Lake Wobegon or Crockett’s Alamo?
Last week we hosted Travis Brown, the engaging author of “How Money Walks”, to introduce lawmakers and citizens to solid evidence that Minnesotans are leaving the state for better climates—and we do not mean the weather! Travis met with legislators before joining a great group of American Experiment friends for a good discussion on the great migration from high tax climates to low tax climates throughout the United States.(You can watch him here on KSTP’s “At Issue” with Tom Hauser.)
There is no denying that our good neighbors are packing up their kids and moving to states that have lower tax rates and growing, welcoming economies. Peter Nelson, our director of public policy, drilled down on the IRS and Census data that Travis Brown used in a complimentary report called“Minnesotans on the Move to Lower Tax States”. It contains a more detailed report on where Minnesotans are going. You can read the summary and map here—please share this with your friends and post it on your Facebook page.
Though we find it more than counterintuitive, there is a serious conversation out there that taxes and regulations do not matter—or that Minnesota does not spend enough on education and health care. I call it the “Lake Wobegon” argument; we are so special that people will keep paying more just to be here. I think there is something to that—that Minnesota is a special place and that we have more to offer than the average state but we’ve stretched that argument past the breaking point. We demonstrated that the state spends much more on K-12 education, health care and higher education than its peer states in our report “Minnesota Spending 101: Smart Budgeting for an Era of Limits” . This will be accelerated, of course, as we feel the full effects of an Obamacare exchange and expanded Medicare spending.