Policy: Economy

This map shows the real value of 100 dollars in your state

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Beltway Confidential,Taxes,Jobs,Economy,Justin Green,Welfare

How far does a dollar go in your state compared to others in the United States?

Thanks to the Tax Foundation's review of Bureau of Economic Analysis data, now you know.

A dollar doesn't go quite as far in states like California and New York, and it goes comparatively further in states like Mississippi and South Dakota.

The cost of living gap is amplified by federal taxes being based on the same income levels regardless of cost of living. Someone who earns $40,000 a year in Jackson, Miss., is taxed at the same federal rate as someone earning $40,000 in San Francisco, Calif.

The authors note a key policy problem created by this distinction.

A poor person in New York City faces a higher cost of living than a peer in a state like Nebraska or Missouri. Politicians seeking to provide means-tested welfare will thus struggle between offering an insufficient amount for some and so much for others that it discourages work.

As Mr. Mackey would say, "this is bad, mmmkay."

But otherwise, it's a cool map. Take a look. Let us know if you think this map accurately describes your state.

And the big question: How much of a draw is a relatively lower cost of living for you and your family?

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