Is this Flight of Wealthy Taxpayers and Business Owners a Model for What Will Happen Soon to USA?
Lessons for Obama.
I am an economic refugee from California. I escaped to Nevada with my family, my business and my life a decade ago. It was either run for my life, or die trying. I escaped because of the impossible business climate- the highest income and business taxes in the country, the highest workers comp taxes, out of control government employee unions, the most lawyers in the country. It was (and is) a recipe for economic disaster. California had destroyed my ability to do business.
For the last decade, I’ve been traveling the nation as a best-selling author, business speaker and political leader comparing California to Nevada. At each stop I extol the virtues of Nevada- smaller government, fewer government employees, less power for unions and lawyers, and far lower taxes- no state income taxes, no business income taxes, no capital gains taxes, no death taxes, the 16th lowest property taxes in America, and lower payroll and workers comp taxes. Quite simply, Nevada gives a small business owner a chance to live, to survive, to prosper. It’s called economic freedom. All small business owners want is for government to get out of the way and stop stealing our money. We can’t build a good business without the seed capital you are stealing. If the business actually works, we can’t expand without that money you are stealing. We can’t create jobs without that money you are stealing. It’s this simple- in Nevada we can build, survive, and prosper. In California we can’t.
A few days ago my gut instincts were validated in a big way. Chief Executive magazine surveyed business leaders across America and they rated Nevada as the 5th best state in America to do business…and California dead last (that’s #50 out of 50 states for those of you who need teleprompters to think). The top 5 states are all no tax or low tax states with smaller government, fewer government employees, less severe rules and regulations, and fewer lawyers. The bottom 5 states- Massachusetts, New Jersey, Michigan, New York and California- are all deep purple states with high taxes, too many government employees (that loot and bankrupt the taxpayers), too many rules and regulations that strangle business, too powerful unions, and too many lawyers. Michigan leads the nation in moving vans moving out. New Jersey has lost over 500,000 taxpayers off the tax roles in recent years. New York and California have each lost over 1,000,000 citizens in the past decade in one of the greatest migrations in American history.
Nevada on the other hand has gained over 1,000,000 new citizens in just the last decade alone- many of them from our high tax neighbor California. May I point out that Nevada leads the nation in unemployment- and we STILL are one of the top 5 places in America to do business! Nevada's success is proof positive that economic freedom is a strong selling point. Perhaps instead of building a wall on California/Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants out, California might need to build a wall on the Nevada border to keep their citizens in.
Yet California keeps on making the vicious cycle worse. Their high taxes and negative attitude towards business owners and taxpayers chases their most productive citizens away…therefore tax revenues fall…in response California raises taxes even higher…thereby chasing away even more productive citizens. Pretty soon no one will be left, but overpaid government employees, retired government employees who expect bloated pensions and free healthcare for life, and entitlement addicts who depend on government to survive. That would make California…Greece.
It is no coincidence that a recent study of dysfunctional state legislatures found California to have the most leftist-dominated legislature in the nation, literally held hostage by public employee unions. Sound familiar? Try Greece. Yet on a national basis, Obama and his socialist friends in Congress are trying desperately to replicate California, New York and Michigan- the states rated at the bottom of the country by those CEO's in Chief Executive magazine. These are the states where business owners, retirees, and taxpayers are fleeing by the hundreds of thousands annually. In just the past few weeks Obama and his anti-economic freedom Congress have tried to pass several bills that each could dramatically increase taxes, wipe out small business, destroy millions of jobs, and cause a mass exodus of business owners and high income earners out of this country (just as millions of taxpayers have escaped from New York, Michigan and California).
Perhaps I am the proverbial “canary in the coal mine.” When I left New York because of high taxes twenty years ago, my friends thought I was crazy and tried to talk me out of it. When I left Los Angeles a decade ago because of high taxes, my friends thought I was crazy and tried to talk me out of it. Today very few of my friends are left in either place. I wonder how many of my friends will be left in America in a decade? And if many of America's business owners and high income earners leave, who will be left to pay the taxes?