Cal Thomas: Taxes and the Sunshine State

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, March 5th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Many today focus attention on immigrants trying to enter the United States over America’s southern border—but there is legal migration taking place that has been largely ignored.

EICHER: Cal Thomas now with an invitation to the Sunshine State.

THOMAS: People are moving out of high-tax states to Florida and other states (like Texas) with lower tax burdens.

Florida’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, mentioned the movement in a recent speech to the Club for Growth. DeSantis says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has accused him of stealing residents from his state.

But DeSantis insists—quote—“I’m not stealing anybody… They are driving people away.”

The data back him up. The Foundation for Economic Freedom produced a research document for the Cato Institute that shows “of the 25 highest-tax states, 24 of them had net out-migration in 2016.” One of them is Florida where “145 households moved in for every 100 that left.”

The recent debacle with New York losing an Amazon headquarters is only the latest example of that state chasing people away with its high taxes and anti-business attitude. Just 50 years ago New York’s population was four times as large as Florida’s population. Now Florida has passed New York and ranks only behind California and Texas.

DeSantis says this influx of human capital has fueled economic growth and led to a $1.4 billion revenue surplus in the state.

As a new Florida resident, what amazes me is why high-tax states don’t get it? The facts are there for anyone to see, except for those who deliberately refuse to see them. And that’s the problem. In the case of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and other blue states, ideology appears to have eclipsed reality.

If Governor Cuomo thinks DeSantis is stealing residents from New York, maybe he should consider whether his policy of demanding residents pay ever-more in taxes isn’t the real reason for the exodus.

It is not a difficult question to answer. In addition to the economic benefits associated with living in Florida, the weather is a lot nicer, if you discount the occasional hurricane. While people were freezing up North during the recent polar vortex, the sunny temperatures in South Florida ranged from the 70s to the low 80s.

So, keep coming New Yorkers, and others from high-tax states. Down here, the policy seems to be that if you can earn it, you get to keep more of it. That is the best prescription for economic growth and personal satisfaction.

For WORLD Radio in Palm Beach, Florida, I’m Cal Thomas.

(Photo/Creative Commons)

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