Democrats love to say that when they forcibly extract taxpayers’ money and spend it on their pet projects that they are actually making “investments.” Yet Democrats, it turns out, are terrible investors. That’s what a report from WalletHub shows, in any case. Everyone should keep this in mind as they struggle to file their taxes this month.
When California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his new budget plan, he bragged about how the $213 billion spending plan would “make history investments in California’s future.” This type of language is now typical of how the left talks about government spending – because “investment” sounds a lot better than “wasteful, duplicative, fraud-riddled government program.”
The problem is that no one is held to account for the lousy “returns” on their “investments.” If they were, they’d be fired immediately.
California’s investing acumen, for example, has resulted in a “bullet” train that will likely never be finished, a massive homeless population, rising crime, and fleeing residents. So why are taxpayers in the state willing to hand still more of their hard-earned money over to these people?
WalletHub took it upon itself to determine the “return on investment” on taxpayer money each of the 50 states. The result: States controlled by Democrats do worse on this score than those controlled by Republicans.
WalletHub compared the quality of government services received by state residents – for things such as education, health, safety, economy, infrastructure, and pollution – to the total state and local taxes they pay.
Of the 10 states with the best ROI, eight are reliably Republican, based on how they voted in 2020. The top five states include Florida, South Dakota, and Georgia.
Of the 10 states with the worst ROI, all but three are deep blue states. Among the five worst: Hawaii, New Mexico, California, and New York. (See the map for more details.)
Overall, Republican states did 32% better on WalletHub’s ROI scale than Democratic states.
But government services aren’t the only way to measure how effective government “investments” are. Another is the vibrancy of the states’ economies. How much opportunity is there? How easy is it to start a business? What’s the standard of living?
Add that in, and the ROI gets even more tilted in favor of states run by conservative-leaning governors and legislatures.
Newsweek recently ran such a comparison and found that:
States with Republican governors took 15 of the top 20 spots for jobs recovered since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 17 of the top 20 have GOP-led legislatures. In fact, nine Republican states have emerged from the pandemic with more jobs than when the pandemic hit: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. And 12 states with Republican-controlled legislatures are now seeing record-low unemployment rates.
None of this is lost on regular Americans, which is why there has been a mass migration from government-loving blue states to limited-government red states. North American Moving Services tracks movement within the U.S. and found that of the five states with the biggest migration gains, only Colorado is in the blue category. Of the five states that were the biggest losers in population, not one is a red state. United Van Lines found basically the same thing.
Census data show that New York state alone lost more than 300,000 people, on balance, to other states just from July 2020 to July 2021. The other big losers were California and Illinois. Texas, in contrast, gained more than 300,000. Arizona, Utah, South Carolina, Idaho, and Montana were big gainers.
The question that must be answered is, given the terrible track record by government-loving leftists – and the above are just a few of the metrics available – why does anyone still buy Democrats’ claims that they should be trusted to spend our money and run our lives?
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board