Mississippi depends on the feds

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, April 7, 2016

Federal tax dollars continue to roll into Mississippi, yet the “Magnolia State” remains one of the poorest states in the union.

A recent report produced by Wallethub, a financial website, ranked Mississippi as the most dependent state in the nation when it comes to receiving federal money. The website used three key metrics to determine their ranking: return on taxes paid to the federal government, federal funding as a percentage of state revenue and share of federal jobs. Out of a score of 100, Mississippi totaled more than 62 points, seven points higher than No. 2 New Mexico.

According to the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, of the $21.8 billion appropriated for the current fiscal year, nearly half – or more exact, $9.5 billion – came from the federal government. That doesn’t even include the money ear-marked for transportation projects.

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One key reason for the dependency is Mississippi’s poverty rate, which is among the highest in the nation, as well as having one of the lowest gross domestic products. And as long as our state continues to lag behind in prioritizing what is most important to our residents, such as health care and education, we will continue to be dependent upon the federal government for assistance.