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Does Uncle Sam Love You?


My husband once had a boss who described the difference between liking and loving. “Do you like me, or, (raising his wallet) do you love me?” Money equates to love in some situations. So does Uncle Sam love you? Are you getting a good return on all the “love” you show him every April 15th?

More than half of us think we're paying too much in taxes, and most of us believe half of what we do pay is wasted.

Maybe not if you live in South Carolina.

WalletHub looked at tax information and other resources to determine which states have the best taxpayer ROI (return on investment). In other words, which states get the most federal money and services, and have the most federal employees per capita, when compared to the dollars they send to Washington, D.C.

Red vs. Blue

“Blue states are less dependent on the federal government," reports WalletHub, which is an interesting twist. It means that for all the GOP talk of small government and lower taxes, red states generally get more bang for their buck than Democrat-controlled states do. 

South Carolina

When it comes to dollars in and dollars out, South Carolina scores! For every dollar it pays in federal taxes, the Palmetto State gets back a whopping $7.87!


Mississippi ranked No. 1 in being the most dependent on the federal government. Even though it "only" receives $3.07 in federal money for every $1 it pays, nearly 46 percent of state revenue comes from Uncle Sam, a higher percentage than anywhere else.


On the other hand, folks in Delaware probably feel ripped off. They should. Delawareans only get a measly 50-cents back from Washington, D.C., for every dollar they send. Thank you, Delaware, for supporting the rest of us!

WalletHub also looked at which states have the best and worst government-dependent services such as schools, police, water, and air. Wyoming came out with the best overall government services, Arkansas the worst. Watch the video for details, though don’t drink the water if you’re in New York.

Some interesting patterns emerged.


The Silver State scored best in roads and bridges, but worst in home price volatility and school systems (which is funny considering the education I got last time I played craps in Vegas...).


Alaska may be cold, but it’s hot hot hot in certain categories, scoring first in air quality and lowest home price volatility.

West Virginia

Don't get sick in West Virginia. WalletHub reports the state has the worst hospital systems. However, it also claimed West Virginia has the best water quality, a title it may have to relinquish given the massive Elk River spill.

Washington, DC

The District of Columbia may have the best GDP of the country--why wouldn't it? Our taxes fund it!--but WalletHub scores it last in two categories: worst roads, and...wait for it...crime. Crooks in DC? Blow me over with a Form 1040EZ…