Most people spend their entire lives as residents of the state where they were born. Despite our inherent pioneer spirit – and the political Left’s attempts to destroy the family unit – people stay close to their families.
I am not one of those people. All told, I have lived in 7 different states, literally from sea to shining sea. I’ve filed taxes in 6 of those states. Rented or owned property as well. Shopped there, schooled there, and/or worked there as well. And my vast experience has taught me one thing: the traditionally “Red” states were the best ones to live in, and the “Blue” ones were horrible.
And now I have actual statistics to back up my feelings.
The criteria used by the website 24/7 Wall Street in ranking the states took many key indicators into account:
> Debt per capita
> Budget deficit
> Median household income
> Pct. of people living below poverty line
They also weighed in taxes, GDP growth, high school graduation rates, foreclosure rates, and the level of violent crime to give their analysis a well-rounded data set.
What the data yielded was 5 “Best States” and “5 Worst States.” And lo and behold… the 5 Best Run States are all governed by Republicans. Republican Governors, Republican Houses, Republican Senates.
Each of these Best Run Red States has a Debt per Capita of $3,282 or less. Their Budget Deficits run from Zero to 20.3% of State GDP. Unemployment ranges from 3.5% to 6.7%. The Median Household income is as high as $56,322 – which makes for a nice lifestyle in these traditionally low cost of living states. And as for the percentage of people living below the poverty line, the worst of the best states comes in at 13.5%.
By way of comparison, the United States Debt Per Capita is $13,425, the Budget Deficit is 8.7% of GDP, Unemployment is currently 7.9% and most likely to rise above 8% in the next month or so, Median Household Income is just below $50,000, and the poverty level is 15.1%. All worse than the best run states except for deficit level.
So what makes a “Worst Run State?” Well, first of all, 4 out of the 5 worst run states are solid Blue (Illinois, California) or mixed Blue (New Jersey, Rhode Island), and the fifth state is solid Red (Arizona). But if we dig into the actual circumstances of the states that are not Solid Blue, we discover some interesting facts.
Rhode Island, for instance has a Blue Legislature and an “Independent” governor. Governor Lincoln Chafee had formerly been a Republican, but he was drummed out of the party by voters who knew he was more RHINO than Conservative. So Chafee for all intents and purposes runs his state as a “Light Blue” politician.
New Jersey has a famous Republican governor who has to fight a deeply entrenched Blue House and Senate. Even with the Veto pen close at hand, Governor Chris Christie cannot impose Conservative values on a legislature that is used to bowing to public unions and trading handouts for votes.
As for Arizona, this traditionally Red State has become overrun with Blue state of mind residents. Elections there are becoming closer and closer each year as Blue Staters from the Northeast flock there for the sunshine. Plus, there is the huge constant flow of illegal immigrants who flood the state, driving up crime, driving down employment, and burdening the budget. Add to that the continually crashing housing market there, plus the federal government’s constant war on the state in matters of law making and you have a situation where the Blues are clawing at the Reds, dragging them down into their bucket of sludge.
Of all of the states listed here as best or worse, I personally have lived in 2 of them – both on the worst list. And I can tell you that in both of these states the income tax burden is unbearable, the sales taxes cut out buying anything but the absolute essentials if you live somewhere between the poverty line and the median household income, and looking for a job there is like walking on a bed of hot coals while trying to balance a tray of water glasses on your head.
I wouldn’t wish a Blue State on anybody. But man, do I wish I could live in a Red State…