Maryland says thanks for the tax dollars, New Jersey
Paul West reports that earmark queen Barbara Mikulski and others of the Maryland congressional delegation have brought home the pork again. The new batch of spending is $100 million. That, West reports, "is on top of nearly $700 million in spending for Maryland projects that was requested by President Barack Obama in his 2010 budget."
Some of these projects are probably justified. Many assuredly are not. In any case, they mean more federal dollars showered on a state that is well accustomed to them but always wants more. Maryland has been basting in federal sauce ever since the Bush administration started to blow money in the name of homeland security after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Total federal spending and obligations in Maryland in 2008 was a record of $77.9 billion, according to the Consolidated Federal Funds Report. That's up 60 percent in nominal dollars from the 2001 level. In a state economy of about $300 billion, $77.9 billion from Uncle Fed is real dough.
Much of this comes from taxes paid by New Jersey, Connecticut and other hapless places with high incomes that don't happen to be right next to D.C. Maryland sucked in $67 billion in federal spending in 2005 but paid only $49 billion in federal taxes, according to the Tax Foundation. New Jersey, on the other hand, paid out $86 billion in federal taxes that year but got back only $59 billion in federal spending. Thanks New Jersey!