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Politicians from New York want states to get a big bailout from Uncle Sam. I explained earlier this month that this would be a bad idea. Simply stated, the Empire State is in big trouble because it has a bloated government, not because of the coronavirus. Probably the strongest piece of evidence is that New […]

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I looked last year at how Florida was out-competing New York in the battle to attract successful taxpayers, and then followed up with another column analyzing how the Sunshine State’s low-tax policies are attracting jobs, investment, and people from the Empire State. Time for Round #3. A new article in the Wall Street Journal explains […]

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I used to think Texas vs. California was the most interesting and revealing rivalry among states. It was even the source of some clever jokes and cartoons. But the growing battle between Florida vs. New York may now be even more newsworthy. I wrote last month about how many entrepreneurs, investors and business owners are […]

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I shared data a couple of weeks ago showing that Florida is the freest state in America (for both overall freedom and economic freedom) while New York is in last place (in both categories). Well, it seems that freedom has consequences when people can “vote with their feet.” We’ll start with an op-ed in the […]

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Back in 2020, I warned that then-Mayor Bill de Blasio was setting the stage for fiscal crisis. During his eight years in office, he violated fiscal policy’s golden rule by increasing the burden of government spending at three times the rate of inflation. And all that spending requires lots of taxes, which helps to explain […]

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If you want to understand why some nations enjoy much stronger economic growth than other nations, the best place to start is the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World. And if you want to understand why some states have more vibrant economies than other states, you should check out the latest edition of the […]

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The state of New York is an economic disaster area. New York is ranked #50 in the Economic Freedom of North America. New York is ranked #48 in the State Business Tax Climate Index. New York is ranked #50 in the Freedom in the 50 States. New York is next-to-last in measures of inbound migration. […]

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New Jersey is a tragic example of state veering in the wrong direction. Back in the 1960s, it was basically like New Hampshire, with no income tax and no sales tax. State politicians then told voters in the mid-1960s that a sales tax was needed, in part to reduce property taxes. Then state politicians told […]

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New York is ranked dead last for fiscal policy according to Freedom in the 50 States. But it’s not the worst state, at least according to the Tax Foundation, which calculates that the Empire State is ranked #49 in the latest edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index. Some politicians from New York must […]

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Like most libertarians, I’m a bit quirky. Most people, if they watch The Great Escape or Rambo II, cheer when American POWs achieve freedom. I’m happy as well, but I also can’t stop myself from thinking about how I also applaud when a successful taxpayer flees from a high-tax state to a low-tax state. It’s […]

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New Jersey is a fiscal disaster area. It’s in last place in the Tax Foundation’s index that measures a state’s business tax climate. It’s tied for last place in the Mercatus Center’s ranking of state fiscal conditions. And it ranks in the bottom-10 in measures of state economic freedom and measures of unfunded liabilities for […]

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The right kind of tax reform can help people directly and indirectly. They benefit directly if reform reduces their tax burden and gives them more take-home income. They benefit indirectly if reform increases growth and leads to additional pre-tax income. For what it’s worth, I think the indirect impact is most important for family finances, […]

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When companies want to boost sales, they sometimes tinker with products and then advertise them as “new and improved.” In the case of governments, though, I suspect “new” is not “improved.” The British territory of Jersey, for instance, has a very good tax system. It has a low-rate flat tax and it overtly brags about […]

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The racist march in Charlottesville, VA, was awful news. The vehicular murder of a woman by one of the racists is even worse news. The good news is that almost everyone in the nation is united in condemning the marchers. I especially like what Senator Ben Sasse said about how America isn’t an ethnic identity, […]

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If I had to pick my least-favorite tax loophole, the economist part of my brain would select the healthcare exclusion. After all, that special preference creates a destructive incentive for over-insurance and contributes (along with Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, etc) to the third-party payer crisis that is crippling America’s healthcare system. But if I based my […]

