Live Free or Move

Moving provides one of the few limits on the megalomania of state bureaucrats.


Forty-three million Americans moved from one state to another between 1995 and 2010—about one-seventh of Americans.

It's good that we can move! Moving provides one of the few limits on the megalomania of state bureaucrats.

The National Archives

Americans have moved away from high-taxed, heavily regulated states to lower-taxed, less-regulated states. Most don't think of it as a political decision. They just go where opportunities are, and that usually means where there's less government.

They're leaving my state, New York, in droves. California, despite its great weather, also lost people, and wealth. Other biggest losers were Illinois, New Jersey and Ohio.

Travis Brown, author of "Money Walks," tracked the movements using IRS data. On my TV show, he revealed that Florida was the state that gained the most: "You're seeing a massive amount of people and their income coming in: $86 billion."

Arizona and Texas also gained, which made me wonder if Americans just move to states where it's warm. "No," said Darcy Olsen, president of Arizona's Goldwater Institute. "Weather explains just 5 percent of the migration … the Census Bureau asks, and they say, 'to find a job.'"

People move where jobs are, and the states gaining the most—which also include North Carolina and Nevada—follow what she calls "the magic formula. Lower taxes and good labor policy, which means, to a business, being free to hire and fire the people you want. (In) the most successful states you see both—no income tax or low taxes coupled with right-to-work laws."

The states that lost the most people and money were New York, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Ohio.

This competition between states makes it possible for states to learn from each other's successes.

T.W. Shannon, speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, told me that he's learned. His state, where the economy had long been sluggish, finally figured out they could spur growth with tax cuts.

"We are moving to reduce our state income tax rate….Every time we have done it in the past, we have seen increased revenues and growth." Shannon adds, "Capital won't flow to a hostile environment."

No, it won't. You'd think politicians would figure that out. But they rarely do. Brown's income data shows that capital flows to friendly environments: "States like (Texas, without a state income tax) gained $146 billion, whereas the reverse, the states with the highest among personal income-tax rates, lost over $120 billion."

The owners of the basketball team the Houston Rockets give prospective players pamphlets that detail how many Rolex watches and Bentleys they could buy just from tax money they'd save if they move to Texas.

This data doesn't stop a prominent pundit in my state, The New York Times' Paul Krugman, from writing that the Texas economic miracle is "a myth" because Texas still has high poverty rates, a high high-school dropout rate, and a low percentage of people with health insurance.

Behind this clash is the larger disagreement about how to handle the economy–promote growth by shrinking government or boost public services for the poor. The state-by-state contrast keeps getting sharper. Crudely put, blue states keep getting bluer, and red states keep getting redder. Krugman looks at Texas and sees policies–and Republican politicians–he doesn't like.

But people don't just vote at the ballot box or by their choice of newspaper subscriptions. They vote with their feet. And by that measure, the state that publishes Krugman's columns–New York–and the state where he's a college professor–New Jersey–are losing big-time.

Ironically, one reason Texas continues to have problems with poverty, despite its population growth, is that people don't just move between states. They also move from other countries in search of opportunity. For about a million people, that meant moving across the border from Mexico to Texas. They start low on the economic ladder but do tend to move upward over time.

For some reason, politicians most sympathetic to those immigrants are clueless about why U.S. citizens move from state to state.

Let people live where they can be free, and get rich.


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  1. That Krugman and his socialist ilk refuse to admit reality is pretty strong evidence that they are not stupid, but evil.

    1. up to I looked at the bank draft that said $5552, I be certain that my mom in-law truley making money parttime at there labtop.. there brothers friend has been doing this 4 only about 17 months and just now paid for the morgage on there mini mansion and got a great Volkswagen Golf GTI. read more at
      (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

  2. You just don’t get it, do you John?

    How else can states create jobs if taxes aren’t high and regulations severe? I mean, c’mon, John, jobs programs don’t just create themselves! And we all know how terrible private sector jobs are, where people get acid thrown on them while they work on the dog poo assembly lines. You are just fighting progress John and making it worse! Stop fighting progress John!

    1. “where people get acid thrown on them while they work on the dog poo assembly lines”

      +1 Upton Sinclair

    2. And we all know how terrible private sector jobs are, where people get acid thrown on them while they work on the dog poo assembly lines.

      I’ll have you know that I put three children through college by throwing acid on line workers at the local dog-poo factory. The pay’s pretty good, though occasionally you might get some acid or face goo on your redwings.

      The lack of union dues more than makes up for that, however.

  3. “They just go where opportunities are, and that usually means where there’s less government.”

    “Florida was the state that gained the most”


    Florida is the exception to the government rule. Florida is where a lot of assholes go.

    1. Eh. No income tax. Balanced budget amendment. (Kinda) low housing prices. Good weather. And a legislature that can only meet for given number of days every year. It ain’t heaven, but it ain’t Jersey.

      1. Compared to Jersey, anywhere that isn’t New York is Heaven.

        1. Even Cali?

          1. At least people in California can blame mental retardation for their problems. People in New Jersey are just assholes (at least north of Trenton).

            South Jersey is an entirely different culture.

            1. South Jersey is an entirely different culture.

              Old white people, angry shore trash, and toothless pineys versus oblivious immigrants and ornery minorities and former minorities. Different cultures, different accents, no reason to favor one over the other.

              Well, almost none. A house in metro-Philly is about half the price of one in NYC’s neighborhood.

            2. And all them reefer-weed smokers. At least the small but present permastoned community here in Cali can keep me feeling productive in comparison.

