Curious about just how many federal dollars are spent in California? Well, the California Budget Project — a nonpartisan/nonprofit organization seeking fiscal reforms to benefit low and moderate income Californians — has done the research for you in a new report that tracks federal spending, which accounts for more than one-third of the state’s budget. Around 15 cents out of every federal dollar spent through the state budget goes to California’s public schools and universities and over 50 cents out of every federal dollar spent through the state budget supports health and human services for children, seniors, and many other Californians. The CBP points out that Californians received $333.8 billion in federal dollars both through and outside of the state budget in FFY 2010. Notably, social security accounts for nearly one-fifth of federal spending here in California. Here are some other figures and highlights from the CBP’s report:
- "An estimated three-quarters – roughly $240 billion – of the more than $330 billion in federal dollars spent in California in FFY 2010 went directly to individuals, businesses, and others without passing through the state budget
- More than one-fifth (23.6 percent) of federal dollars spent in California in FFY 2010 were provided as grants through federal agencies, including the Department of Education, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Health and Human Services
- More than one out of six federal dollars (17.2 percent) went to businesses that provide goods and services to the federal government, including defense contractors.
- The federal government provided nearly $50 billion for health and human services programs in 2010-11; Nearly three-quarters (73.5 percent) of these funds – an estimated $36.4 billion – supported the Medi-Cal Program
- $272.9 million for drug abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery programs for approximately 300,000 Californians through the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
- The federal government provided $5.0 billion for transportation programs in 2010-11 – more than 5 cents out of every federal dollar spent through the state budget"
Key questions about federal spending in the Golden State concerns whether we get our fair share. Not according to the figures: California had 11.9 percent of the US population in FFY 2010, but accounted for 10.2 percent of federal expenditures; in addition, California’s share of federal dollars amounted to $8,960 per capita, well below the national per capita level of $10,460.
You can read the CBP’s full report here.