Blue states = Red Ink
The results of this study by Forbes magazine held no surprises to me:
The five states in the worst financial condition–Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey–are all among the bluest of blue states. The five most fiscally fit states are more of a mix. Three–Utah, Nebraska and Texas–boast Republican majorities and two–New Hampshire and Virginia–skew Democratic….
Of the 10 states in the worst financial condition, eight are among a total of 23 defined by Gallup as “solidly Democratic,” meaning the Democrats enjoy an advantage of 10 percentage points or greater in party affiliation. These states include the ones listed above as making up the bottom five, plus Massachusetts, Ohio and Wisconsin….Seven of the 10 most Republican states rank in the top half in terms of fiscal fitness.
What could possibly explain this correlation?
It comes down to stronger unions and a larger appetite for public programs, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political studies and public affairs at the University of Illinois’ Center for State Policy and Leadership…..”Unions in general have more influence in Democratic-controlled states,” he says. “This isn’t to say that unions are bad, but where they’re strong you have bigger demands for social services and coalitions with construction companies, road builders and others that push up debt.”
Interestingly enough, the states with the worst fiscal health in this study, are also among the states with the highest tax burdens:
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