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Friday, September 30, 2005

Even Before Katrina, Rita Gulf States Were Getting Lots of Federal Largesse

Three of the four Gulf states hit hardest by hurricanes Katrina and Rita - Texas, Alabama and Louisiana - ranked among the top half of states for total federal spending before the massive storms struck them, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Consolidated Federal Funds Report.

Total federal spending in 2003, the latest available year, in the three states was $208.96 billion in direct payments to individuals for pensions, disabilities, other entitlements, grants, procurement contracts and compensation to federal employees.

Texas ranked second in the nation with $140 billion, followed by Alabama in the 20th spot with $36.87 billion and Louisiana in the 23rd spot with $31.64 billion. Mississippi ranked 31st with $21.74 billion, according to CFFR data.

The top 10 states include:

California $219.70
Texas 140.45
New York 137.89
Florida 113.30

Pennsylvania 90.35
Virginia 82.45
Illinois 73.01
Ohio 69.90
Michigan 57.87
Maryland 57.64

These figures do not include federal obligations or expenditures for direct loans, guaranteed or insured loans or insurance. These obligations typically exceed regular federal expenditures. In Texas, for example, the total for the uncounted obligations is just under $1 trillion.

Earlier this week, Tapscott's Copy Desk posted on federal spending in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, which exceeded $6 billion in 2003, according to CFFR data.