So I read the Atlantic, which I can tell is a purely objective piece of the media - no biased words there at all... and they say
Part of the explanation for why southern states dominate the "most dependent" category is historical. During the many decades in the 20th century when the South was solidly Democratic, its congressional representatives in both the House and the Senate, enjoying great seniority, came to hold leadership positions on powerful committees, which they used to send federal dollars back to their home states in the form of contracts, projects, installations.
Another part of the explanation is easier to discern. The reddest states on that map at the top -- Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, New Mexico, Maine -- have exceptionally high poverty rates and thus receive disproportionately large shares of federal dollars. Through a variety of social programs, the federal government disburses hundreds of billions of dollars each year to maintain a "safety net" intended to help the neediest among us. Consider, for example, the percentage of each state's residents who get "food stamps" through the federal government's SNAP program. This chart tells the story.
So the first reason is the "Great Society' spending implemented by that great republican president LBJ. The other reason is the "social safety net" another one of those great republican strategies. But you know what they didn't say? "The only reason the red states can charge their residents less in state taxes is because their budgets are floated by disproportionate federal dollars."
You then say, "Because the poor in the blue states can be better serviced with their own dollars?" You know....I can better be serviced with my own dollars, yet you have no problem taking mine from me. Did you get the benefit of my being forced to buy health insurance? Fact is you selfishly hate the poor in the red states and that is why you want to keep "your money" in your state.