According to the analysis of poverty rates in the U.S. from 1990-2000:
The 10 states with the highest state spending per capita (Alaska, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming) saw an average increase of 7.3 percent of overall poverty rates and a 4.5 percent increase in childhood poverty.
The 10 states with the lowest spending (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas) saw overall poverty decline by 11.2 percent and childhood poverty fall 12.2 percent.
The two most populous states, California and Texas, could not have differed more; California's overall poverty rate increased 13.6 percent and childhood poverty rose 10 percent, while Texas' overall poverty rate declined 14.9 percent and its childhood poverty rate decreased by 17.3 percent.
Overall, according to the 2004 definition of red and blue states, red states saw an average decline of 11.7 percent in poverty rates, while blue states saw an average increase of 2.7 percent.
The dramatic declines in poverty in the "small government" states strongly confirms the hypothesis that reduced taxes and state spending encourages the emigration of people and businesses to areas where private-sector job growth is able to flourish and become a powerful and effective antipoverty program, says Ladner. And while taxes and business climate alone are not the only factors in reducing poverty rates, they certainly go a long way in helping fight the war on poverty.
ht/ dick McDonald