The Northwest and Midwest still send more money to Washington than they get back, while other parts of the country receive more from the federal government than they pay, the National Journal reports. But the magazine said the inequity is shrinking -- though not from any change in government policies. New England registered the biggest gain in return from the federal government, according to the Journal, a weekly publication studying and analyzing government operations. In 1975, New England got back 96 cents for every tax dollar sent to Washington, while in 1979 the return was $1.09 per dollar, it said. By contrast, the Pacific Coast states dropped from a $1.17 per $1 return in 1975 to a virtually break-even point four years later. But the publication reported that the Great Lakes region was an exception to the trend with return on the dollar rising only from 70 cents to 71 cents over the period. Defense spending accounts for most of the inequities, said the analysis. Spending on highway and sewer construction and welfare and retirement programs was found to be relatively uniform, it said. The Journal report by Joel Havemann and Rochelle L. Stanfield concludes, however, that "any lessening of the inequalities has been almost entirely accidental." Other than the community development block grant program aimed at helping so-called Frost Belt cities in the Northeast and Midwest, the government has not adjusted formulas to help one region or another. "Instead, the flow of funds is a largely accidental consequence of the way the federal government raises and spends its money. Defense spending goes where the military bases and defense contractors are; spending for the elderly is concentrated in Florida. Similarly, tax revenue is greatest in regions where income is highest," the Journal said. Here is the breakdown, including the state return per tax dollar in 1979 compared with a similar figure for 1975. New England: Maine, $1.32 per tax dollar in 1979, up from $1.12 in 1975; New Hampshire, 92 cents, down from $1; Vermont, $1.17, unchanged; Massachusetts, $1.13, up from 95 cents; Rhode Island, $1.04, up from 92 cents; Connecticut, $1.02, up from 92 cents. Mid-Atlantic: New York, 96 cents per tax dollar in 1979, up from 89 cents in 1975; New Jersey, 71 cents, up from 66 cents; Pennsylvania, 92 cents, up for 87 cents. Great Lakes: Ohio, 71 cents per tax dollar in 1979, up from 70 cents in 1975; Indiana, 70 cents, down from 73 cents; Illinois, 73 cents, up from 72 cents; Michigan, 66 cents, up from 65 cents; Wisconsin, 74 cents, up from 73 cents. Great Plains: Minnesota, 85 cents per tax dollar in 1979, up from 83 cents in 1975; Iowa, 76 cents, up from 69 cents; Missouri, $1.25, up from $1.10; Kansas, 96 cents, down from 98 cents; Nebraska, $1.05 up from 84 cents; South Dakota, $1.40, up from $1.29; North Dakota, $1.31, down from $1.35. South Atlantic: Delaware, 74 cents per tax dollar in 1979, up from 66 cents in 1975; Maryland, $1.18, down from $1.20; Virginia, $1.41, up from $1.34; West Virginia, $1.11, down from $1.21; North Carolina, 97 cents, down from 98 cents; South Carolina, $1.16, down from $1.19; Georgia, $1.11, down from $1.16; Florida, $1.11, up from $1. South Central: Kentucky, $1.12 per tax dollar in 1979, down from $1.21 in 1975; Tennessee, $1.39, up from $1.13; Alabama, $1.23, down from $1.34; Mississippi, $1.58, down from $1.76; Louisiana, $1.05, down from $1.16; Arkansas, $1.24, unchanged; Oklahoma, $1.09, down from $1.22; Texas, 93 cents, down from $1.03. Mountain: Montana, $1.19 per tax dollar in 1979, down from $1.28 in 1975; Idaho, $1.20, down from $1.25; Wyoming, 90 cents, down from $1.21; Colorado, $1.06, down from $1.20; Utah, $1.28, down from $1.35; Nevada, 93 cents, down from 96 cents; Arizona, $1.21, down from $1.31; New Mexico, $1.91, down from $1.93. Pacific: California, 98 cents per tax dollar in 1979, down from $1.11 in 1975; Oregon, 88 cents, down from 94 cents; Washington, $1.10, down from $1.40; Alaska, $1.44, down from $2.44; Hawaii, $1.30, down from $1.58