Sunday, May 20, 2012

Federal Spending in Alaska Has Declined But Remains at a High Level Per Capita Compared to the National Average


Sean Cockerham of McClatchy Newspapers has a story this weekend organized so well it's best summarized by quoting the first two sentences:

<<<The explosive growth of federal spending in Alaska has flattened, according to a new analysis, but the state's per-capita haul is still more than 40 percent above the national average, even with legendary spender Ted Stevens gone from the Senate.

The flat funding is a big difference from the enormous spike between 1999 and 2005, when annual federal spending in Alaska jumped from just over $6 billion to more than $10 billion, at its peak reaching 82 percent above the per-capita national average.>>>

The high point in federal spending roughly coincided with Stevens' tenure as chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.   Since Stevens' departure from the Senate following the 2008 election, other factors--the recession, the expanding federal budget deficit, and "the congressional shunning of earmarks"--have contributed to the fall in the spending directed towards the Last Frontier.

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