State budgets dependant on the federal government

State budgets dependant on the federal government

During a meeting of the National Governors Association last month, governors from across the country “criticized Congress” for “the political gridlock that they said had stymied passage of almost every federal initiative most needed by the states, and reiterated their calls for help from Washington,” as reported at the NY Times.

Gov. John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado lamented,

“More than 26 percent of most state budgets come from the federal government…”

A report posted in May from the Economics Policy Institute, a left-wing think tank (although they claim to be non-partisan) confirms:

“State and federal budgets are inextricably linked; in 2011, federal grants to state and local governments totaled $607 billion, or roughly 25 percent of spending by state and local governments that year (CBO 2013). “

The report, which was criticizing budget cuts in the federal government known as “sequestration,” continued:

“Through grants and loans, the federal government aids states’ efforts to provide infrastructure, education, and health and social services, and to ensure public safety (OMB 2012). Economic and fiscal policy choices at the federal level can thus have substantial impacts on state budgets. With many states’ fiscal situations still grim in the wake of the Great Recession, recent federal policy decisions have put even greater pressure on state budgets.”

How is it possible to maintain state sovereignty if state budgets are dependant on the federal government? Particularly since much of this funding comes with conditions.

According to the “Federal Funds Information for States,”

“The federal budget provides about 30% of state revenue, making it the largest single source of funds for many states.”

It would be interesting to browse through the organization’s site, but evidently it costs $12k to subscribe.

As noted by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. and Patrick Tyrrell at,

“America is increasingly moving away from a nation of self-reliant individuals, where civil society flourishes, toward a nation of individuals less inclined to practicing self-reliance and personal responsibility. Government programs not only crowd out civil society, but too frequently trap individuals and families in long-term dependence, leaving them incapable of escaping their condition for generations to come…”

If the states are dependant on the federal government for a third of their “revenue,”  it is likely that American citizens will follow suit.

Renee Nal

Renee Nal

Renee Nal is a co-founder of, a news and political commentary site founded by former Glenn Beck interns. She is also the National Conservative Examiner. Renee is an associate producer for Trevor Loudon's political documentary, 'The Enemies Within.'


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