While the South has long been seen as something of a fiscal parasite on the rest of the country, hogging more federal tax dollars than the Southern states collect, it turns out Arkansas did pretty well in that regard over the past two decades. According to a new report by The Economist, we're one of only three states in the South (the others being Georgia and Texas) that paid in more in federal taxes than we spent in federal funds between 1990 and 2009.
During that time, according to their report, Arkansas collected $333.3 billion in federal taxes, but only spent $316.3 billion of Uncle Sam's money. Compare that to Mississippi — which took in $164.7 billion and spent $404.6 billion — and Louisiana, which took in $397.8 billion and spent $601.2 billion. Also interesting is where some of the socially progressive states land on the list. California came in $336.2 billion in the black, New York $956.2 billion ahead, and Massachusetts $147.6 billion in the plus column.