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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Michael Barone's Important Observation: Census Shows Growth Stronger Where Taxes Are Lower

Yesterday's news from the census showed that many so-called red states grew at a rate which will cause a reapportionment of House seats that favors Republicans.

The census determines the population of states and House seats (and electoral votes) are apportioned by the population of the state.

As shown yesterday after the census report was released, some states gained seats in the House due to the 2010 census and other states lost seats.

States gaining Congressional seats: Arizona (1), Florida (2), Georgia (1), Nevada (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1).

States losing Congressional seats: Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1).

That was the big news but lost in the firestorm of reporting was an observation made by Michael Barone:
First, the great engine of growth in America is not the Northeast Megalopolis, which was growing faster than average in the mid-20th century, or California, which grew lustily in the succeeding half-century. It is Texas.

Its population grew 21 percent in the past decade, from nearly 21 million to more than 25 million. That was more rapid growth than in any states except for four much smaller ones (Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho).

Texas' diversified economy, business-friendly regulations and low taxes have attracted not only immigrants but substantial inflow from the other 49 states. As a result, the 2010 reapportionment gives Texas four additional House seats. In contrast, California gets no new House seats, for the first time since it was admitted to the Union in 1850.

There's a similar lesson in the fact that Florida gains two seats in the reapportionment and New York loses two.

This leads to a second point, which is that growth tends to be stronger where taxes are lower. Seven of the nine states that do not levy an income tax grew faster than the national average. The other two, South Dakota and New Hampshire, had the fastest growth in their regions, the Midwest and New England.

Altogether, 35 percent of the nation's total population growth occurred in these nine non-taxing states, which accounted for just 19 percent of total population at the beginning of the decade.

The census report can be found here, as well as the embed code for the handy interactive map above.

The spin from the left is that many of the states seeing the highest growth shows an influx of minorities which favor Democrats, therefore the census report and the reapportionment isn't all bad news.

The flip side of the coin there, which the left avoids thinking about is that minorities like high taxes about as much as everyone else... not at all.

A solid majority of voters (67%) prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes over a larger, more active government with more services and higher taxes. Just one-in-four (25%) prefer the larger, more active government, a sentiment that has changed little since polling on the question began.

When it comes down to money in their pockets versus money the state takes from their pockets, exactly which party is well known for wanting lower taxes and less government services or programs and which party is well known for consistently raising taxes to pay for more government services or programs?

The answer to that question should concern every far left Democrat that is trying to see a silver lining in yesterday's census report.