Alaska, the 'welfare state'

Alaska "is essentially a welfare state taking money from the federal government," the fiercely partisan Paul Begala fumed on CNN.Michael Kinsley, writing in Time, accuses the "good citizens of Sarah Palin's Alaska" of "leech[ing] off the government."It's true that Alaska consistently ranks in the top three states which receive more federal dollars than they pay, and has often been the top state. A moment's reflection might help answer why this is so. As The Economist noted back in August of 2006, before Sarah Palin became governor:"There are some good reasons for the federal government to spend money in Alaska anyway: it supports 21,000 troops there, it has obligations to indigenous Alaskans and it owns (and must look after) some 60% of Alaska's land."Yes, according to the US Census Bureau, 19 percent of Alaska residents are American Indians, (American Indians comprise only 1.5 percent of the population), while "Alaska Natives accounted for...(Read Full Post)