In this WSJ article, California state representative Devin Nunes discusses the exodus of people, capital and investment from his state.
entrepreneurs, investment capital and the hardy workers who made it a global
leader in agriculture, technological innovation and scientific research are
fleeing. This exodus is the marker of something deeper than a national
recession. It's a sign that the attempts by state leaders to spend their way
back to prosperity are killing California.
In 2000, according to the state's Department of Finance, about 150,000 people
moved into California. But in the years that followed the in-migration slowed,
and in 2005 it reversed, when a net 52,000 people moved out. In 2008, the
outflow topped 135,000 people.
Nunes then details some of the causes of the exodus, details that should sound familiar to North Carolinians paying attention to state policy.
While it has the sixth highest tax burden in the nation, according to the
nonpartisan Tax Foundation, California is facing a breathtaking $40
billion budget deficit this year. This comes on the heels of a
decade-long spending spree. Last year the state budget was $131 billion, up from
$56 billion in 1998.
Now compare that to NC, with an overall state & local tax burden tied for second highest in the SE, and state tax collections as a percentage of personal income third highest in the U.S. – higher than New York, Massachussetts and Connecticut. North Carolina is facing a budget deficit nearing $2 billion this year.The current year state budget is $21.35 billion, up from $11.6 billion in FY 1998.
Nunes also mentions California's burdensome regulatory policies – currently being mimicked here in NC with its costly array of environmental and energy regulations.
So lawmakers concerned with the population influx coming into our state, take heart. If we keep copying California's public policies of overspending and hyper-regulation, the trends will reverse and citizens will seek greener pastures elsewhere.