The closest state is Mississippi, which gets back $2.57 in federal spending for every dollar it sends to Washington. New Mexico, West Virginia and Alabama are also big winners when it comes to federal taxes and spending.
These states are big takers because they have a lot of residents who get federal benefits, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, disability benefits and food stamps. . . .
So why do so many of these states that benefit from the federal government produce conservative politicians who complain that the government is too big?
"There is this perception that so much money is being spent on things that don't benefit them," Williams said. "They ignore the things that do benefit them."
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