Texas continues to benefit from the financial policies of blue states, and new data shows exactly why. The highest taxed states in the country are all Democrat-run, Democrat-voting blue states. New Jersey ranks as the state where people pay the most in taxes over a lifetime, followed by Connecticut and Massachusetts. The states with the highest sales taxes are New York and California, where the average resident spends some $40,000 on sales taxes in a lifetime.
Vance Ginn, chief economist for the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), says high taxes are only the symptom of the root problem---government spending. "Places like California and New York, they overspend and they grow government in different areas, which means they have to fund it in some way in order to balance their budgets," he tells KTRH. "So that means they ratchet up their sales taxes, and they ratchet up their income taxes."
"It's unfortunate that these blue states are ratcheting up costs and making it more difficult to live, and thus standards of living don't rise as fast as in places like this, in red states," Ginn continues.
The result of these high taxes and living costs is a steady exodus from states like California to places like Texas. "Whenever you're getting taxed out of your home, taxed out of your business, taxed out of providing for your family, you're going to find somewhere else to live," says Ginn.
Indeed, a report from the TPPF says Texas has added more than 4 million new residents in the last decade, by far the most of any state. At the same time, California and New York are losing population. In the 2020 Census, Texas was the only state to add multiple congressional seats, gaining two, while California lost a congressional seat for the first time ever.
Ginn believes Texas can continue this trend, as long as our leaders don't get complacent or make the mistakes of other states. "For the prosperity of Texas overall, we've got to make sure that we keep a conservative fiscal policy and regulatory environment, so that people can continue to flourish here in the great state of Texas," he says.