You are right about the blue states paying more in. One has to remember that the finance sectors and a lot of manufacturing is still in very blue state areas. Agriculture does not make nearly as much income per capita as the other sectors per capita.
Now, a lot of the manufacturing is moving to red states and this will change. Finance will likely be centered in the blue states for a long time.
However think about this in terms of production, not income. Wall street doesn’t produce anything (just income).
I think the red states need to focus on increasing their manufacturing capability, although this will be very tough in the current politcal climate and with the croney capitalism that places like detroit enjoy. However, if we have more manufacturing capability then if the fecal material hits the fan we will have more options.
Remember, in 1861 there wasn’t a single cannon foundry in the South.
I quite agree that taxes out versus payments in doesn’t capture the whole story of who is paying for what.
But does put at least a significant dent in the notion that red states are financially supporting the blue states.