Guess which counties are the welfare queens

Republicans complain about taxes, but the data show that, with a few exceptions, Republican-leaning counties in Washington State take in more in state revenues than they pay in taxes.

The following graph plots conservativeness (on the x axis, as measured by the proportion of voters in that county who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 versus Barack Obama) against welfare (as measured by the ratio of state revenue received to state taxes paid). Raw data and sources are listed further below.  Click on the image for a bigger view.

Who are the welfare queens? Conservatives or liberals

With the exception of Garfield County (conservative and low welfare ratio, population 2,226 in 2012) and Thurston County (liberal and high welfare ratio, population 252,000 in 2010), the counties that voted for President Romney in 2012 generally receive more in state revenues than they pay in taxes. In particular, liberal King County (population 1,900,000 in 2010) subsidizes the counties out east.

Method: to determine the conservativeness of a county, I aggregated by county the votes for Mitt Romney divided by the votes for Barack Obama from the Washington Secretary of States 2012 election results here.

To determine how much welfare a county receives I used the data in the third table (“GF -S Expenditures (Averages of Methods 1&2) and Tax Revenues Distribution By County (FY 2011)”) from the state Office of Fiscal Management’s State Expenditures and Revenues by County.

+--------------+------------------+---------+
| county       | conservativeness | welfare |
+--------------+------------------+---------+
| Garfield     |           2.7173 |    0.51 |
| Columbia     |           2.4310 |    0.96 |
| Lincoln      |           2.4286 |    1.27 |
| Adams        |           2.0591 |    1.42 |
| Grant        |           1.9946 |    1.21 |
| Douglas      |           1.8244 |    1.15 |
| Stevens      |           1.7638 |    1.81 |
| Benton       |           1.7574 |    0.79 |
| Franklin     |           1.6371 |    1.64 |
| Lewis        |           1.6150 |    1.33 |
| Pend Oreille |           1.5758 |    1.47 |
| Ferry        |           1.5417 |     1.6 |
| Walla Walla  |           1.4996 |    1.86 |
| Asotin       |           1.4124 |    1.11 |
| Chelan       |           1.4034 |    0.87 |
| Okanogan     |           1.2973 |    1.36 |
| Yakima       |           1.2716 |    1.87 |
| Kittitas     |           1.2306 |    1.07 |
| Klickitat    |           1.1562 |    0.94 |
| Spokane      |           1.1270 |    1.35 |
| Whitman      |           1.0585 |    2.21 |
| Wahkiakum    |           1.0229 |    1.47 |
| Skamania     |           1.0225 |    1.17 |
| Clark        |           0.9954 |     1.3 |
| Clallam      |           0.9923 |    1.24 |
| Cowlitz      |           0.9129 |    1.13 |
| Island       |           0.9128 |    0.82 |
| Skagit       |           0.8739 |    0.76 |
| Mason        |           0.8643 |     1.8 |
| Pierce       |           0.7964 |    1.37 |
| Pacific      |           0.7878 |    1.65 |
| Kitsap       |           0.7855 |    1.02 |
| Whatcom      |           0.7480 |     0.8 |
| Grays Harbor |           0.7465 |    1.46 |
| Snohomish    |           0.7056 |     0.9 |
| Thurston     |           0.6657 |    3.08 |
| Jefferson    |           0.5028 |    0.86 |
| San Juan     |           0.4366 |    0.35 |
| King         |           0.4127 |    0.58 |
+--------------+------------------+---------+
39 rows in set (0.00 sec)

References

State Expenditures and Revenues by County.

Washington State Secretary of State, 2012 General Election – November 6, 2012

Strategic Planning and Programming County By County Comparison Return Per Dollar Contributed by Citizens within Each County State & Federal Transportation Funds, 2013 Analysis (similar results as for general revenues)

Welfare State: Washington’s Republican counties depend on Western Washington’s money. How can they survive the state budget cuts they demand?

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