As we prepare for Governor Dennis Daugaard's budget address (live on SDPB Statehouse this afternoon, 1 p.m. Central, noon Mountain!), it's good to remind ourselves of the federal largesse that makes South Dakota's budget possible. Well over 40% of South Dakota's budget comes from Uncle Sam.
Further confirming South Dakota's red-state moocher status are these charts from a new economic letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The map below shows that South Dakota is in the bottom quartile of states in terms of net contributions per capita to the federal government:
The FRBSF calculates net contributions by subtracting a "narrow measure of transfers" from federal taxes paid. "Transfers consist of grants to state and local governments and direct payments to businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals," say authors Israel Malkin and Daniel J. Wilson. Include retirement and disability benefits, federal employee compensation, and federal procurement contracts, and you would see South Dakota drop even lower on the following graph of net contributions against income:
The kicker comes when you look at the federal transfer payments that pad South Dakotans' pockets. The chart below shows we receive more federal assistance per person than folks in every other state except for Alaska and North Dakota.
This afternoon's drinking game includes double shots every time Governor Daugaard says "self-reliance." But as you stand and shout, "Juche, Dear Leader!" between drinks, think of these charts, and try not to laugh whiskey out your red-state nose.