Today the U.S. Census Bureau released their annual Consolidated Federal Funds Report which tracks federal spending by state. The chart below shows federal spending in Maine by major type. Total federal spending increased by $442 billion to $3.2 trillion in 2009 from $2.7 trillion in 2008, or 16.1 percent. Federal spending jumped in Maine by $2.2 billion (18.9 percent) to $14.2 billion in 2009 from $12 billion in 2008–a greater increase than the national average.
As shown in the chart below, the largest percentage jump in spending was in “Grants to State and Local Governments” which increased by $1.1 billion (39.4 percent)–this category includes Medicaid spending. The next largest percentage jump was in “Procurement” which increased by $301 million (26.6 percent). Other categories were: “Other Direct Payments,” such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, increased by $450 million (18.5 percent); “Retirement and Disability,” i.e., Social Security, which increased by $314 million (7 percent) and “Salaries and Wages” which increased by $50 million (4.9 percent).
Unfortunately, this new data shows Maine’s continuing over-reliance on federal spending to power its economy.