Now that Congress has delivered to the president the economic-stimulus bill for his expected signature, how much aid will your state get in the final compromise package? The Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, updated an online map on February 13 to show state-by-state funding levels according to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Clicking on each state reveals its share, but only for a portion (69%) of the stimulus package. The think tank could figure out state allotments for the programs involving tax cuts, unemployment insurance and food stamps, green energy projects, education spending, state infrastructure projects and Medicaid. But 31% of the stimulus package isn't represented on the map, the center says, because that money "will be distributed through competitive grants to states and localities, or through funding formulas where it is not possible to make estimates at this stage. The remainder is for programs that are distributed at the federal level."
The Center for American Progress shaded the 50 states in three shades of blue to show those getting below 3.5% of their gross state product (GSP), those receiving 3.5% to 4.5%, and states obtaining more than 4.5%. For this chunk of the stimulus, all states end up receiving somewhere between 2.62% to 5.77% of their GSP. Projected to get the highest tier of funding--above 4.5%--are Southern states (Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and West Virginia), some in the Midwest (Indiana, Michigan and North Dakota), New England states (Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont) and a few in the West (Montana and Idaho).
Do the differences in funding levels reflect need? While the Department of Labor showed national unemployment in January averaged 7.6%, nine states had rates in December (the most recent month analyzed) reaching 8% or above, including California (9.8%), Michigan (10.6%), Mississippi (8%), Nevada (9.1%), North Carolina (8.7%), Oregon (9%), South Carolina (9.5%) and Rhode Island (10%). So, only four of the high-unemployment states seem to be in line to receive more than 4.5% of their GSP -- when it comes to the lion's share of the stimulus package.
Think you can do a better job divvying up the funds? The Center for American Progress site has a calculator so you can play legislator and determine which programs to finance. You'll get to pick and choose from three different menus, named Rescue (to extend unemployment insurance), Investment and Tax Cuts.
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