Connecticut, where residents worked until May 9 last year just to feed the maws of government officials (the latest Tax Freedom Day in the country) is poised to stick it to its residents even harder. Given that the state's high-tax status is already driving people and wealth elsewhere, this is a strategy that just can't fail—to depopulate and impoverish the joint. I used to live there and, like most people, I hate the place where I attended high school, but I think the Nutmeg state has punished itself sufficiently for the sins of my teenage years. It should stop.
According to the CT Mirror's Keith M. Phaneuf:
Now that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's campaign pledge not to raise taxes is in the political rearview mirror, the Democratic governor's political base is seeking to widen the tax debate in hopes of averting some painful spending cuts.
Higher income tax rates on the wealthy, restoration of the capital gains levy, an extra $1.50 per pack on cigarettes and expanding sales taxes on business are among the ideas circulating at the Capitol.
The proposed cigarette tax hike would make the state's levy on smokes the most onerous in the union. That couldn't possibly fuel smuggling and have an unintended consequence for revenues, could it?
Even the governor "cautioned against pushing the top marginal rate much higher, arguing that the wealthy would flee the state in that event." He's actually a voice of moderation relative to labor unions and social services groups who seem to think Connecticut taxpayers are milking cows with no recourse except to moo.
But Travis Brown's How Money Walks website documents an outflow of $7.4 billion from 1992 to 2011, and a migration of 198,115 people away from the state during the same years.People do have options: they can leave and take their cash with them.
The state government's brilliant plan to drive the once-thriving firearms industry elsewhere just emphasizes officials' total dedication to an experiment in economic self-immolation that's absolutely fascinating to watch—from a distance.
Connecticut residents curious about life under less parasitic regimes may want to plug their options into the Laffer Center's Save Taxes by Moving calculator.
Update: Not only is Connecticut losing cash and people, but Gallup reports it had the worst job creation environment in the country in 2014, and has consistently ranked toward the bottom for years.