According to LeBron: Reagan 1 Obama 0

C. Edmund Wright
There is a profound economics lesson for the entire world in the LeBron James saga.

Yet most of the media is missing this part of the story of LeBron's joining the Miami Heat.  To paraphrase that great philosopher James Carville:  "It's the economy, stupid."  Specifically, it is about Reaganomics and Art Laffer's supply side theory trumping any form of liberal Obama-nomics.

The macro-economics lesson is this: The single low tax location is now enjoying an avalanche of economic activity, ticket sales and national attention.  The high tax locations are counting the millions of dollars of stimulus their communities will not get as a result of LeBron going to the low tax locale.

So put aside for a second the dynamic of superstar Dewayne Wade staying in Miami for the express purpose of orchestrating the signing of James and Chris Bosh.  Forget for a moment the idea that James was afraid of going to Chicago - where NBA experts say he had the best chance of winning  a title right away - due to the long shadow of Michael Jordan.   And don't get hung up on the angle of General Manager Pat Riley emerging from the shadows to go after a title held by Phil Jackson - the only man universally considered a superior coach to Riley.

All of those angles are valid and interesting - but make no mistake about it, this is all about economics.  Actually, this is all about taxes.  State and local taxes are stifling in all of the cities that James considered moving to except one: Miami. 

You see pro athletes are very acutely aware of "take home pay" versus gross pay.  Sure, James as well as Bosh and Wade will have to take less gross money by agreeing to all sign with one team as opposed to each maxing out their options individually.  And they are all getting some deserved credit for that.  Having said that, it is the lack of state taxes in Florida that is making that possible.

In fact, one financial website has figured that James will actually take home 25 million more dollars by taking a lower salary in Miami versus taking the absolute max in say, New York

This does not even count various local taxes you get hit with in New York City.  This is simply the state income tax bite relative to James' NBA salary and existing endorsement deals

The other contending cities - depending on who you believe - were Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles (Clippers).  All have relatively high state tax rates as well as various city and local taxes as well.  And they are all losers today as well.

The scoreboard is clear:  Reaganomics 1  Obamanomics 0.

There is a profound economics lesson for the entire world in the LeBron James saga.

Yet most of the media is missing this part of the story of LeBron's joining the Miami Heat.  To paraphrase that great philosopher James Carville:  "It's the economy, stupid."  Specifically, it is about Reaganomics and Art Laffer's supply side theory trumping any form of liberal Obama-nomics.

The macro-economics lesson is this: The single low tax location is now enjoying an avalanche of economic activity, ticket sales and national attention.  The high tax locations are counting the millions of dollars of stimulus their communities will not get as a result of LeBron going to the low tax locale.

So put aside for a second the dynamic of superstar Dewayne Wade staying in Miami for the express purpose of orchestrating the signing of James and Chris Bosh.  Forget for a moment the idea that James was afraid of going to Chicago - where NBA experts say he had the best chance of winning  a title right away - due to the long shadow of Michael Jordan.   And don't get hung up on the angle of General Manager Pat Riley emerging from the shadows to go after a title held by Phil Jackson - the only man universally considered a superior coach to Riley.

All of those angles are valid and interesting - but make no mistake about it, this is all about economics.  Actually, this is all about taxes.  State and local taxes are stifling in all of the cities that James considered moving to except one: Miami. 

You see pro athletes are very acutely aware of "take home pay" versus gross pay.  Sure, James as well as Bosh and Wade will have to take less gross money by agreeing to all sign with one team as opposed to each maxing out their options individually.  And they are all getting some deserved credit for that.  Having said that, it is the lack of state taxes in Florida that is making that possible.

In fact, one financial website has figured that James will actually take home 25 million more dollars by taking a lower salary in Miami versus taking the absolute max in say, New York

This does not even count various local taxes you get hit with in New York City.  This is simply the state income tax bite relative to James' NBA salary and existing endorsement deals

The other contending cities - depending on who you believe - were Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles (Clippers).  All have relatively high state tax rates as well as various city and local taxes as well.  And they are all losers today as well.

The scoreboard is clear:  Reaganomics 1  Obamanomics 0.