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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Self-inflicted wounds?

This summer while at a social gathering in Massachusetts I heard someone commenting on the bad economy. This person had ties to Connecticut and I had the impression they were referring more specifically to that locale, although I can't be sure. The national economy has been pretty darn good but I had no need to inquire further and trigger the Bush-bash that was likely to follow. In light of this, Dan Mitchell's post at the freedom and prosperity blog caught my attention. He remarks:
Politicians promised in the early 1990s that an income tax was the only way to stabilize Connecticut's budget and help the economy. Not surprisingly, the results have been just the opposite.

...then goes on to excerpt a report from the Yankee Institute:

Today, even after adjusting for both inflation and population, Connecticut spends more tax revenue and has more employees on its payroll than it did in 1991. ...Since Connecticut began to tax working, net job creation has ground to a halt. Economists, politicians, and reporters frequently cite the fact that Connecticut has yet to regain the number of jobs it had at its period of peak employment in the summer of 2000. But a recent Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation report revealed that the problem goes back even further -- since the early 1990s, "no other state in the country has had such stagnation in employment." ...Between 1991 and 2004, the most recent figure available from the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the Nutmeg State fell by almost $3,300. In contrast, the national figure rose by almost $2,800. ...In the 1990s, Connecticut was one of only two states to lose population. That should not have come as a surprise. Research shows that high-tax states such as Connecticut have been losing population to low-tax states for decades. ...
Obviously the complexity of other factors contributing to this state of affairs makes it difficult to say or prove anything. But it sure makes you think!

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