What does this FUTA do for me? Where does it all go?

The FUTA tax is supposed to be returned to the states for three purposes:
  1. to pay for the administration of their systems
  2. to provide a fund from which states can borrow when their own funds are in trouble, and
  3. to pay for the federal benefit extensions when Congress grants them.
However, just like any other government program, there is many a slip between cup and lip. For years now, the Feds have only returned about half the money they collect. The rest is kept in Washington to offset the deficit. No, legally, the money cannot be used for any other purposes. However, the Feds can certainly invest the money in bonds, by which shell game the fund is effectively transferred. And so, because of so-called "budget reconciliation", the Federal Government is able to brag that the deficit is lower than it really is.

In plain English, Washington hoards billions and billions of your dollars just to make them look better.

Here are the 1996 figures. Exactly five states and territories got back more from the feds than they paid in. Everyone else got ripped off.

Alabama89.341.946.9 %
Alaska11.732.0273.5 %
Arizona100.639.439.2 %
Arkansas51.127.954.6 %
California657.5481.473.2 %
Colorado97.043.344.6 %
Connecticut76.361.480.5 %
Delaware18.910.957.7 %
D.C.18.715.381.8 %
Florida321.5110.834.5 %
Georgia179.563.535.4 %
Hawaii25.618.070.3 %
Idaho23.621.992.8 %
Illinois286.9150.152.3 %
Indiana137.150.236.6 %
Iowa64.528.243.7 %
Kansas59.425.242.4 %
Kentucky80.033.842.3 %
Louisiana85.336.442.7 %
Maine24.420.684.4 %
Maryland104.765.562.6 %
Massachusets143.683.458.1 %
Michigan218.3126.257.8 %
Minnesota120.251.242.6 %
Mississippi51.926.050.1 %
Missouri125.258.346.6 %
Montana14.715.1102.7 %
Nebraska38.218.548.4 %
Nevada46.325.354.6 %
New Hampshire27.713.649.1 %
New Jersey174.3115.466.2 %
New Mexico30.819.864.3 %
New York356.1233.665.6 %
North Carolina180.765.436.2 %
North Dakota12.213.8113.1 %
Ohio267.5103.338.6 %
Oklahoma62.429.547.3 %
Oregon73.848.665.9 %
Pennsylvania256.5171.166.7 %
Puerto Rico36.728.878.5 %
Rhode Island21.120.094.8 %
South Carolina82.136.544.5 %
South Dakota14.510.874.5 %
Tennessee126.644.635.2 %
Texas417.7162.138.8 %
Utah45.330.868.0 %
Vermont12.610.381.8 %
Virginia154.656.536.6 %
Virgin Islands1.63.2200.0 %
Washington119.691.076.1 %
West Virginia30.920.165.1 %
Wisconsin128.565.050.6 %