By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — When it comes to getting a good return on taxes paid to the federal government, Illinois isn’t getting a very good deal, according to government statistics.

Talking Points Memo (TPM), citing data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Internal Revenue Service, found that Illinois ranks in the lower tier of states getting federal money in the form of the so-called social safety net benefits.

Taxpayers here get about 92 cents for every dollar paid in federal taxes for benefits like Medicare, unemployment, social security and low-income assistance.

A TPM map also illustrates an interesting dilemma: States with Republican senators tend to get a better return on their taxes paid. Some of the biggest critics of federal government are GOP base voters.


Illinois ranks in the bottom 10 in terms of federal benefits. There are several other states within a penny or two of Illinois.

Minnesota, long considered one of the most liberal states in the country, ranks at the bottom at 64 cents on the dollar.

According to a recent New York Times analysis, Cook County and all of the collar counties receive less than the national average when it comes to 50 federal “safety net” programs, ranging from food stamps, to social security and Medicare.

On average, about 17.6 percent of personal income comes from federal benefits. In Cook County, that average is 15.61 percent. In the collar counties, it is lower, ranging from about nine percent to 12 percent.

The only area in Chicagoland that ranks well above the national average is Lake County in Northwest Indiana, which receives about 22.6 percent.

There are about a dozen counties in far southern Illinois were there average federal benefits rises to more than 30 percent of personal income, the New York Times reported.

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