According to a new study by UCI economist Gary Richardson, voting Republican in a right leaning Presidential race pays in terms of more state funding for government programs at the cost of fewer tax dollars.   

Combining 2004 Presidential election voting records for each state with government tax and spending statistics from the Tax Foundation, he shows that states in which citizens voted predominately Republican received more money in government benefits compared to taxes paid in than in states where a Democratic candidate won the majority.

For example, in the year George W. Bush was elected to his second White House term, residents of Alaska, a state which swung 62% in the former President’s favor, received $1.84 in federal benefits on every $1 they paid in federal taxes.  At the same time, Massachusetts residents rallied only 38% of votes for Bush and received only $.82 in federal benefits on every one tax dollar their citizens paid in. 

“The same pattern holds true across all 50 states: in 2004, the 28 states in which Bush received more than 50% of the vote all received an average of $1.32 in federal benefits for each $1.00 their citizens paid in federal taxes while the 19 states in which Bush received less than 50% of the vote received an average of $.93 on every $1.”

The trend, he says, began in the 1990s, most noticeably following George H.W. Bush’s four year term in office. 

“Since then, the ratio of benefits received to taxes paid has tilted increasingly in favor of states that reliably vote Republican,” he says, attributing the trend to the party’s 1994 rise to Congressional majority control and domination of federal fiscal policy debate.

The study appears in the October issue of The Economists’ Voice and may be viewed in full online at 

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