Patrick Ruffini unpacks the real conclusion to be drawn from this week’s census and reapportionment numbers:
[T]his week’s numbers were the most ringing endorsement of the Republican governing model since Rudy Giuliani towered over the vested interests in New York City. Not only did the South and West win — which liberals will dismiss as a function of weather — but low tax states consistently beat high tax states. Not only did conservative states beat liberal states, most tellingly, the winners were almost to a man conservatively governed.
Consider this striking fact unearthed by political strategist (and former Giuliani adviser) Ken Kurson, posted on Facebook:
- Avg tax rate in states gaining a Congressional seat: 2.8%
- Avg tax rate in states losing a Congressional seat: 6.05%
People vote with their feet.
And not entirely because of the weather, although that’ll be what the left attributes the reapportionment to. Minnesota – which held onto both its eighth house seat for another ten years by the skin of its teeth (perhaps thanks to the fact it held on to fiscal sanity by the same margin) – grew 4%, well off the national average. North Dakota – which has low taxes and is actively cutting the ones they have – grew by 5%, and income-tax-free South Dakota grew even faster, leading the region.
Ruffini (with emphasis added):
This finding is relevant to top marginal tax rates, which unlike property or sales taxes more prevalent in redder states punish creation rather than consumption, but the basic finding runs deep throughout the numbers. The big population winners did not just happen to red states with nice weather. They also had a deeply embedded Republican governing model. Consider who governed in the big population-gaining states this year.
- Texas +4 (10 years of Republican governors, 0 Democrat)
- Florida +2 (10 Republican, 0 Democrat)
- Nevada +1 (10 Republican, 0 Democrat)
- Utah +1 (10 Republican, 0 Democrat)
- South Carolina +1 (8 Republican, 2 Democrat)
- Georgia +1 (8 Republican, 2 Democrat)
- Arizona +1 (2 Republican, 8 Democrat)
- Washington +1 (0 Republican, 10 Democrat)
Collectively, that’s 58 years of Republican governance to 22 years of Democratic governance in the states gaining Congressional seats. And Washington State’s impressive record — alone among true blue states — likely had more to do with the little matter that it lacks an income tax, and an initiative this year to impose one was beat back by 2-to-1.
Ruffini notes that the major left-strangled metropolitan areas – the New Yorks and Bostons and Los Angeleses – continued to show some growth; there are benefits to having a large, established commercial sector (or whatever’s left of it) and a throbbing creative class.
But the reapportionment shows that they only go so far.
Fifty more years of coastal-liberal strangulation and the Democrats just might be a third party yet after all.