So the Tea Party’s were just a bunch of fringe lunatics? At least that seems to be what the politicians and MSM thought. It’s too bad that they couldn’t come up with a better descriptive than having to borrow a term from the porn industry to call the supporters of the latest tax rebellion. This week, arguably the most liberal state in America told the big government types to go away with their ever expanding and oppressive form of government. The election results told the tale; the people are “Taxed Enough Already!” And that friends, is not “tea bagging.”
The Golden State is seeing red — lots of it. After voters Tuesday nixed state legislators’ hopes of supplementing federal stimulus money with another taxpayer-funded “bailout,” California’s budget deficit ballooned from $15 billion to $21 billion. Voters rejected five of six ballot measures that would have, among other things, extended tax increases, let the state borrow against future revenue, and redirected education and mental-health money into the state’s general fund. The vote against each of the five defeated measures exceeded 60 percent. The only initiative that passed bans pay raises for elected officials in a year with a budget deficit — it passed with 74 percent of the vote.
The problem isn’t lack of revenue — far from it. As columnist George Will notes, if “state spending increases [since 1990] had been held to the inflation rate plus population growth, the state would have a $15 billion surplus.” Instead, in the past six years, inflation-adjusted per capita government spending has skyrocketed almost 20 percent — under the “Republican” governor who replaced a Democrat in a recall election with his promise to pull California back from financial ruin.
Failing to mention the causes of California’s financial disaster, The New York Times headlined its story with “Calif. Voters Reject Measures to Keep State Solvent,” and ABC was no better, bemoaning the state’s “unwillingness to raise taxes.” Perhaps the most troubling quote, however, comes from columnist Jack Kelly, disturbing not for its distortion but for its truth: “Pay attention to what happens in California. It’s a harbinger of things to come everywhere.”
Then we have this to show as further repudiation of socialism’s promise…
Speaking of higher taxes, Americans are saying good-bye to higher taxes — literally. According to a study recently conducted for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), from 1998 to 2007, more than 1,100 people per day — many of them high-income earners — moved from the nine highest-income-tax states primarily to the nine no-income-tax states. For example, after New Jersey implemented its “half-millionaire” tax hike in 2005, the state lost 4,000 half-millionaires. And as billionaire Tom Golisano recently wrote in The New York Post, his move from the Empire State to the Sunshine State will save him more than $5 million annually in state taxes.
High taxes are not only the antagonist to population retention but are also the toxin that kills economic growth. When the University of Colorado’s Barry W. Poulson examined reasons for states’ prosperity or lack thereof from 1964 to 2004, he found “a significant negative impact of higher marginal tax rates on state economic growth.” The ALEC study confirmed this, finding that from 1998 to 2007, states with no income tax created 89 percent more jobs and boasted 32 percent faster personal income growth than high-tax states.
Still, liberals cry for tax hikes on the rich to alleviate state budget deficits. It turns out that by talking with their feet, the “rich” are saying, “No thanks.”