000 or $25,000. So, I would then assume, that those states with higher federal returns vs. taxes paid also receive more on a per capita basis. Those who receive more on a per capita basis, thus, individually, suck more on the govt teat regardless of population or median taxable income.

  20. Pork aside, the real reason why Alaska recieves so much more from the feds than they provide is because they have a lot of military bases and not many people.

    Also, if you look at the number of federally maintained interstate miles per capita in Alaska, compared to more urban states, you’ll see why there is more transportation spending per person in Alaska.

    Whether or not you think the government should be in the defense or road building businesses, it really is just a matter or population density, not “red state” politics…

  21. Actually, between inflation and deficit spending, the feds do give out more than they take in. I’d like to say this is smoke and mirrors accounting but it doesn’t seem most people need to be fooled.

  22. Hey, we told the blues to not give the feds the power to do this stuff. If y’all are gonna go on and ignore us, we’ll be damned if we’re not gonna take advantage of it. Don’t like it? Rein the feds’ power back in to what we said it should’ve been in the first place. And y’all call us stupid.

  23. Red State,
    So now with both houses and the executive things will be made right?

    As lemur suggested, a great deal of this has to do with Army bases, and he makes a good argument for Federally supported highways, but I do not think it explains everything.
    A corallary is the much higher divorce rates in red states, and a bunch of other social statistics.

  24. DC gets $6.59 for every dollar paid in! I say we should move the nation’s capital to Omaha, Nebraska, or maybe a suburb of Omaha. Let DC return to a natural “wetland” state.

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