Interesting article on what just a small amount of extra taxes can buy for the citizens of a state.
Quote:Mention Massachusetts in political discourse anywhere in Arizona, and you get one of two predictable responses: "Oh, yeah, TAX-achusetts," or perhaps a snide reference to the "People's Republic of Massachusetts." You get the point: Liberal, big spending and taxed to death. Not the kind of place anyone would choose to live.
The two states do provide a basis for some interesting comparisons. The populations of the two states are nearly identical (Massachusetts 6.5million, Arizona 6.4million). And Massachusetts citizens do pay modestly more in taxes. The total state and local tax burden is $20.6billion in Arizona vs. $32.3billion in Massachusetts. Adjusting for population (using the 2010 census figures) this is $3,227 per capita in Arizona vs. $4,933 in Massachusetts, a difference of $1,706.
In the absence of discernible benefits, higher taxes are indeed a negative. We would all like to keep more of what we earn. That is, if there are not other negative consequences. So, it is reasonable to ask: What do Massachusetts citizens get for these increased public expenditures? A wide range of measures from widely disparate sources provide insight into the hidden costs of a single-minded obsession with lower taxes at all costs.
The results of such an investigation are revealing: Overall, Massachusetts residents earn significantly higher salaries and are less likely to be unemployed than those who live in Arizona. Their homes are less likely to be foreclosed on. Their residents are healthier and are better educated, have a lower risk of being murdered, getting killed in a car accident or getting shot by a firearm than are Arizonans. Perhaps these factors explain the lower suicide rate in Massachusetts than in Arizona as well as the longer life spans.
More at: http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/articl...oints.html