Why weren’t taxes an issue in the last election?

I was in my friend Rick Moran’s November 5th Election Night Extravaganza podcast, and among the many topics we discussed, I mentioned that I relocated from Princeton, NJ to Miami, FL a few months ago. Rick asked me why, and I gave the totally honest, simple answer, “Taxes.”

I went on to explain that at the time I sold it, I was paying $16,000 in annual real estate and school taxes on my house. You also add to that NJ’s income tax, and, in the long term, estate and inheritance taxes, and yes, the answer is, Taxes.

I was scheduled to be in Rick’s podcast for a half hour but stayed on, and, after my reply, Jazz Shaw diverted the conversation to the question, were taxes an issue in the last election? Jazz and the other guest seemed to agree they weren’t.

For people like myself, whose child(ren) are grown and out of the house, who have family in low-tax states, and whose occupations are not tied to a location due to freelancing, travel, or even retirement, taxes are an issue when we decide to vote with our feet. Not the only issue, but a very important issue.

For people whose children are in local public/private schools which they like, with relatives (especially elderly parents) nearby, and in full-time local jobs, local taxes are a penury they continue to endure, since the purpose of the tax-payed bureaucracies is to expand themselves in every way. To them, as it was with me for years, life starts – as the Rabbi in the punchline* said – “when the kids leave the house and the dog dies.”

According to this article, which looked at data from a study by the Tax Foundation (a Washington, DC-based taxpayer advocacy group)

Turns out when it comes to taxes, less is more. Here are some of the conclusions drawn from the study. Keep in mind, the latest data used is from 2010. In the years since, many states have raised or lowered their tax rates, but those changes aren’t reflected here:

  • Collectively, the nine states that have no personal income tax – Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming – gained $146.2 billion in AGI.
  • And collectively, the areas with the highest personal income tax – California, Hawaii, Oregon, Iowa, New Jersey, Vermont, New York, Maine, and Washington, DC – lost $107.4 billion AGI.
  • Looked at another way, the ten states* with the lowest per capita state and local tax burden netted an increase of $69.9 billion in AGI. The ten states** with the highest state and local tax burden per capita lost a whopping $139 billion in AGI.

But, were taxes really not an issue in the last election?

How about Obamacare? Was Obamare an issue in this election?

What are the headlines saying?

Democrats’ electoral disaster puts Obamacare in serious peril

The Supreme Court said Obamare is a tax, after all.

[* The joke goes,
A Catholic priest, a Protestant minister, and a Rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “when does life start?”
The priest says, “Life starts at conception.”
The minister says, “Life starts at birth.”
The Rabbi says, “Lie starts when the kids leave the house and the dog dies.”]

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.