          1. Illinois may not be great but I’d still take it over New Jersey.

            1. I would take Pakistan over New Jersey.

    2. Florida is warm. Florida is cheap. That explains most of it.

      I don’t like Florida, myself.

      1. Come to Illinois, we need more hosts for the vast government parasite to feed off of.

        1. Bwahhahhaaaa! You made a funny. I would move to Alaska or ND before I moved to IL.

          If I move, and I will, it’s just a matter of when, not if, it will very likely be to TN or SC.

          1. You’re in MD too right? I myself have been looking into TN and SC.

            1. Yes. I’m in MD, At least I’m not freezing my ass off. I’m being taxed to death instead.

              Lots of Libertarians I’ve been talking to are considering SC or TN, for obvious reasons.

      2. That explains the trash. Out of all fifty states, every other Cops episode is from Florida. Think about it.

        1. every other Cops episode is from Florida

          Well, you can’t let those unruly bingo games get totally out of control.

        2. As a friend of mine noted, in FL you don’t freeze to death if you make poor life decisions. Like pythons and iquanas, without prolonged drops below freezing, the riff-raff keep breeding and expanding.

          1. Hey now, easy on the comparisons… Jerk

        3. Florida’s new state motto: “Welcome to Florida! Shit flows downhill!”

          1. Since Florida is flat as a ten year old, the whole place is pretty much downhill if you mound up all the shit.

    3. Like Quebecers?

      Whatever you do, do NOT give them the right to vote. They’ll mess you up.

  4. “We are moving to reduce our state income tax rate….Every time we have done it in the past, we have seen increased revenues and growth.” Shannon adds, “Capital won’t flow to a hostile environment.”

    I wish someone would explain this to the assholes running Massachusetts. The sales tax got raised a few years ago but that doesn’t seem to be helping. The solution is going to be to lower the sales tax and raise the income tax.

    1. Louisiana does the same thing. We’ve had a negative population trend for decades and the state and cities’ solution is to raise sales and property taxes. Win-win-win.

    2. I thought everyone right of center left MA decades ago – I did.

    3. In ME they’re proposing the opposite. A hike in the sales tax while removing all the sales tax exemptions like food and heating oil, and they say they’ll use it to lower the income tax. There will be a fucking revolt if people have to start paying sales tax to heat the house.
      Hopefully LePage will give it the veto.

    4. Deval Patrick is too busy playing selective politics with the second Boston marathon bomber’s rights to privacy.

      No time for sales tax. La, la, la. He’s not listening!

      1. ‘right.’

  5. You’d think politicians would figure that out. But they rarely do.

    In Maryland, they certainly don’t. “Businesses moving to Virginia? What businesses moving to Virginia?”

    1. There is no real business in MD, it’s just cronyism all the way down.

      1. There is no real business in MD, it’s just cronyism all the way down

        Congress needs to admit reality and fold MD into Washington DC as a federal entity.

      2. You mean it’s cronyism all the way up.

        1. It’s all uphill both ways.

  6. According to the lefties at various sites I frequent, it is COMPLETELY UNREASONABLE, UNREALISTIC, AND INHUMANE to expect people to move. When you point out that millions of people have done it, both internationally and intra-nationally, they just start changing the topic and slinging ad hominem attacks. It’s almost as though they thought people were entitled to stuff just for existing, and it was the responsibility of everyone else to provide it for them…

    1. The US federal government is one of the only governments in the world that taxes people’s income even when live 100% of the time in another country. The US government also has strict capital controls for people who want to expatriate. Kinda like Nazi Germany.

      So, you can fully expect progressive states like California and New York to at least propose capital controls or other legal barriers to prevent people from moving, or at least taking their assets with them.

      1. I thought we were the only government that does that.

        1. According to Jim Rogers were are one of the few but may actually be the only one. He mentioned this in a recent interview on how badly the US treats capital and income. Apple keeps most of its gigantic cash stash offshore to avoid US taxes. But lucky me my marginal rate is about 40%.

    2. That’s why the city politicians hate the suburbs so much. They always think no one will leave, until they’re gone, and then they complain they don’t have enough authority to ban the places people moved to.

      1. A writer for D.C.’s “alternative” newspaper once wrote, with no trace of awareness of the doublethink, that the two most important goals for D.C. were eliminating taxation without representation and imposing a commuter tax.

        1. Well, to be fair, solidly blue DC would probably elect representative who would favor a commuter tax. So no doublethink really required.

      2. Yep. It’s also why all this “smart growth” bullshit needs to be seen for what it is: an effort by people who hate suburbs to discourage the expansion of suburbs, and thus prevent taxpaying families from decamping from urban shitholes.

    3. Basically agree with you. Although there have been some studies (no, I can’t cite them right now) that show the very poorest can’t move b/c they have no capital to fund a relocation.

      1. Although there have been some studies (no, I can’t cite them right now) that show the very poorest can’t move b/c they have no capital to fund a relocation.

        A study was needed for this?

        1. I tried to explain it to the undergraduate dean at my university once. Being a tenured professor, he couldn’t grasp the concept of needing to have money already to get a job what wasn’t in your backyard.

        2. I think (and it’s been a while since I read it) the purpose was to figure out a kind of go/no go line i.e. what income level allowed people to move if they wanted, below which they couldn’t.

          1. It depends.

      2. Why? The poor don’t have shit to take with them. Many of us, fresh out of college and broke as hell, made moves.

        1. My problem at the time was First month’s rent, security deposit, commute and food until 1st paycheck. This was a non-zero value and I had negative cash.

      3. If you have no possessions, or are willing to leave them behind, then moving is the cost of a Greyhound bus ticket. If you have a car you can take slightly more stuff.

