Another one of those lists
June 6, 2003
Oh, no. It’s another of those lists in which every state wants to be first and, alas, Nevada is last.
This time, it’s the pork-barrel list — otherwise known as the amount of money each state receives per-capita from the federal government.
The Silver State got just $10.7 billion last year, which sounds like a lot of money except when compared with No. 1 on the list, California, which got $206 billion.
But California wasn’t tops in the amount of federal money flowing in per resident. Not by a long shot.
That honor goes to Alaska, at an amazing $11,649 per human being. Nevada, in last place, got $4,930 per person. California registered $5,868.
You can look up your W-2 form from April and decide whether you think you got your money’s worth out of the taxes you paid compared to what Nevadans got back from the feds.
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It’s not the worst list for Nevada to place last. We can claim to be conservative, hard-working, independent sorts who don’t lean on Big Brother in Washington, D.C., for handouts. The truth of the matter, though, is we’re also aware we’re paying into the system and expect to get our fair share.
Looking at the numbers a little closer, we see Nevada does OK in the amount of salaries and wages paid to federal employees here (36th), but we’re dead last in the grants department.
And we can’t see a pattern among the states who prosper from federal largesse (Alaska, Virginia, North Dakota, New Mexico and Maryland) as compared with the states who are at the bottom (Nevada, Wisconsin, Utah, Minnesota and New Hampshire).
Ultimately, what we learn from such lists reinforces our notion that Nevada, as the fastest-growing state, is being squeezed because resources, both from the state and federal government, have not yet caught up with demands. Yet by no means is Nevada a poor, desperate state with a bleak future.
It still matters more what you do with what you’ve got. Nevada, in our opinion, is at the top of that list.
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