The NJ model of state government: High taxes and lousy services.

If you ever wondered why it feels like you pay so much and get so little back… that’s by design.  Welcome to the Blue State Model of government, as practiced by Governor Phil “the rapist coddler” Murphy and his Democrats.

As the attached article by Steven Malanga, senior editor of City Journal and the George M. Yeager Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, makes clear – it’s not just high taxes, it’s lousy services too:

Last April, shortly after New Jersey governor Phil Murphy proposed a budget with hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes, his Texas counterpart, Greg Abbott, published an op-ed in the Garden State’s largest newspaper, inviting businesses and residents to consider moving south. “I’d like to throw a lifeline to businesses and families throughout New Jersey who are looking for greater economic opportunity and relief from high taxes. Come to Texas and be a part of our economic success story,” wrote Abbott. “Combine our low taxes and reasonable regulatory environment with our access to global markets and our robust infrastructure, and it’s easy to see why the Texas economy continues to flourish.”

Shortly afterward, Murphy responded in the Dallas Morning News, explaining that his budget sought to move Jersey in a “stronger and fairer” direction, after years of putting “the wealthy and big corporations ahead of ordinary people.” He didn’t explain how his state—with the nation’s third-highest corporate income tax and its worst business climate—had put “corporations ahead” of ordinary people. Nor did Murphy clarify how Jersey, where the top 1 percent of households pays 38 percent of the income taxes, favored “the wealthy.” Instead, the governor touted what he considered Jersey’s strengths—among them, lots of “investment” in things like education—as a reason for firms and residents to stay put.

Murphy’s stance was typical of officials in high-tax states, who’ve long argued that businesses and families care about more than just taxes. They also want quality government service, on this view—and are willing to pay extra for it. In late 2017, when the Trump administration proposed nixing the federal exemption for state and local taxes, defenders of the policy, mostly from high-tax Democratic states, said that ending it would hurt them by making local taxes more expensive to residents.

But this decades-old argument about the payoff from high taxes is increasingly at odds with reality. In polls asking whether residents and businesses want to leave a state, the most discontented respondents come from heavily Democratic and high-tax states. Many who say that they plan to leave say that taxes are indeed a factor. But lurking in the data are other reasons, including mounting discontent with what residents actually get for their tax dollars. Independent studies show that on the core tasks that people think government should do—building roads and bridges, running airports and transit systems, or otherwise spending tax dollars well—high-tax states rank low, despite enormous financial resources. States that tax a lot also tend to regulate heavily, and that has emerged as another underlying cost that this high-tax, high-spending model imposes on citizens and businesses. Of course, not all Democratic-leaning states are high-tax, heavily regulated environments, and not all Republican-leaning states deliver great services at low prices. But, Republican or Democratic, low-tax states are less likely to overcharge residents for government failure because they don’t automatically view government as the answer to public problems.

“In New Jersey, we are moving in a new direction,” Murphy wrote in his Dallas Morning News piece. An unfamiliar reader might assume that the state was catching up after years of low taxes and underinvestment. But Jersey has been one of the nation’s most heavily taxed states for decades—and its financial woes date back more than 20 years. The question that Murphy and other big-government advocates ignore: What happened to all the money?

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