        On the other hand, a moving truck originating in CA and crossing a few state borders can easily cost over $1000 with gas and everything. Most poor people (me) don’t have a grand lying around.

  7. Mark my word, it won’t be long before our benevolent betters in DC start cooking up a scheme to stop people from moving out of the country, and then, even across state lines. Once they have accomplished that, it will be on state assigned living spaces, where you will live your entire meager existence out, with no real mobility at all. Travel will be for elites only. We have to save the planet.

    1. We might as well just live in life support pods, powering with our brains the system that keeps us alive.

      1. We’re all just biological resources for the political elite to exploit, so I guess we could provide that renewable energy source they are looking for.

        Except some of us have to remain relatively free so that they have someone to oppress and harass all of the time. A few of us will even need to own dogs so that the police don’t get too bored.

    2. Didn’t the housing market crash already kinda do that? I’ve talked to a few people who would like to move but can’t without writing a five or six digit check to the bank or becoming a credit pariah for the next seven years.

      1. A short sale is the answer to this problem. Unlike a foreclosure which screws your credit for seven years or so, you can buy a new house in as little as 2 years after a short sale.

    3. While I don’t know if it will become quite so dystopian in our lifetimes, the fight over zoning regulations in Death Valley shows the California is well ahead of the rest of the nation in trying to herd people.

  8. The data do not support the simplistic Laffer thesis that people are moving mostly because of lower taxes. Populations may be shifting to states that happen to tend to have no income taxes, but that’s largely because of other unrelated factors. As the link shows, states with the highest income taxes have actually seen the most economic growth (and the states with no income taxes, the lowest). And the states with no income taxes have seen to biggest drop in median household income growth. Furthermore, unemployment rates are roughly equal when compared among states with and without income taxes. Laffer, Stossel, et al, are obviously cherry picking data to fit a simplistic and stupid narrative.

    1. Yawn……!

    2. Goddamn look at him beat up that strawman. He’s just hitting so hard, that thing can’t stand up to it.

      1. So Stossel isn’t claiming that people are migrating because of differences in tax policy?

        1. Nope…..we’re complaining that your TEAM BLUE fluffing demonstration is old and tired.

          Away with you S o c k p u p p e t.

          1. Haven’t said anything about any team. I do tend to support policies I agree with and reject bullshit propaganda by ideological halfwits.

            1. Your past posts do not back up this assertion.

            2. So you reject most of what you write, here, then?

    3. Apparently you didn’t read the article. People moved for jobs, and the jobs were available in states with lower taxes AND right to work laws.

      1. Yep. VA has a pretty high state income tax. But our right to work law is quite strong.

    4. You have no idea how economies change do you? How 100$ in NY has a different relative value compared to 100$ in TX? How to tie your shoes without a diagram and a life coach?

      1. Not to mention looking at relative trends.

        100 years ago Houston was a backwater and NYC was a thriving metropolis.

        It’s not where you are, it’s where you’re heading.

    5. “states with no income taxes have seen to biggest drop in median household income growth”

      If a bunch of low income workers move to a state with no income taxes because they can actually find work there, what happens to the “median household income growth”?

    6. Tony, follow my finger. Take it from a guy whose family has some dough and is constantly exposed to people with money so I know what goes into deciding how money moves…CAPITAL MOVES because of HIGH TAXES.

      It moves whenever something is rigid.

      Now go back to the ‘pay your fair share for civilization’ crowd.

      1. Incidentally, it’s an option we are currently exploring. We want out of Quebec.

      2. Most of the rich people I know live in New York, DC, or California.

        1. Most of the rich people I know live in New York, DC, or California.

          Null value statement, please try again.

        2. Most agricultural subsidies are sent directly to beneficiaries who reside in Manhattan. Most crony government-cozy dickheads live in NY, DC, and CA.

          1. To say nothing of the fact that “rich” is an entirely subjective term.

        3. None of the Rich people I know live in New York, DC or California.

          1. Dickhead rubs shoulders with the Bill Maher crowd. Back in the day it was the Roman Polanski/Jim Jones/Charles Manson/Bill Ayers crowd, but he’s probably too young to remember that.

        4. Nobody I know voted for Nixon.

        5. Tony, that rebuttal makes absolutely no sense. I know rich people in France, Italy, Quebec, Ontario, and New York. In fact, many people know people in a lot of places.

          What’s your point?

          Right. Sorry for asking.

    7. Based upon a brief perusal, it appears that the numbers of that study rely upon GSP, which would be larger in states with larger governments, i.e. higher taxes. The oldest trick in the book.

      Also, by not comparing individual income/wealth growth to costs of living (and real inflation) you’re not really giving a complete picture.

      1. Funny how dishonest people use trickery and incomplete information in their arguments, isn’t it?

  9. Fucking Krugman.

    Does he chew his food and spit into the mouths of his children?

    1. Remember Krugman doesn’t have children….what the fuck does he care if the national debt other peoples children will inherit is eleven hundredty million bajillion dollars…all that matters is that the fun continue for him in the present.

      1. Ok, so he does it with other people’s kids.

      2. Careful about pointing out that childless people have higher time preference than the rest of the hoi polloi. I’m sure Hoppe has a few words of warning about that practice.

        1. Niall Ferguson gotin trouble for this by pointing out that Keynes was gay and childless, this affected his outlook supposedly

    2. If he had children, I would think it would be more along the lines of the Human Centipede.

  10. Sure, states can attract businesses and jobs by cutting taxes and government programs. Libs call it “the race to the bottom”.

  11. The more John Stossel like-minded people leave my state (NY) the better.
    Most of them aren’t my type anyway.

    May they all go to Texas where you can have your 6 year old shoot your 2 year old and blame god.

