Red States Bear the Brunt of Federal Funding Cuts

A new analysis by Andy Sullivan at Reuters finds that between 2009 and 2013, discretionary funding to red states dropped by 40 percent, while blue states and potential swing states only saw drops of closer to 25 percent. Fellow in Governance Studies John Hudak pointed out to Sullivan that, “in the context of the Obama Administration, swing states and blue states are doing better than red states. I would suggest these numbers would tell us there is politicization going on.”

It’s worth noting this only applies to discretionary grant funding, but not mandatory payments or Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act. According to Hudak’s analysis for the article, red states (as defined by the % vote Obama won in the 2012 presidential election) got 15 percent fewer grants and 1.3 percent fewer grant dollars than the average swing state since 2011.

This kind of pork-barrel politics is hardly new. In Presidential Pork, Hudak catalogues the distribution of federal grants over multiple administrations, and argues that presidents engage in politically-motivated spending in a systemic way to advance their electoral ambitions.

» Read the full article by Andy Sullivan, “Exclusive: Spending- why ‘red’ states shoulder the deepest cuts under Obama,” here.