Mountain State residents believe of themselves as independent, “always cost-free,” and as self-adequate as we can be. Current political trends would recommend we think in smaller government, low taxes and dealing with as small interference from the people in Washington, D.C., as achievable.

Reality is rather unique nonetheless, as WalletHub’s “2023’s Most and Least Federally Dependent States” puts West Virginia in second spot — behind only Alaska.

Far from becoming dead final in this study, exactly where we are accustomed to landing in so several comparisons of states, this time West Virginia residents are quantity one particular … in terms of becoming 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 acquire federal help for several causes, from giving relief from all-natural disasters and well being 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, nonetheless, 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 just after year.

It is but an additional metric that demonstrates the paradox right here in West Virginia and one particular that Really should motivate lawmakers and financial improvement officials to be operating their hardest to attract the types of employers that will deliver jobs to cost-free us from the chains we forged ourselves. Expansion and diversification of our economy could support break that dependency on the feds, but only if we make the modifications 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 lot 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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By Editor