    1. That was Kentucky.

      1. People consider everything south of Perth Amboy, NJ to be the same place…TEXAS

        1. Yeah they’re quite bigoted and provincial in the North.

          I will never forget a NJ housewife asking how big my farm was. I told her I lived in a city. She asked “Like, a big city?”

          I said “Well it’s about twice as large as this one.”

          1. WTF! Do they seriously think that outside of their world the rest of the country is desolate farmland populated by knuckle dragging mouth breathers who don’t wear shoes?

            1. I’m guessing her mental map was something like, from north to south “Noo Yawk, Joisey, Philly, Ballmer, DC, wastelands, Disneyworld, Miami.”

            2. I saw a guy rototilling his lawn barefoot once. And another guy with no arms driving a tractor. They were both in the same democrat state.

            3. Um, yes.

            4. Who are “they”? Virginian on;y mentioned one person. Aren’t we supposed to be the ones who don’t collectivize people?

            5. It’s the one thing I notice with my liberal New England friends. They love to make fun of the rural south and the junk yard in front of trailers all that.

              Geez. Have they been to Maine and New Hampshire? Ever hear of Trailer Park Boys in Nova Scotia? Hello!

              Bubbles Forever!


              1. Appalachia does indeed continue north of West Virginia. Get off the beaten path in NH, VT or ME and you see plenty of that stuff. Which is a lot of why I still love it here.

                1. I can see why. My brother in law LOVES going camping in New England with his family. We were looking at land in Grand Fork Isle.

          2. Actual question I was asked by a CA upon finding out I was originally from TX: “Do you own horses?”

            “Yeah, everyone from TX owns horses. And wear ten gallon hats and oversized belt buckles, listen to both kinds of music (country and western) and drive beat up old trucks.”

            What a dipshit. People really are stupid.

            1. +1 Blues Brothers

          3. Yeah they’re quite bigoted and provincial in the North.

            They really really are. The northeast is probably the most provincial place in North America.

            1. If you include Quebec, I will concur.

              1. yeah I live in montreal, I’m one of the 7 french canadian libertarians…so it can get fucking depressing. Especially with Marois in charge.

        2. Because in additon to be economically illiterate assclowns you’re also completely ignorant of geography. Fuck off asshole.

    2. I’d like you to get out of my State now.

    3. May they all go to Texas Chicago where you can have your 6 year old shoot your 2 year old (*25 every weekend) and have a greasy dem politician blame inanimate objects.

      Oh Alice Bowie you’ve done it again.

  12. There’s a troll like smell coming from upthread.

  13. Meanwhile, the Free State Project is slowly working their way to get 20,000 pro-freedom types to move to New Hampshire. Maybe it is the weather, and they should have picked Nevada?

    1. …..and they should have picked Nevada?

      This would have made my decision easier!

      1. They picked the smallest population that was near major urban areas, I think.

        1. They should all pack up and move to SC, I will make a promise to move with them.

          First order of Business, is the get rid of Lindsey Graham campaign.

      2. The hookers and gambling is still not enough of a reason to move to that wasteland.

    2. I always keep thinking that they maybe should not have picked a state in the middle of the bluest of blue regions in the country, the NE? Just a thought. Maybe South Dakota would have been a wiser choice. I would have considered moving to SD, NH, no way, colder than hell and too many liberals, a bad combo.

      1. How about Vermont?

        Far enough away from Mass and has the best gun laws in the country.

        1. Just a note, both Vermont and New Hampshire are directly connected to Mass.

          1. So they do.

            It appears that the connection btw mass and NH is more urban so you probably get more masshole commuters. I’ve always heard that the bane NHer’s existence is the masshole invasion, so I assumed my new england geography.

            1. Yes, just about the entirety of the douchebag population in Mass lives on the east coast. The folks in Boston consider Worcester to be Western Mass. Anything past Worcester to the west is untamed wildlands.

        2. I’ve been visiting Vermont for years and years. Looking to buy land there. On the one end, great place with all the peace and quiet and space. On the other, it’s the rural poor and their kids are still poor only with bikes and nose rings now.

          It’s an uber-liberal state and a bit of a freak show. One would think, walking up and down Church St. Woodstock relocated. Wanna a sense of what type of folk they are? Watch Vermont political debates like I do. Forget the Rep and Dem. candidates – the alternative parties and independents are “yeeshers.”

          Vermont is now home to wealthy retired Americans which keeps that state moving I guess.

          Still, it’s worth exploring. I’m even discussing with my wife sending our daughter to University there.

          We just don’t want our daughter in Quebec anymore.

      2. Vermont, the neighboring state, is truly liberal and the free-est!!!

      3. Vermont is too liberal for you guys.

        Please, you conservatives can stay in Texas and Arizona.

        Us liberals will stay up here where it’s cold all of the time. You wouldn’t like it up here anyway.

        We can always chat on blogs.

    3. NH is a beautiful state….but so is most of this country. NH has been invaded by Massholes and is not recoverabe. A 2013 FSP vote is needed due to the new circumstances.

      My homestate of SC is a far better choice. The low country (Coastal SC) is very fiscally conservative with a libertarian streak. Not to mention the weather is usually good (except for the Cat 4 or 5 every 10-15 years)and the state is naturally beautiful. Charleston is awesome and the Port is going to be buzzing as soon as the Panama Canal is finished.

      Utah and Texas are also fine choices. The Panhandle/Gulf Coast of Florida is also awesome, if only they could secede from the rest of Asshole Florida.

