|By Paul Nyden, The Charleston Gazette, W.Va.|
The biggest federal programs include
The list also includes programs to help poorer Americans, such as
Federal income also comes from six other categories, including veterans benefits, military medical benefits, unemployment insurance and federal education programs, as well the Supplemental Security Income program, which helps low-income Americans who are 65 or older, blind or disabled.
In 2012, 75 percent of all government transfers came from just three of these programs:
Southern states dominate the list of who benefits most from federal programs.
The five states with the lowest percentages of government benefits as part of their annual incomes are:
Ironically, states whose residents receive the most help from federal government programs often are the most likely to elect conservative representatives who routinely favor cutting federal government programs. The five states receiving the most federal money,
One reason that states like
Nationally, 5.6 percent of all personal income in 2012 came from
Reduction in Income Disparities
The study stresses how geographic income disparities have been reduced over the past 60 years through government programs, based on statistics collected by the federal
Historically, the Southeast — including states from
The study points out that federal benefits also have helped other areas facing economic downturns, such as the
Government transfers as a percentage of all personal income range from 19 percent in the Southeast to 13.7 percent in the
"The public programs have been extremely effective in reducing income disparities across the nation,"
However, income disparities could increase again in the near future, the authors warn.
"Many poor Southern states are opting against the
"Many poorer Southern states are opting against
Miller and Ku also stress that hospitals in states not expanding
"A number of studies have indicated that state
Today, about half of all states, all with Republican governors, have chosen not to expand
Miller and Ku point out that the growth, or shrinking, of particular industries are major factors in employment and income statistics.
Over the past 60 years, per capita income expanded more in the Southeast than in any other region, from 70.6 percent of the national average in 1952 to 89.5 percent in 2012.
Per capita income rose in most farm states over the past 60 years, while it fell in areas like the
Income in most energy-producing states grew, the new study points out, while the experiences of some of those states, such as
The study is available on the
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