We've all heard the story before (like in the2012 presidential election): A whole lot of Democratic voters are freeloaders, living where they can just take from the government and never have to work. With its relatively high taxes and blue-leaning government, Minnesota would seem to fit right in.
But if anybody's freeloading off the government, it isn't us. According to various studies, it's actually, ironically, mostly right-leaning, anti-government states that are raking in the benefits from feds. And in the supposedly overtaxed lands of Minnesota, we're actually one of only 15 states that's giving more to the government than we're getting.
The latest study, from the personal finance site WalletHub, has Minnesota sitting third, in ranks with other blue-leaning states like Illinois, Connecticut, and California. It's these states, in fact, that are giving the United States most of its revenue.
The ones receiving the money? Those tend to be the opposite -- poorer, mostly controlled by the GOP, and more rural, as a recent article from Salon points out. Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana are just a smattering of those who we're helping out with things like Medicare, infrastructure, and food stamps. So you're welcome. Our tax dollars are here for you.
But why are we giving so much more than we're getting? As Timothy Taylor, the managing editor of Macalester College's Journal of Economic Perspectives, has written, a lot of it is just how well our economy's doing. Not only do we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, but we've got jobs in fields like technology and health care, which pay real well. That means salaries paying for things like health care and food. Not the government.
So why do we stick with the same silly idea of high-tax states freeloading off the government, while the anti-government states make it on their own? It's probably because it's good for politics. Convince voters that Democratic states are freeloading, and you can get more people on your side. But the truth just isn't there.
So the next time your libertarian friend tries to tell you that the high-tax states are just taking and taking some more from the feds, stop him in his tracks and just say no. Tell him about Minnesota. Maybe you can change his mind.