If Greece were a state, it would be...

Germans aren't too keen on paying off Greek debts. It's a good thing that U.S. taxpayers don't have that hang-up.

Most Americans aren't aware that their states have made similar bargains—protection from economic fallout in exchange for helping the federal government prop up weaker states when they need it. Billions of dollars flow from wealthier to less well-off states.

The oft-cited strategic problem with the euro zone is that while European countries bound themselves together in a monetary union, they didn't do much to give the combined entity power over fiscal decisions. That prevents the easy flow of liquidity and means that although EU countries will effectively sink or swim together, each country is alone in making budget decisions and in dealing with fiscal emergencies when they arise. At the same time, a country can't make traditional economic maneuvers like devaluing their currency when they get in trouble.

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But just as in Europe, some U.S. states end up taking more and some states end up giving more. So which state is our Greece?

It changes, but based on average figures from 2011 to 2014 for federal tax payments and funding outlays to the states, our North Dakota takes the prize. The state received nearly 71 percent of its entire GDP in federal funding on average over the past four years—and almost $50 billion more than the state contributed in taxes last year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That probably feels like a bad deal for nearby Minnesota and Kansas, which together paid about that amount more in taxes than they received—around 13 percent of their GDPs.

And what about Germany and the fiscally sound countries of Northern Europe? California, Texas and New York together paid out almost $345 billion more than they received in 2014, but as a percentage of GDP, Delaware is the most generous. The tiny state paid an average of $20.5 billion, or 20.8 percent of its GDP over the past four years, to the Feds to be redistributed among its needy neighbors, according to the IRS.

Perhaps economic unity is a small price to pay for peace of mind—Delaware could be the new Greece the next time around.

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CORRECTION: North Dakota received nearly 71 percent of its GDP in federal funding on average over the past four years.