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Mar 17, 2023

Mountain State residents assume of themselves as independent, “always free of charge,” and as self-adequate as we can be. Current political trends would recommend we think in modest government, low taxes and dealing with as tiny interference from the people in Washington, D.C., as doable.

Reality is pretty diverse on the other hand, as WalletHub’s “2023’s Most and Least Federally Dependent States” puts West Virginia in second location — behind only Alaska.

Far from getting dead final in this study, exactly where we are accustomed to landing in so numerous comparisons of states, this time West Virginia residents are quantity a single … in terms of getting the most federally dependent in the nation. Our state government’s dependency on the feds ranks 9th. On the other hand, the state ranks 49th for gross domestic item (per capita). Our old pal Mississippi is 50th. The Mountain State’s tax prices rank 17th.

“States get federal help for numerous causes, from supplying relief from all-natural disasters and wellness crises like the COVID-19 pandemic to funding improvements in education, transportation, infrastructure, healthcare and a lot more,” WalletHub explained, in prefacing its report.

Right here in West Virginia, on the other hand, the state has proved itself to be a “slow spender” when it comes to the sort of federal help that is received as the outcome of a all-natural disaster. Nonetheless, our residents, communities and the state government itself rely on federal taxpayer dollars to get by — day to day and year right after year.

It is but an additional metric that demonstrates the paradox right here in West Virginia and a single that Should really motivate lawmakers and financial improvement officials to be operating their hardest to attract the sorts of employers that will supply jobs to free of charge us from the chains we forged ourselves. Expansion and diversification of our economy could aid break that dependency on the feds, but only if we make the adjustments that will attract and retain, rather than repel.

Voters got a clear image this session of which lawmakers are prepared to do that function, and which would a great deal rather watch us whither into total dependence on federal taxpayer dollars than move the state forward. Voters will not neglect — backward-seeking lawmakers can rely on that.

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