Opinion: Morning Examiner

High-tax states in North, Midwest are biggest losers in Gallup and IRS data

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Taxes,Illinois,IRS

Americans have always been people on the move, so it's no accident that Horace Greeley's "Go west, young man" likely resonated with generations before and after the Civil War.

Where people move may be among the most important indicators of where political and economic policy should be headed, too.

Take for example the recently released Gallup Poll on state-by-state desires to move and the latest IRS data on states gaining and losing taxpayers.

Get me outta here!

The Gallup survey found 10 states in which between 39 percent and 50 percent of those interviewed said they wanted to move elsewhere.

Leading this gloomy list is Illinois where 50 percent say they want to leave, followed closely by Connecticut at 49 percent, Maryland at 47 percent, Nevada at 43 percent and Rhode Island at 42 percent.

New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts were next, all at 41 percent. Only two Southern states, Louisiana at 40 percent and Mississippi at 39 percent were in the top 10.

Taxes are too damn high

Compare the Gallup results with the IRS data. The top four states losing taxpayers to other states are New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Rhode Island.

The other six biggest losers in the Gallup data are also among the biggest losers in the IRS numbers, including Massachusetts at 11th, Connecticut at 16th and Maryland at 18th.

Mississippi is 20th and Louisiana is 21st. Put another way, half of the top 21 states that people most want to leave also face shrinking tax bases because people are moving to states with lower taxes.

Right-to-work matters, too

Writing in Human Events, Jim Pettit points out that 22 of the 25 states with right-to-work laws have expanding tax bases.

And, as my Washington Examiner colleague Michael Barone points out, the two biggest gainers in the IRS data, Texas and Florida, have no state income tax.

Both Texas and Florida are right-to-work states, both have expanding economies and both are well below the Mason-Dixon line. Hey, I don't make this stuff up!

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

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Special Report/Are Unions Obsolete: Employee Rights Act defines efforts to reinvent unions.

Special Report/Are Unions Obsolete: Big Labor bosses turn left as workers, lawmakers form new union models for the future.

Special Report/Are Unions Obsolete: Sen. Orrin Hatch reaches into his past as a union worker to help reform Big Labor.

Special Report/Are Unions Obsolete: Rep. Tom Price says it's time to reform the union-worker relationship.

Columnist/Shikha Dalmia: Poverty, not inequality, is the source of social ills.

Columnist/Philip Klein: President Obama has lost his war on cynicism.

Beltway Confidential/Charles Hoskinson: Poll finds nearly half of Americans want less active foreign policy.

Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: Class-action lawsuit filed against Revlon on "DNA Advantage."

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Washington Free Beacon: Bill O'Reilly wonders if rest of White House press corps "is stupid."

The American Spectator: Fear and loathing of Sen. Rand Paul.

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Salon.com: Why the New York Times' "America first" journalism is so dangerous.

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Blog Left

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Talk Left: On that botched Oklahoma execution.

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