Chris Dixon

If you look at the BEA’s NIPA tables 3.21 and 3.22 line 36 (“Total expenditures”), you’ll find that in 2008 states spent $1.4T (52%) and localities spent $1.3T (48%).

It might be possible that the EU breaks out the way you heard. You can have centralized decision making with decentralized disbursement. Local governments–such a towns and departments in France–are merely carrying out directives from the nation’s capital, but they are still technically spending the money on local implementation. In America, we tolerate much more fragmented administration and discordant decision-making in order to have “home rule.” I suppose that comes from being a nation that was born of a colonial model.