      1. It’s too fucking hot down there.

        1. The thing about Vermont, NH and Maine is you can’t just move there as those economies are tiny. What can you do unless your a carpenter, farmer or work for a big company like IBM that is located in VT? Same with Upstate NY. For me, logically, I can only move there for a cottage. I can’t go work there. But that’s me.

          1. NH actually has a pretty good amount of high tech industry and such. But you are mostly right. Sadly, it seems like most people who move to the northern parts do so so that their welfare benefits will go farther.

            1. Yeah, you have to be lucky enough to be hired by those companies.

  14. I am convinced that the only people who can agree with the Tonys and Alices of the world are those who are 1) W-2 wage earners who pay little or no income taxes and own little or no property, 2) academics, in which case, see #1, 3) those who work for the government or 4) those who are getting rich off of the government.

    Prove me wrong guys, prove me wrong.

    1. Nobody likes paying taxes. Nobody likes parting with money for any reason. Some of us are just clever enough to realize that our taxes are, in fact, paying for shit, same as if we were going into a store and buying it off the shelf.

      The philosophy you’ve bought into is a con game, an intellectual excuse for the wealthiest to get away with not paying for the shit they use. And it’s nothing more than that.

      1. Answer the question instead of avoiding it. I’ll bet you a gentlemen’s bet you are not a 1099 independent contractor who pays double FICA.

        Prove me wrong Tony. Prove me wrong.

        1. Even W-2 employees pay double FICA.

          The fact that the employee pays 1/2 is an illusion.

          1. Wrong again. The employer pays 7.65% and the employee pays 7.65%

            If you are self-employed like me, you pay 15.3% just for FICA. I don’t even get to enjoy the benefits of FICA due to my age and income.

            This is why democrats are the least intellectual of the two parties — they don’t even know the basic facts or talking points.

            1. If i hire someone to work for me for a W2, I will include in his compensation the portion of FICA that is my (the employer’s) responsibility.

              I don’t know how else to explain.
              If you don’t get it, ask someone around here to explain it to you.

              WE ALL PAY 15.3%. That fact that one’s employer writes a check for 1/2 is a dirty tax trick…which benefits the employer…btw.

              1. I worked as a salaried W-2 employee for years. I, as the employee, did not pay 15.3% of my income in FICA. After I became self-employed and reported income on form 1099, I began paying what is called the “self-employment tax.” Look it up. It’s an official IRS term. I even get to deduct part of the self-employment tax on my tax return. W-2 wage earners do not pay the self-employment tax. Neither do self-employed people whose business entity is a subchapter S corporation who reports income as salary and dividends. I have always done my own tax returns so I sort of know what I’m talking about.

                1. This is my last attempt.

                  “W-2 wage earners do not pay the self-employment tax.”

                  The employer pay’s that portion on their behalf.

                  1. What I said in the first post. Can’t you read? IT DOES NOT COME OUT OF THE EMPLOYEE’S WAGES.

                    1. That’s a technicality. It does come out of the employee’s total compensation.

                      I’ve been a :
                      w-2 employee
                      Schedule C/SE self employed type.
                      Corp Sub-S

                      I am also pretty familiar with this.

                2. I have to agree with Alice here, as far as FICA goes. The employer portion of the tax is still part of your compensation: employers could pay more in salary if they weren’t paying that. To deny that is like denying that the defined benefit pension plan shouldn’t be counted as part of a public sector worker’s compensation.

                  1. From the Interweb:

                    “Employer Payroll Taxes

                    Companies are responsible for paying their portion of payroll taxes. These payroll taxes are an added expense over and above the expense of an employee’s gross pay. The employer-portion of payroll taxes include the following:
                    Social Security taxes (6.2% up to the annual maximum)
                    Medicare taxes (1.45% of wages)
                    Federal unemployment taxes (FUTA)
                    State unemployment taxes (SUTA)
                    FICA Taxes

                    FICA stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The FICA tax consists of both Social Security and Medicare taxes. Social Security and Medicare taxes are paid both by the employees and the employer. Both parties pay half of these taxes. Employees pay half, and employers pay the other half. Together both halves of the FICA taxes add up to 15.3%. The 15.3% FICA tax is broken down as follows:
                    Social Security (Employee pays 6.2%)
                    Social Security (Employer pays 6.2%)
                    Medicare (Employee pays 1.45%)
                    Medicare (Employer pays 1.45%)”

                    1. Now I know why the veterans here don’t engage with these guys. No amount of facts will prove to them how wrong they are.

                    2. As somewhat of a veteran, and definitely not one of “these guys”, you are being an idiot. Alice clearly knows all of what you just posted, as did I. FICA is payed on the employees behalf by the employer. So if it didn’t exist, the employer could pay the employee that much more. It is a sneaky tax that makes employees think that they are paying less than they are.

                      I don’t agree with a lot of what Tony or Alice Bowie say, but in this case, Alice is at least offering a reasonable interpretation of the way payroll taxes work.

                    3. I can’t believe that there’s not a single account/attorney he that can explain my point.

                      I’m not talking vocabulary.

                      I’m talking the fact that if I have a $100/hr budget to pay a worker, he’s not getting $100/hr. I’m excluding my regulatory/tax liabilities first.

                    4. I am an attorney with an accounting background who was also a stockbroker.

                      The employer pays payroll taxes on top of the company’s salary expenses. All of this is deductible in convoluted ways the IRS created. Yes, if taxes were lower, then you could in theory get paid a higher wage.

                      However, it still does not change the fact that the employee only pays half of the total FICA tax. The main point I’m trying to make, which has obviously escaped you, is that if YOU were the one actually writing large checks at year’s end and right before April 15, it would certainly give you pause before you hyperventilate about how we need higher tax rates. Good grief.

