Get our free newsletter
After the District moved forward with its legalization of marijuana last week over objections from Congress, the leading opponent of the legalization measure lobbed an accusation at the residents of the capital city: ingratitude.
“We provide half a billion dollars [annually] to the District,” Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, told the Associated Press. “One would think they would be much more compliant with the wishes of Congress.”
But by Harris’ measure, 30 states should be even more docile when it comes to the whims of federal lawmakers.
The D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis has crunched the numbers and ranked D.C. and the 50 states by the percentage of their revenue that comes from the federal government. The office’s conclusion: D.C. ranks just 31st in financial reliance on the feds.
The federal government foots the bill for D.C.’s judicial system, leading to frequent commentary about the financial drawbacks to the longshot goal of D.C. statehood. But the percentage of D.C.’s revenue coming from the federal government, long above the national average, has slipped below it in recent years:
So before Harris tries, in Mayor Muriel Bowser‘s words, to “bully” the District into compliance with the wishes of a congressman representing another state, he might want to consider that as recently as 2012, his own state had a greater financial reliance on the federal government than the District did. It could happen again.
This post has been updated to include revised charts and data from the Office of Revenue Analysis.
Photo from Andy Harris’ website; charts from the Office of Revenue Analysis