Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t coy about his intention to spend like crazy and raise everyone’s taxes if he’s elected president. Forgetting the fact that his health care plan is a disaster for the working poor, these sentiments of taxation to solve every societal ill appears to be the governing ethos in Vermont, where the state legislature just passed millions more in tax increases. Hence why Vermonters are fleeing the state, as Americans for Tax Reform’s Patrick Cleason wrote in an op-ed for Forbes:
High taxes, heavy regulations and other policies that depress economic growth have made Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont a difficult place to create jobs, earn a living and raise a family. Underscoring this is the fact that Vermont saw a net outmigration of more than 5,000 residents over the last decade. Now Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) and state lawmakers are looking to double down on their anti-growth policies with the state house’s approval last week of another round of tax hikes of individuals, families and employers in the Green Mountain State.
The Vermont House of Representatives recently approved $48 million in higher taxes and fees. Levies were raised on home heating oil, mutual funds, banks, drivers, and the Employer Health Assessment Tax on businesses who don’t provide health insurance for employees was hiked.
The $48 million tax hike package, if approved by the Democrat-controlled state senate and signed into law by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), would come on top of the $30 million in higher state taxes signed into law by Gov. Shumlin last year, and the more than 20 federal tax increases signed into law by President Obama over the last seven years. Forty-five states have a better business tax climate than Vermont, and the $48 million tax increase passed by the Vermont House last week will only make the state business tax climate less hospitable and put Vermont at a greater competitive disadvantage.
As a New Jersey native, a typical day in Trenton includes out of control spending, tax increases, along with some healthy dashes of corruption. The state is rightfully placed on the worst states to conduct business, according to the Tax Foundation and rightfully so. It’s the Bermuda Triangle if you're trying to make a living. There are so many taxes and regulations; you’ll simply disappear. It’s not worth it. In fact, the only thing that made the state cool was when The Sopranos was on HBO. That series ended in 2007. What's the butcher’s bill for decades of Democratic leadership? The loss of 2 million residents, thousands of jobs cannibalized, and billions in lost economic activity over a ten-year period (via Star-Ledger):
More than two million people left New Jersey between 2005 and 2014, taking billions of dollars in income and economic activity with them, according to a state business group that blames high taxes for the exodus.
The Business and Industry Association's new report said so-called outmigration over a 10-year span cost the state $18 billion in net adjusted gross income, 75,000 jobs, $11.4 billion in economic activity, $4.2 billion in labor income and $8.4 billion in household spending.
"This outmigration of New Jersey residents has had a substantial and continuing negative impact on the state's economy," the report said. "When New Jerseyans leave the state they not only take their income with them, but they take income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes and purchasing power with them as well."
In 2014, half of Jersey’s residents wanted to leave due to the cost of living:
Half of all New Jersey residents say they want to eventually leave the state, and more than a quarter of them say their future departure is “very likely,” according to a new Monmouth University poll.
By comparison, only 45 percent of current residents say they’d like to live out their lives in the Garden State, numbers that continue to reflect a seven-year trend.
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said the survey found the state’s high cost of living is the driving factor, adding, “the chief culprit among these costs is the New Jersey’s property tax burden.”
The incessant liberal penchant to tax appears to have the same consequences in Vermont, as it does in Jersey, though millions aren’t fleeing; Vermont only has a population of a little over 626,000 compared to the Garden State’s 8 million-plus residents. Still, the impact is the same–only the wealthy can truly live comfortably in blue states. Frankly, this overtaxing folly–and its consequences–should’ve been recognized when Gov. Shumlin tried to pass single-payer health care in 2014. The plan was torpedoed after it turned out to be too much of a tax burden. These liberal Democrats never learn.