We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As the Feds gradually gain power over everything that used to be left to the states and to localities - not to mention to the individual citizen himself - the wonderful Federalist concept of states as "laboratories for democracy" has been whittled away.
But the arrogant and power-intoxicated Feds still cannot control state and local taxation. Willisms has one of his excellent graphs demonstrating the out-migration from high-debt states.
High-debt states are, inevitably, high-tax states, because they run their government on a credit card. Good piece at Cato on the subject of soaring state and local debt. Some localities are spending 30-40% of their tax revenues on debt service. That is no way to run a railroad.
Image: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, famous for being a laboratory of incremental socialism
Can the last one out of Massachusetts please turn out the lights?
I left the state many years ago and meet fellow Bay State refugees everywhere I go. We are the state’s biggest export. I get the impression that with Romney gone, the spending floodgates have been opened.
My mother-in law passed-away in MA last year. Despite the fact that her estate was well below the Federal estate tax threshold, we are still waiting for MA to accept the $65k in estate taxes so we can clear probate. Thieves.
Great topic BD. It's one that is so overlooked but so crucial to the healthy development of our republic, my hats off to you. each state a lab to perfect the republic by highlighting challenges faced in their locales that may apply elsewhere. Boots on the ground type stuff. Also the Cato Institute does very nice work.
Your point that some municipalities are spending 30-40% on debt payment is a real cautionary to our (usually ) older investors looking for "good" paper. They need to keep in mind that municipalities can "buy" a triple AAA rating from an insurer regardless of the true undelrying fundamentals...you don't want to get caught up in the headache of an insured MB that has bought it's rating...always look at the true fundamentals.