"Our Country!
In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right;
but right or wrong, our country!"

    --Commodore Stephen Decatur

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Share the Wealth, Spread the Love

Over the past couple weeks, the Census Bureau has started running television commercials to raise public awareness that 2010 is a year which ends in zero.  This questionable use of taxpayer money wouldn’t be quite as objectionable if this could be ascribed to an honest desire to ensure an accurate count.  However, the advertisements focus more on the government largesse which is doled out by Congress and bureaucrats rather than the civic duty to stand and be counted as a proud citizen of our fair nation.

Today, we look at federal highway money as part of a continuing series.  According to one of the commercials, census data is supposedly used to figure out where to build roads.  However, if we analyze actual census data, we see that highway money is not distributed based on population, road miles, or any other rational method.  Rather, the map below illustrates the winners and losers in the federal highway pork-eating contest that happens in Congress every year.

The biggest winners are Alaska and the District of Columbia, each taking in more than 1000% of what they pay into the National Highway Trust Fund.  Honorable mention goes to New York, Wyoming, Hawaii and Montana which fill out the 200-percent-and-up club.  If you’re from these states, you should write to your Senators and Congressmen and thank them!

The biggest losers are Maryland and North Carolina.  Each state takes home less than 60% of what they pay into the system.  The states closest to break-even are Kentucky and Michigan.  GM and Chrysler may be owned by the federal government, but Motor City’s roads and highways are funded at home.  Click on the map below to find how your state scores!

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