Friday, December 23, 2016

December, 2016, Part 1, By The Numbers: Leaving Democratic States and Moving To Republican States

Before I start today’s post, let me reiterate my voting history like I have done many times in the past:
  • I have been a legally voting since the 1970s.
  • Since then, I have never voted for a Republican for President.
  • I have rarely voted for a Republican for national office over that time period.
  • I have never been a registered Republican voter.
Keep that in mind as you go through the following discussion. 

On a periodic basis we do some posts that fall under the theme of “by the numbers.” Rather than trust what the American political tells us about reality, we like to examine the real numbers and the real reality in the world to understand what is actually going on. Relying on politicians, and their cohorts in the media, to tell us what is reality is always a sucker bet. They have their own agendas and goals, usually centering around their needs and self-enrichment. So we need to look at the reality of the numbers to determine what is really going on.

Previous analyses of “by the numbers” can be accessed by entering the phrase in the search box above. This is the third and final post this month where we look at the numbers to truly find out how good, not likely, or bad, most likely, the American political class is doing in managing our tax dollars, protecting our freedoms, and resolving major issues that affect all of us. 

Benny Johnson, Jason Howerton, and Parker Lee, writing for the Independent Journal Review recently summarized what the economic conditions currently are in the states that heavily voted in favor of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in last month’s Presidential election. Besides having the common characteristic of favoring Hillary over Trump, they also have the common characteristic of having some pretty lousy economic and out migration trends going on in their states. This conclusion is based on citing a Washington Times article by Stephen Moore.

Moore concludes from his analysis that the out migration from these Hillary strongholds is driven primarily by economic reasons including: “high tax rates; high welfare benefits; heavy regulation; environmental extremism; high minimum wages.” Amazingly, the ten states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins saw a net loss in population from 2004 through 2014. California and New York by themselves saw a net loss of 2.75 million Americans over that ten year time frame.

As you go through the ten states economic profiles below, keep in mind that these states are almost always dominated by Democrats in elected office. Yes, occasionally, a Republican or two might get elected in these states, but for the most part these are strictly Democratic controlled and operated states. I am not saying there is a cause and effect of Democrats creating lousy economic conditions but the correlation, as you will see below is certainly quite strong.

1) Massachusetts - Between 2004 and 2014, Massachusetts lost 156,861 more residents than it gained. One reason for such a loss is that Massachusetts has a top business income tax of 8%, one of the highest overall property tax burdens in the country, and also has estate and inheritance taxes.

2 ) California - California has lost an amazing 1.3 net residents over the past decade despite having some of the richest people in the nation living in the state in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Thus, something must not be right for the over 1 million people who decided to leave the state for a better life

3) Maryland - Maryland has lost a net 145,000 residents over the past decade, possibly caused by the reality that the state ranks 44th in economic outlook according to the in-depth analysis done by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), has a top personal income tax rate of 8.95%, and has the 13th highest business income tax rate. Over the past 47 years the state has had only two Republican governors.

4) New York - The ALEC ranks New York as dead last in its economic outlook ratings, a spot it has been “honored” with in six of the past seven years. It has some of the highest tax rates in the country and its net loss of population over the past ten years, 1.5 million people, is the largest loss of any other state in the union.

5) Rhode Island - The ALEC rates this state as 48th in economic performance and 35th in economic outlook. Rhode Island has a very high property tax rate and has had a net loss of 70,000 residents over the past decade, a lot considering how small the state’s population is to begin with.

6) New Jersey - My former home state has some of the highest tax rates, personal income tax, property tax, and business tax rates, in the country. The ALEC ranks the state as 48th relative to economic outlook and has had a net loss of about half a million residents since 2005.

7) Connecticut - HIgher than average tax rates and ranking 47th on ALEC’s economic outlook measure makes it no surprise this state has lost 153,000 residents in total over the past decade.

8) Vermont - The ALEC has Vermont ranked 49th in economic outlook, the state has the second highest personal income tax structure and has enacted many new tax changes that will make it more expensive to live in the state. No surprise, it has had a net loss of 9,000 residents over the past ten years.

9) Illinois - Possibly one of the biggest basket cases of all the states, given its incredibly high unfunded pension and retiree benefit liabilities for government workers, the state does have a reasonable income tax rate but higher than average business tax rates and high property taxes. As a result, it has had a net loss of 700,000 residents over the past ten years.

10) Hawaii - The ALEC found that Hawaii has the highest marginal personal income tax rates in the country and the highest sales tax rates in the country. Despite its beautiful weather, the state had a net loss of 36,000 residents since 2005.

Conversely, five states that the ALEC rank in the top 15 relative to having really good economic futures, Wyoming, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Tennessee, South Dakota and Idaho, have not only seen net gains in state populations over the past ten years but also had the highest percentage of voters that voted for Donald Trump. In fact, if you look at the ALEC table below which rank orders all 50 states relative to their economic outlook rankings, the top twenty states with the brightest futures are usually dominated by more conservative, Republican politicians.

Thus, is it any surprise that people are moving to states with lower taxes and brighter economic futures? Is it any surprise that states that are losing population are states with higher taxes and less bright economic futures? People who work hard for their money and their families realize that the best way to be happy is to keep as much as they earn and will make life decisions accordingly. 

And that more than any other reason is why an old, tired, same old Democratic politician, Hillary Clinton, lost an election to a non-politician with no Washington or international experience who was plagued by personal behavior problems and who was outspent by about a two to one margin. Freedom, the desire to keep what was earned, and to not be taxed to death is why people behave the way they do, whether it is choosing a place to live or who to vote for. The numbers do not lie.

More numbers tomorrow.

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