Just before the Fourth of July weekend, Dave challenged me on a comment I made regarding the loss of Federal Revenue that arrived into Delaware since Bush took office.

It was based on political talk that resonated through the Budget committees during the first and second years of the Minner administration. The political dialog complained that revenue was dropping and cuts needed to be made.

In my attempt to research for the “I told you so ” retort, I discovered that there was no such data. In fact, if one took the data present, more dollars came into this state under Bush than did Clinton. But then on further inspection one saw that Clinton brought in more dollars than Bush (41), who brought in more dollars than Reagan. Could the continued increase of these dollars be due to increase in the general growth as well?

I stumbled across some financial data that I thought could be used to clarify the issue. This data is published every year near tax time, and each year makes the front page of the News Journal. It is the data I call our “bang for the buck”. How much did Delaware get back from the Federal government for every dollar it spent? If we break even, we get one dollar back for every dollar we send. If we get more back, (whoopee) we are a receiver state. On the other hand, if we get less back, we are a donor state,

Delaware is a donor state.

However interesting trends appear when one watches the up or down level in just how much we get back. This is independent of growth.

Delaware taxpayers receive significantly less federal funding per dollar of federal tax paid than the average state. Per dollar of federal tax collected in 2004, Delaware citizens received approximately $0.79 in the way of federal spending. This ranks the state 11th lowest nationally, yet still represents a rise from 1992 when Delaware received only $0.72 per dollar of taxes in federal spending (then ranked 3rd lowest). Neighboring states and the amount of federal spending they received per dollar of federal taxes paid in 2004 were: Pennsylvania ($1.06), New Jersey ($0.55), and Maryland ($1.44).

Using the chart from the tax foundation I took the highest return of .90 cents on the dollar in 1999 as the base. The subsequent year, 2000 we paid .88 cents per dollar. To figure what we lost as potential revenue, a theoretical to begin with, I took the amount of federal dollars received, and and multiplied each of those dollars by the two cents we earned less back from our base level in 1999, which was our state’s highest return on our federal dollars,……ever.

That gave me a shortage of 117 million from what we could have received had we kept the ..90 return rate for every dollar we gave up to the federal government.

So applying the same formula to the Bush administration’s budgets, I came up with these theroitical deficits from what we could have received if we had again maintained the politically controlled .90 cents to a dollar from the base line.

2001 289,000,000

2002 505,000,000

2003 420,000,000

2004 615,000,000

2005est 615,000,000

2006est 615,000,000

2007est 615,000,000

2008est 615,000,000

As you can see my data stream stops at 2004.

So with even these preliminary conservative estimates which (since I have no data to prove it) showed no increase in the years following 2004, we approach over the lifespan of the Bush budget, a deficit of 4 billion from what we theoretically could have received had we continued at the rate we were on in 1999.

This compares to the 635 million dollars less that Delawareans paid into the Federal treasury as a result of the Cheney/Bush tax cuts.