                    5. Then u r just being a TROLL against me.

                      You know what I mean.

                      People that work for w-2 and make $300k/plus per year may not be physically writing a big tax check. Nonetheless, it is being written on their behalf.

                    6. Duke, again, I can only nod my head in agreement. They “think” they understand the other side, but they really don’t. The bottom line is they don’t believe business owners deserve a break. After all, we’re all “rich.”

                      Never mind I had no salary for two years, paying down mountains of debt and still two years away from seeing my business really prosper – assuming I make it.

                      “We’re in this together” my ass. Until a bureaucrat comes in my house and shares my stress, they’re not a part of anything and I don’t owe anyone squat.

                    7. Another dirty trick is to call FICA a “payroll tax.” I don’t have a payroll. I pay the tax as a percentage of my income, therefore it is an income tax. But hey, it’s a flat tax!

              2. If i hire someone to work for me for a W2, I will include in his compensation the portion of FICA that is my (the employer’s) responsibility.

                Let me see if I get this straight… employ people to help you pick through dumpsters for aluminum cans?

                1. Hey, cost of living is really high in NYC.

                  Can’t land a studio around here under $2k/month.


        2. Dickhead would probably associate himself with the “academics”, even though he is just some shitty editor or some shit like that.

      2. And your statement that the wealthiest don’t pay for the stuff they use is a lie. It’s a cold hard fact that more than 50% of Americans PAY NO INCOME TAX AT ALL. The higher your earned income, the higher your income taxes. The more expensive crap you buy, the more sales taxes you pay. So wealthy people do pay for their use of roads and defense. Right? Right.

        1. Not completely True Duke…And you know this.

          You are ONLY referring to FEDERAL INCOME TAX where 1/2 of the people don’t pay.

          You are not including FICA, Sales tax, Property Tax, and of course Health care Premiums (if compared to countries with national health).

          FICA should be FLAT tax for all with NO cap.

          1. FICA is part of the federal income tax regime. Know the facts before you spout off on your keyboard.

            Flat taxes are the most regressive so nobody who wants the “rich” to may more proportionally should be in favor of a flat tax. I’m not even in favor of a flat tax. I just want “rich” to be defined as something significantly more than $300,000 per year. That’s not rich.

            1. Gee Duke, I think you are one of these people that are one of those rich people that really really out of touch.

              Ask someone that works for McDonalds to show you their pay stub, w2, and 1040.

              Yes, they get all FED Income Taxes back. But all FICA is paid.

            2. The 47% figure for people who don’t pay net tax is for federal income tax, excluding social security and medicare taxes (though you are technically correct that they are also income taxes). The only people who don’t pay those taxes are those who work for cash and don’t file.

              1. Or who file 1099 alone.

        2. And your statement that the wealthiest don’t pay for the stuff they use is a lie.

          You’re not employing circular logic.

          You see, if the rich paid their fair share then they wouldn’t be rich. How can they both pay their fair share and be rich? It’s not fair that they are rich and I am not, so how can they have paid their fair share? The fact that they are rich is proof that they didn’t pay their fair share. So how do you know if a rich person hasn’t paid their fair share? By the fact that they are rich!


          1. That fact is, the rich can pay their fair
            share and be RICH.

            This explains the why 50% of americans don’t pay Federal and the top 3% pay 50% of all taxes.

            THink about it.

            1. In the mind of the envious socialist types, the rich will have only paid their fair share when they are no longer rich.

              1. I don’t share that opinion but I believe there are those that do…and they are wrong.

                What would we do without rich people?

                1. What would we do without rich people?

                  Like who’s going to provide jobs and investment? Well, the government will. And government will do a better job too, because government doesn’t waste money on profits to the rich.

                  You’re supposed to only think about how much better you would feel if there were no rich people to envy and hate, and stop right there. Good liberals don’t think. They emote.

                  1. That’s so not true.

                    In NYC, it’s common for someone with a SIX figure salary ($200k or below) with a SIX digit Savings account.

                    THIS PERSON IS NOT RICH HERE!!!

                    You are exaggerating the position of Liberals. No one wants rich people to go away.

                    1. You are exaggerating the position of Liberals. No one wants rich people to go away.

                      I’ve known plenty of liberals who, if they had their way, would line up rich people and shoot them just out of spite.

                    2. I hate to break the news to you. Most of the Rich (seven figure salaries with eight figure bank accounts) in these BLUE STATES are liberal.

                      It’s the upper middle class and some rich politicians along with poor whites and religious blacks/latinos that are conservative.

                    3. I hate to break the news to you, but Rich is a relative term that to most people means “He’s got more than me.”

                    4. Also, defining rich based upon income is misleading because money is not wealth and wealth is not money.

              2. Sarcasmic, exactly. If you make $5 million we should take $4 mill because with $1 million you’re still rich! How do we know you’re rich? Because we say so! And we (loosely and arbitrarily) define rich as being fulfilled.

                1. In high school I did a stint at McDonald’s and worked with this mildly retarded guy who’d been flipping burgers for so long he was in Guinness’ book. Anyway, over that time he had scrimped and saved, purchased company stock, lived well below his means, and he managed to retire in his 50s a wealthy man.

                  1. Sar, that’s a remarkable story and similar to mine. My brother in laws cousin is mildly retarded and worked at McDonald’s all his life and if memory serves me correctly, he ended up OWNING one. I believe they offered it to boot.

                    Now THOSE are stories free enterprise give to people. They empower them and make them wealthy.

                    Don’t tell Obama that.

