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Minnesota works hard to cover for welfare queen North Dakota

Nearly $38 billion of Minnesota's federal tax dollars go to moocher states. We're looking at you, North Dakota.

Nearly $38 billion of Minnesota's federal tax dollars go to moocher states. We're looking at you, North Dakota.

With souls and work ethics toughened by winters of driveway shoveling, we Minnesotans don’t take free rides. But North Dakota does. Our sibling to the west happens to be the mother of all deadbeats. 

Inspired by Greece’s hot mess economy wearing on the European Union, CNBC looked at how America’s tax burden is spread across all 50 states. While some are carrying their weight, other states are out back mooching smokes and trying to clock out early.

It turns out Minnesota is paying its share and then some. Here in dried up walleye country, we’ve sent away an average of $84.6 billion a year in federal tax dollars since 2011. But we're only getting back an average of $46.7 billion a year in federal spending. That’s the second-largest discrepancy in the country as a percentage of gross state product, topped only by Delaware.

In total, 20 states give more than they take, with many of them concentrated in the middle of the country stretching from Illinois to Utah. New York and California, two of the top three tax generators, lose a combined $125.2 billion to Washington D.C. to be redistributed each year.

Nevertheless, we need only look across the border to see where the federal money flows. Despite its Beverly Hillbillies oil economy, North Dakota is still in take mode, reaping almost $50 billion more than it paid in last year. Over the last four years, nearly 71 percent of its average gross state product came from federal spending — the highest rate in the country. As Minnesota Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) notes, that number could be skewed because of North Dakota's two Air Force bases, which probably house some expensive stuff.

Still, the next time the University of North Dakota whatever-they’re-calleds beat us at hockey, point to the taxation scoreboard and tell ‘em, “You’re welcome, brah.” But don't give 'em any smokes. It's about time they learned to pay for their own.

Send news tips to Michael Rietmulder.