The shriveling of blue states accelerates

One of the most astonishing things about the mass flight from blue states is just how blase the ruling leftists are about it. There's no crisis, there's nothing to see here.

This, as they seek ever greater heights of national power.

The Wall Street Journal's editorial page has an excellent non-subscription piece on just how bad it's gotten:

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker shrugged last year after several high-profile corporations left his state. “Countless companies are choosing Illinois as their home,” Mr. Pritzker said. Then why does a new Internal Revenue Service report show an accelerating taxpayer exodus from Illinois and other high-tax states?

The IRS each spring publishes data on the movement of adjusted gross income (AGI) and taxpayers across state lines from year to year. Some Democratic Governors such as Mr. Pritzker claimed that the 2020 Census undercounted their state populations, but the IRS data shows blue states are losing taxpayers and income at an increasing clip. (See the nearby charts.)

Every year, it gets worse for these states on the revenue front:

The IRS data shows a net 105,000 people left Illinois in 2021, taking with them some $10.9 billion in AGI. That’s up from $8.5 billion in 2020 and $6 billion in 2019. New York’s income loss increased to $24.5 billion in 2021 from $19.5 billion in 2020 and $9 billion in 2019. California lost $29.1 billion in 2021, more than triple what it did in 2019.

No crisis, though, just a big, bellowed "F*** Elon Musk" from quintessential blue-state pol Lorena Gonzalez of California, back when the Tesla mogul threatened to leave the state in 2020 over the state's COVID lockdowns -- and he did. The hag was last seen being cuckolded by her pervy husband, who was ousted from his Board of Supervisors chairmanship in San Diego for sex harassment.

The Journal points to the monetary aspect of the flight, noting that these blue states are getting less and less in tax revenue from their fleeing constituents who, in rigged systems, can only vote with their feet. That means these blue states will have less and less money to fling around for reparations, illegal aliens, and rich men's playthings such as bike lanes and green buildings. Unlike the federal government, they cannot print money to pay for all the things they'd like to pay for, and their only means of obtaining revenue is through taxes, which already are the country's highest.

By contrast, red states are raking it in.

Here is the Journal's summary of its findings, which includes hard-dollar numbers:

Illinois lost income to all of its neighboring states, but the biggest beneficiaries of its taxpayer flight were Florida, Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin. Mr. Pritzker can’t blame lousy weather since it’s not exactly balmy in Kenosha. Billionaire Ken Griffin cited Chicago’s out-of-control crime last year as the reason he moved his hedge fund to Miami.

They also include this important detail -- that they can't even raise taxes according to their natural impulses, because the more they raise, the more the locals flee:

Raising taxes to pay for under-funded public worker pensions and bloated social programs doesn’t help the Land of Lincoln attract talent. The same is true for other blue states. New York Democrats in April 2021 increased the combined state-and-local top income tax rate to 14.8% from 12.7%. It would have been a surprise if taxpayer flight hadn’t increased that year.

They also note that it's higher income earners who are leaving, and they're being replaced with lower income earners, if they are being replaced at all.

Among those are illegal aliens, whom they welcome with huge benefit packages to get them in the door. These states are not earning back the lost revenue with those huge added costs, they are likely losing even more, and as for the incoming lower-income earners, the states can only take in less in taxes. They've exchanged their high-earning taxpayers for the low earning taxpayers and expect to continue to be able to tax and spend as they've gotten accustomed. It won't work that way.

All of this shriveling is important information because it has huge downstream effects. 

Voter flight automatically translates to less revenue coming from the federal government -- at a time when they need more of it.

It also means less representation. The 2020 Census saw California, New York and Illinois each lose a congressional seat, while Texas gained two, Florida gained one, and North Carolina gained one.

That will shrivel blue state representation even more -- and with accelerated flight, the lost seats will be even more numerous by 2030.

Issues & Insights has also done an important piece on the hard numbers from this data by county here.

More than 61% of the counties that voted for Biden in 2020 lost population, while 65% of Trump-supporting counties gained population.

The effects of blue-state human flight keep cascading before our eyes. 

Retailers have closed up shop at a huge clip in tax-happy, crime-infested California and other blue states.

Real estate values seem to be seeing the beginnings of crumblings in blue states, too, after a period of inflation. The cheapest place in America to buy a home is Illinois. In San Francisco, a gargantuan 22-storey $300 million skyscraper in the heart of the best part of downtown is expected to fetch $60 million because the building is largely empty.

Mobile phone data in blue cities show that the downtowns in these cities are largely ghost towns. That's not normal data for large American cities -- it's more like the centrally planned ghost cities of China.

These states are shriveling, yet their blue-state rulers are dismissing any crisis. I;ve seen these kinds of crises in other countries in the past, and when they happen, the ruling apparachiks do their best to incentivize reasons to return and beg their fleeing constituents to do it.

But not these guys.

It's hard to think they don't recognize that there is a crisis -- and maybe don't want to admit it publicly.

That may be what is really fueling the reported national ambitions of governors such as California's Gavin Newsom and Illinois's J.B. Pritzker for the White House. The idea, of course, is to win national office in order to bail out the failed blue states but perhaps even more important, to Californify or Illinoisify the remaining red states, so that there's no place left for voters to flee.

That's an ugly picture that should be fodder for Republicans in upcoming elections. The failed blue states have driven their constituents away -- and their leaders are now coming for everyone else.

Image: Angr via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

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