      3. our taxes are, in fact, paying for shit

        You used a rather apt descriptor. It is Shit I don’t want, and don’t want funded. I’ve looked at the distribution of monies in the budget for the state and localities, and over 75% could be dropped without loss. at a drop of 90% I might see a few things, but the lowered tax burden would make up for it.

        1. So use your constitutional rights to convince people to go along with you.

          Most people when polled like almost every government program you can name. Sure there’s room for improvement. Particularity in defense.

          You can’t honestly say you should get exactly the government you want, fuck everyone else.

      4. Tony, the taxes are the taxes and we dutifully pay them. What I have a problem with is your ilk demanding I pay more. I already pay enough as it is. I know I live in another country but the narrative in the USA is the exact same up here.

        We use all the same bull shit vapid phrases like “pay your share” and “it’s the price of civilization” and all that.

      5. Some of us are just clever enough to realize that our taxes are, in fact, paying for shit, same as if we were going into a store and buying it off the shelf.

        So for the record, you support forcing people to shop at Walmart and buying something even if they don’t want to, or else ruining their credit forever and possibly imprisoning them?

        I mean, it’s the same thing right?

        Last I checked what I was ‘buying’ with my taxes wasn’t optional and it didn’t matter if I wanted it or not. Apparently you think that’s just like shopping at Walmart. So it would be no big deal if Walmart impounds your car from the parking lot because they say you didn’t buy enough crap?

        1. With the US government, it’s like being forced to pay Nordstrom prices for Wal Mart goods, except for the sweet high-tech weapons.

      6. What are these things the wealthy use but do not pay for? If you pay taxes you are by default paying for the things used. If you do not pay taxes you are by default NOT paying for the things used.

        That’s assuming that every penny of taxation and spending is completely justifiable and not simply the least inefficient method of providing a good few people want.

        So are rich not paying taxes? IRS data would disagree with you

      7. an intellectual excuse for the wealthiest to get away with not paying for the shit they use

        Tony, how can you say this when the top 20% pay 94% of all individual federal income tax (and 68% of all federal taxes)?

        1. I can say it with all the more conviction, since those statistics are never trotted out to make the point that the rich have an increasingly large share of the wealth and income in this country, which is more to the point.

          1. If you want to say that the rich have an increasingly large share of wealth and income, then fine, make that point. But it makes no sense to say that they don’t pay for shit when in fact they’re doing the vast majority of the paying.

          2. the rich have an increasingly large share of the wealth and income in this country

            I wonder why that is.


      8. Of course, the “rich” pay the overwhelming majority of taxes, but somehow they’re not paying for the shit they use. And of course, libertarians don’t want the government to spend the same amount but shift taxes to the poor, but for government to spend and do less, thus enabling lower taxes for all. Why do I even bother engaging with you, this is obvious, and has been explained countless times to you, but you still misrepresent the issues and attach straw-men.

        1. A reference to A Mighty Wind. Saweet.

          Wha happan?

    2. Hi Duke,

      I think only the people you listed are the ones that can move freely.

      If you work for USPS on w-2, you can move anywhere probably.

      Those with established businesses and property to sell and kids that they want to educate can’t pick up that easy.

      Unless you are
      1 A business owner that pays a lot of taxes.

      2Non-academic (see #1)

      3 Those anti-government rubby ridgers

      4 Those becoming poor due to the government.

      1. Alice Bowie, I own a business and that’s true. I would have to sell if I want to move. It’s not easy making a move with hard assets. My family would have to divest of holdings. Then again, if you want out bad enough, you’ll find a way. In 1976, when the Parti-Quebecois came to power threatening to break-up Canada, hundreds of thousands of productive Montrealers and businesses relocated.

        Major businesses merely move their HQ to Toronto, while people simply left and slowly divested while living in Toronto.

        So it’s doable.

        1. I might add the Montreal economy NEVER recovered. Not only that, the Montreal Diaspora is still bitter about having to leave.

        2. I really think that it is worth staying liquid and rent if one is open to moving.

          Like the example you brought up; it really sucks to have to move and take a loss on the under-water home and business.

          1. Yes, it is best to be liquid. Problem is, in order to build wealth, you need to invest in hard assets. Then there’s the whole rent v. owning issue. People prefer one or the other. If you want to own, you have to be anchored.

            It can’t just be in stocks or money markets.

            Then again, my father, as a Canadian immigrant did buy land in the U.S. and flipped it (land can be “liquid” depending on demand I argue) allowing him to buy a sweet building up here.

    3. “I am convinced that the only people who can agree with the Tonys and Alices of the world are those who are 1) W-2 wage earners who pay little or no income taxes and own little or no property, 2) academics, in which case, see #1, 3) those who work for the government or 4) those who are getting rich off of the government.”

      Sadly, loads of polls and election results show that that is not the case.

    4. Duke, I’ve arrived at the EXACT same conclusion all the way up here in Montreal. That’s why I always joke schools should have an entrepreneur class to SHOW in the flesh what business is actually up against. Never mind it’s tough saving to buy property or dealing with market forces to make a business succeed without the government throwing “batons dans les roues” (sticks in the wheels as they say here).

      I personally see Grandma Dynamite whenever I see a bureaucrat sticking its nose in places it shouldn’t.

      1. Yep. In the city where I live, property taxes are sky high because most voters don’t own houses — they rent. so what’s it to them if they vote taxes on the other guy?

        This article is why I am moving my family as soon as I can to greener pastures, i.e., a state with low or no income taxes and low sales taxes. The smaller the government and the fewer hands in my pockets, the happier a person I will be.

