Brian Mark Weber / January 10, 2020

Blue States Will Lose Power in 2020

New York, California, and others are losing people — and thus voters, power, and money.

“Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during a press conference earlier this year. “We did that. God forbid the rich leave,” he mocked.

Well, Guv, they’re leaving. In fact, over the past 10 years, New York has lost 1.4 million residents.

Those fleeing the Empire State are not only likely to shrink the size of New York’s congressional delegation; they’re also taking their money with them. And while losing a seat or two in Congress may not be too alarming to the ruling class in states like New York, the loss of revenue is another matter.

As the editorial board at The Wall Street Journal writes, “New York’s 12.7% top marginal rate is the second highest in the U.S. In the last two years New York has lost a net $18 billion in adjusted gross income. The wealth exodus is reducing revenue and making it harder to fund programs like Medicaid.” As the article notes, other blue states are bracing for similar losses. These include California, which lost $8 billion in adjusted gross income, and Illinois, which lost $5.6 billion.

“Meanwhile,” as Jazz Shaw writes at Hot Air, “states with lower taxes and more sensible laws and regulations like Florida and Texas are gaining population at a steady clip and will gain seats. And New York has nobody to blame but the voters who keep electing the same gangs of Democrats who have brought this situation down on their heads.”

But it’s not all about taxes. Blue-state residents are getting tired of burdensome housing costs, exorbitant property taxes, business- and job-killing regulations, gun control legislation, refugee settlement, and criminal-friendly reforms that put dangerous people back on the streets.

Additionally, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limits state and local tax deductions and thereby prevents these residents from escaping the tax burden put on them by their respective state governments. Democrat lawmakers fought these reforms, because they shed light on a scheme designed to continue increasing taxes.

In addition, these Democrats are becoming more hostile to businesses. For example, Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect in California this year, places significant restrictions on freelance or contract workers. So, naturally, businesses that rely on these workers are being forced to let them go, and those Californians who often take on freelance work to make ends meet are now being told by the state government that they’re out of luck.

Rachel Greszler writes at The Daily Signal, “Imagine a small landscape company that has three employees and contracts with a half-dozen others for services such as tree removal, stonework, or sprinkler installation. Under the new law, those contract workers would have to become formal employees, meaning the owner would be in charge of the work they perform (even though he is not an expert in their services) and how many hours they work and would have to provide them with employee benefits.”

Greszler adds, “Since that’s probably not feasible or advantageous, the owner would instead have to cut ties with those contractors and stop offering their services.” Only “progressives” could come up with a way to chase away the very people funding their government: raise taxes on the productive and successful, and make sure folks on the bottom can’t move up the economic ladder.

While these high-tax states are bleeding residents, states that are gaining population are doing so due to low income taxes or no taxes at all.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida and Texas each gained more than 300,000 residents since 2010. As Jonathan Williams writes at The Hill, “Of the nine states with no personal income tax, seven experienced positive domestic migration in the past year, totaling more than 339,000 on net. On the other side of the equation, a majority of states with the highest personal income tax rates experienced net domestic out-migration last year.”

All data aside, this is plain common sense. Americans simply don’t want to live in states where the government prevents them from building wealth or otherwise pursuing their dreams.

And make no mistake: Decades of Democrat rule in some of our largest states has killed the American Dream. Is it any wonder, then, that millions of Americans are pulling up their roots and heading toward states where they can still make that dream a reality?

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