Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Federal cash is turning Virginia blue

See also

WhileVirginia boasts the highest percentage of federally funded private-sector jobs in the nation, “real” private enterprise in the commonwealth ranks second to last, a new report says.

Only 70.2 percent of Virginia jobs are free of government purse strings — coming in just ahead of New Mexico’s 68.1 percent. The national average is 80.8 percent.

On the flip side, nearly a third of Virginia workers are paid directly or indirectly with local, state or federal tax dollars — second highest behind New Mexico.

That dependence on government, says one political pundit, helps explain why the Old Dominion is electing more liberal Democrats statewide.

“No wonder Virginia is turning into a blue state,” writes James Bacon at the website, Bacon’s Rebellion.

Virginia’s proximity to, and dependence on, Washington, D.C., is a mixed bag, according to George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, which produced the study.

A steady diet of defense-related contracts kept cash flowing into Virginia during the so-called Great Recession. But the influx of money from across the Potomac “poses a long-term threat” because the cash flow is not sustainable, said Mercatus researcher Keith Hall.

Even if the largess remains unlimited, the result will be a badly splintered labor market – with northern Virginia raking in hefty salaries, and hardscrabble southern Virginia mired in double-digit unemployment.

Hall advises that Virginia diversify its labor market by depending less on federal support.

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe — who defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli last month with incessant calls for more state spending — agrees Virginia has an economic challenge.

“We will continue to be the recipient of federal dollars. The challenge is to replace those assets with new business,” McAuliffe told a gathering of reporters in Richmond on Wednesday.

Read the rest of the article here.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!