Here's a quick addition to the previous post, looking at the data in a slightly different way. Whereas the NYT story looked just at spending on government benefits, Talking Points Memo puts this spending in comparison to the amount of money contributed by each state. While not at the county level, we do get to see the variance across states from those that get relatively little back relative to their tax contributions versus those that receive much more. Like I discussed previously, those places that not only have a heavy reliance on government benefits, but also contribute relatively little for them, oftentimes vote consistently for the GOP.
As an editorial aside, I'd also point people's attention to the one place that has the lowest return on its tax contributions--Washington, DC. As a DC resident and taxpayer, it is data like this that drives us Washingtonians nuts. "Taxation Without Representation" indeed.