Red States Rising


Anyone who read Richard F. Miniter's excellent article ("Who Will Save New York? Herman Cain?") in Friday's edition of American Thinker can appreciate why blue state citizens are so down-in-the-mouth blue - and why many of the bluest citizens are heading for the exits in New York, California, and Illinois, to name a few of the more notorious failing blue states.


Also on Friday, Merrill Matthews in Forbes online lends support to Miniter's contentions with facts and statistics.  Matthews' wrote:


One reason for that shift [politics favoring conservative policies] is that red states are taking fiscal responsibility while many blue states aren't--and it shows.  The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a bipartisan association of conservative state legislators, recently released its fourth edition of "Rich States, Poor States," by the well-known Reagan economist Arthur B. Laffer, the Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore, and Jonathan Williams of ALEC.


The study looks at factors that affect state prosperity and economic outlook, such as tax burdens and population change.  What's clear is that red or red-leaning states dominate the top positions while blue states have the dubious distinction of dragging in last.  In the economic outlook section, for example, the top 20 states are bright red or lean red, while eight out of the bottom 10 are very blue: New York, Vermont, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon and Rhode Island.


Most of the "poor states" states, as ALEC calls them, have the highest personal income tax rates and the largest unfunded state pension liabilities.  But instead of taking the red-state approach by lowering taxes and/or cutting spending, the blue states tend to want to raise taxes even higher, just like their White House mentor.


Matthews' conclusions should be heartening to conservatives.


Why won't some of these blue-state fiscal basket cases learn the lesson that a state can't tax and spend its way to prosperity?  Well, for one thing, many of them have been hoping for a federal bailout--and President Obama tried.  A Wall Street Journal article points out that about $200 billion of the president's misnamed "jobs bill" was little more than a state bailout for teachers and construction workers.


But Republicans are refusing to be complicit in state fiscal irresponsibility.  Call it tough love, but blue states will sink or swim on their own.


Many fed-up citizens in those blue states are leaving.  But others have decided that if anyone is going to leave, it's those big-spending politicians who brought on the fiscal disaster.  It's a lesson blue-state politicians better learn: It's better to be red than dead.