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Back in the 1980s and 1990s, there was a widespread consensus that high tax rates were economically misguided. Many Democrats, for instance, supported the 1986 Tax Reform Act that lowered the top tax rate from 50 percent to 28 percent (albeit offset by increased double taxation and more punitive depreciation rules). And even in the […]

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I recently speculated whether Detroit’s fiscal problems should be a warning sign for the crowd in Washington. The answer, of course, is yes, though it’s not a perfect analogy. The federal government is in deep trouble because of unsustainable entitlement programs while Detroit got in trouble because of a combination of too much compensation for […]

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Maybe this means I’m not a nice person (notwithstanding my high score for tenderness in a recent test), but I can’t help but be happy when I read bad news about fiscal policy in high-tax welfare states. And because I’m a huge fan of tax competition, I get even happier when I find out that […]

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I’m periodically dumbfounded by the bizarre actions of government. Indeed, I even put together a post comparing amazingly stupid policies in the United States and United Kingdom. And I later updated that post with new details of brainless bureaucracy. Top U.K. entries included an effort to¬†stop children from watching Olympic shooting events¬†and (what must be) […]

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I may have to stop being a New York Yankees fan. The state of my birth is a national embarrassment. People in the Empire State are national champions in the contest to rip off their fellow citizens according to analysis from USA Today. West Virginia, however, is the biggest deadbeat state if handouts are compared […]

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Barack Obama wants higher tax rates on the so-called rich, including steeper levies on income, capital gains, dividends, and even death! Along with other greedy politicians in Washington, he acts as if successful taxpayers are like sheep meekly awaiting slaughter. In reality, class-warfare tax policies generally backfire because of the five reasons outlined in this […]

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A sportswriter at NBA.com explains how higher tax rates will make it even more attractive for professional athletes to sign with teams from zero-income tax states such as Florida and Texas. This is good news if you cheer for the Miami Dolphins or Texas Rangners. But if you support teams from high-tax states, you should […]

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Yesterday’s column discussed Caterpillar’s decision to move its headquarters from high-tax Illinois to low-tax Texas. Today, we have more bad news for the Prairie State. A major investment fund, Citadel, also has decided to leave Illinois. Is the company moving to a different high-tax state, perhaps California or New York? Maybe Connecticut or New Jersey? […]

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Federalism is very desirable because it allows different parts of the country to make different decisions, and this helps to teach us about what works. And what doesn’t. It also means Americans can “vote with their feet” by migrating across local borders and state borders. This happens a lot, as illustrated by this map from […]

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How do we know people don’t like taxes? They tend to reject candidates who support higher taxes, as George H.W. Bush and other politicians have learned. Then tend to vote against higher taxes when given an opportunity (though they sometimes will vote to tax other people) They tend to migrate from high-tax jurisdictions to low-tax […]

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My main objection to government employees is that they work for bureaucracies that should not exist (especially the ones in Washington). That being said, I also don’t like how bureaucrats are overpaid compared to workers in the productive sector of the economy. How much are they overpaid? The Committee to Unleash Prosperity has a daily […]

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I regularly share reports that measure how states rank for economic policy. Economic Freedom of North America Freedom in the 50 States State Business Tax Climate Index State income taxes State sales taxes State budgetary burdens Now we can augment this collection. A website called Money Geek has issued a report, authored by Jeff Ostrowski, […]

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Two years ago, I rhetorically asked whether the movement for gun control was dead. But, given how states have been expanding civil liberties for gun owners, perhaps I should have asked about the vitality of the movement for gun rights. For instance, check out this map of states that no longer require a permit for […]

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State Tax Progress

Last year I shared a very encouraging map, which identified the many states that have been cutting tax rates. After the November elections, I wrote a couple of encouraging columns about voters making sensible decisions when given the ability to vote for higher or lower taxes. Later that month, I updated my five-column table showing […]

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If Winston Churchill was commenting on America’s government schools instead of the Royal Air Force, he would have said, “never have so many paid so much to achieve so little.” Which is one of the messages in this new video from Reason. I won’t keep anyone in suspense. The message of today’s column is that […]

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