        1. What city are you in? Sounds like Montreal. Our commercial property taxes are getting too high. Meanwhile, stupid students are demanding free post-secondary education. Guess who’s gonna pay for that? It’s good for society they tell me. I call bull shit. Many of those kids will study useless courses that will render them no income anyway.

          1. New Orleans. A city that is great for drinking…and trial lawyering. You know, an entrepreneur’s paradise.

            1. Something tells me Lousiana is not that far from Quebec.

              Does Louisiana use the Civil Code?

              1. It uses Napoleanic Code. I don’t know if that’s the same thing.

                1. Yes it is. All are rooted in Roman law. Thanks.

  15. Krugclown doesn’t write most his columns from either Jersey or New York. He spends plurality of his time, and writes most his screeds, in the Caribbean at his little tropical dacha far from the proletariat.

    That he spends such bucolic days railing against the 1% while not realizing the irony makes him a liberal’s liberal. Such cognitive dissonance is part of the lefty intellectual gig, I think.

    1. What’s the term again? Limosine Liberals?

      Millionaire socialists are scum.

      Never forgot the time when my buddy stepped out of his brand new Audi decked out in fine Italian threads ruined by a stupid Che t-shirt.

      We had a laugh. Aside from the fashion mess ruining beautiful hand stitched Italian shoes, he was wearing the t-shirt of a man who would take it all away – and maybe kill him.

      The romantic stupid.

      It hurts.

      1. “…ruined by a stupid Che t-shirt.”

        Ruined – No, highlighted by the stupid Che t-shirt. The Che shirt highlight the romantic stupid. 😉

  16. I’m wondering how Ohio numbers would look wthout Cleveland? I’k guessing Daytons numbers are pretty bed as well.

    1. It seems that people born in Columbus eventually return to and die in Columbus. Not many exceptions to the rule.

  17. One thing that I don’t understand is why the Latinos don’t move from Arizona and Texas and all of those places where they are not welcomed.

    Especially the illegals. We take them here in the north with open hands. Plus, these people have not assets keeping them down there.

    Many travel 100s of miles from Guatemala, take a train thru Mexico, cross the US Border, and live in shadows….COME TO NYC.

    1. You forgot the sarcasm tag.

    2. Boston has to be one of the most racist city around. At least that’s what my friend from Boston tells me.

      1. And I’m sure all those big city unions would welcome their latino brothers with open arms.

        1. the SEIU does

    3. oh, maybe they actually want to get a job.

    4. Because most of the rest of the country isn’t as enamored of you NYC types as you are with yourselves.

      1. There’s definitely things about my and my kind (NYC people) that you people don’t like.

        However, for these Latinos, I think I beat out the likes of the Minuite-men, Sherrif Joe A., and Jan Brewer.

        1. It’s nice that you can put 8+ million people into a neat little package like that. It’s an efficient shortcut around thinking.

    5. Texas & Arizona do not enforce with employers the employment of illegals.

    6. Latinos aren’t welcome in AZ and TX? What color is the sky in these warped dreams you are having? AZ and TX are more predominately Hispanic than the places where the illegals are heading. That’s like saying that blacks are not welcome in Harlem.

      Illegals don’t stop at the border areas because that’s where the INS does most of its business. How often do you run into INS checkpoints in NYC? Do you even know what an INS checkpoint is?

  18. Forty-three million Americans moved from one state to another between 1995 and 2010

    I am not arguing with Stossel’s point, but I wonder how many people are double counted in the 43M number? From 95 to 98 I moved from Georgia to California to Florida to Maryland. How many people are like me I wonder.

    Are military personnel in the count? In a 15 year period, even disregarding long-term training assignments, someone could be assigned to as many as 5 times on a three-year at a command rotation basis.

  19. I’m seeing a lot of blank spots in this comment thread, must be a troll magnet.

  20. To make this statistic meaningful it would be interesting to see what income range this 15% of moving people are in.
    As for myself, I moved from CA to MI, to NY and back to CA. It was follow the money, meaning expendable income, it is in CA better as anywhere else, regardless of taxes. I checked into Florida, I would make half of what I make in CA, I gladly pay the CA income tax, I still have more in my pocket.

  21. I’m really surprised that states haven’t decided to leavy huge bills for “loss of future money” or something like that.

    As a 30 year old you move from State A to State B. State A gives a bill for the remaining 40 years of your life, based on your current tax rate. Plus “handling fees” of course.

  22. And just for the record this was a lot of sarcasm. Mostly about the taxes for 40 years part. Still I’m surprised that you don’t get a huge bill for leaving a state.

    1. I think I remember california actually trying something like that for fleeing businesses.

      Could be wrong, but it sounds familiar.

  23. Krugman looks at Texas and sees something he doesn’t like, all right. It’s called reality. I moved from Illinois to Texas in February because it saves me $700 a month in state income taxes. That’s right, Illinois: take your 67% income tax increase and stuff it.

  24. One reason why Texans don’t get (or need) health insurance, is that medical care in Mexico is VERY cheap. Dr. Simi pharmacies have private clinics that charge as low as $2 for a doctor visit. Medicine is so cheap that it is sometimes lower than the “co-pay” that gringos have to pay on medicaid.
    (and you don’t need prescriptions)

  25. People move out of blue states because Liberal policies make conditions in those states unlivable. Liberals hate this, so they try to defeat this by expanding the breadth and depth of the Federal government making their policies unavoidable. What they fail to understand is the concept of competition exists between countries as well as states. If their policies continue to create unlivable conditions on a national level, then we risk destroying the country.

    Liberal policies that are turning California, New York, and Illinois into failed states. If they are allowed to impose their will on the entire country, the US will become a failed state, too.

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