And out of those, seven paid nearly everything: New Jersey, California, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Minnesota and Massachusetts. In that order. So why shouldn't they hold the first primaries?
They could be followed by the other six paying in: Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Michigan and Delaware.
"States with high levels of (personal) income will always pay more than those states with lower levels of income," says Tax Foundation economist Curtis Dubay. "High-income states like New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts will always be donor states that send more taxes to Washington than they receive back, and there is little hope this situation will ever change."
Why should any of these states have to wait in line to follow the likes of Iowa, South Carolina or Florida -- each of which is drawing out billions more than they pay in each year?
Iowa's deficit in 2004 was $3.8 billion. Not bad for a state of around 3 million people. Those farm subsidies sure pay well!
South Carolina's into Uncle Sam for 10 billion big ones a year, while the figure for Florida tops $15 billion.
Meanwhile, New Jersey alone is a net contributor to the federal budget to the tune of $22 billion.
New Hampshire gets an honorable mention. The Granite State has held the "first in the nation" primary for half a century, but never used that clout to put the fix in.
Can you believe it? Per capita, Granite Staters are actually among the most responsible U.S. citizens, paying on average $1.50 in taxes for every buck they get back.