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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The welfare state — Arkansas votes against its interest

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 6:55 AM

GETTING HELP: The darker the color, the greater the payout to counties in federal benefits. - NEW YORK TIMES
  • New York Times
  • GETTING HELP: The darker the color, the greater the payout to counties in federal benefits.

GETTING HELP: The darker the color, the greater the payout to counties in federal benefits.
  • New York Times
  • GETTING HELP: The darker the color, the greater the payout to counties in federal benefits.

A nifty county-by-county map from the New York Times illustrates the degree to which counties in the U.S. depend on federal benefit programs from food stamps to Medicare. Figures show that the share of personal income represented by such benefits doubled from 8 percent in 1969 to 16 percent in 2009.

Arkansas, and the South, trending politically to Republican politicians who want to slash such program, are more heavily dependent than most of the rest of the country. Roll across the map for county by county figures. Some very interesting facts there. For example, almost 33 percent of the income in Republican Baxter County comes from federal sources.

The map can be altered to look at impact of spending in each of the individual programs. Be sure to click through to Social Security and Medicare to see how important they are individually in Republican strongholds. And presumably most of those recipients, judging by votes, are happy about the solid support from Arkansas Republicans in Congress to privatize, voucherize and otherwise destroy the programs as they are now known. New motto for the Land of Opportunity: "I've got mine."

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