Magazine article The American Prospect

Tax, Tax, Tax; Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

Magazine article The American Prospect

Tax, Tax, Tax; Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

Article excerpt

WITH THE RECALL ALMOST upon us, it's hard to recognize the Golden State these days. As the usual rightwing spinmeisters and fabulists tell the tale, record high taxes have made the California economy look like Minsk under Brezhnev, and Californians are fleeing the state for lower-tax alternatives like Nevada and the Yap Islands.

The reality is a good deal less gruesome. According to a new study by the Federation of Tax Administrators, California ranked 19th among the states in the tax burdens carried by individuals and businesses. As far as job loss goes, the state has indeed lost 2 percent of its payroll positions since the peak of the dot-com boom in March of 2001--the same percentage by which the number of payroll positions in the United States has declined during that time, too.

As for Californians moving to other states, the peak years of Golden State flight came in the mid-'90s, during the governorship of Pete Wilson (whose erstwhile staffers are now running the Schwarzenegger campaign). …

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