California ranks 3rd last in financial-strength test

January 5, 2011 | 8:00 am
Bad as it is, the economic and fiscal mess facing California Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t the worst among the 50 states: At least by one measure, Arizona and Illinois have the Golden State beat for financial misery as the new year begins.

Not by much, though.

Analysts at investment bank BMO Capital Markets in Chicago have devised an index to gauge the relative financial strength of the states. The index combines measures of economic and employment health, bond quality ratings, home price movements, tax collections, and actual and projected budget deficits from 2009 through 2012.

All but four states now register negative financial strength indexes — an indication of how extensive state budget troubles have become, even though the U.S. economy overall has grown for six straight quarters as measured by gross domestic product.

California clocks in with an index reading of -9.9%, third-worst of the 50 states. Tied for last place: Arizona and Illinois, both of which show index levels of -10.7%.Click here to read more.

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I love this video: Gov. Christie doesn’t back down, and stands up for the principles for which he ran for office!

Gov Christie calls S-L columnist thin-skinned for inquiring about his ‘confrontational tone’

The antics of liberal columnist Tom Moran (and the anti-Christie curmudgeon Paul Mulshine Moonshine) are topics of regular discussion here at Save Jersey. Until now, however, no one else has had the intestinal fortitude to put them in their place except for your beloved and revered Blogger-in-Chief.

Then came along Governor Christopher J. Christie! Check out the INCREDIBLE (and entertaining) exchange he had with Moran at yesterday’s “33 bills” press conference. When was the last time we saw a Republican elected official display this much backbone with the media, Save Jerseyans? Not since Reagan…


Click here to read more…

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Remember This When You Hear Politicians and Public Emp Union Reps Condemn Hold-Outs for not “Compromising” (support raising taxes) to Fix the Budget:

Escape from Taxation
A new study shows that wealth flees after taxes rise. WSJ 2-13-2010

( Thanks to friend, Richard Rider for alerting me to this report and for his note, excerpted here, followed by the WSJ op-ed: I’ve written on this several times.  Those of you who get my “Breaking Bad — CA vs. Other States” know of our state’s net loss of 1.4 million Californians to other states over eight years.

Here’s the latest study reaching the same conclusion about the effect of high taxes.  It’s based on New Jersey — a state which in just a few years changed from a low income tax state to a high income tax state — especially for the wealthy.  When the change took effect, so did net migration change direction.

I don’t think this lesson can be repeated often enough.  High taxes drive the wealthy and businesses away — and discourage their in-migration.  Yet this “soak the rich” mentality is spreading through states — the latest to fall is Oregon.

For Californians, the more dumb states that boost their taxes (especially on the prosperous), the better — it reduces our state’s financial refugees’ options.  Sadly for us, some states are not following suit — notably income tax-free Florida, Nevada and Texas.  But also South Dakota, Wyoming and Washington state have no personal income tax.  In addition, Tennessee and New Hampshire don’t tax “earned” income — only dividends and interest.

When the “wealthy” have departed — taking their earning power and wealth with them — watch what our Big Spenders conclude.  The solution I suspect we’ll see from pinhead politicians will be that we need to raise taxes on the less prosperous — lowering the “millionaires” tax”bracket down to a half million (already there for NJ), a quarter million, $150K and so on.)

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie must be following the economic news from Greece. Its tattered reputation for fiscal control has turned Greece into an international financial nightmare and laughingstock. Perhaps tiring of New Jersey jokes, Governor Christie this week handed down a stiff freeze on spending.

Announcing the freeze on $1.6 billion of unspent money, Mr. Christie was blunt: “Today, we come to terms with the fact that we cannot spend money on everything we want. Today, the days of Alice in Wonderland budgeting in Trenton end.”

Not a day too soon, judging from the striking data that a just-released study reveals about the number of residents of the Garden State fleeing to greener pastures.

The study by Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy—”Migration of Wealth in New Jersey and the Impact on Wealth and Philanthropy”—looked at 1999 to 2008. It found that in the decade’s first half New Jersey experienced a “substantial increase in both household wealth and charitable capacity,” otherwise known as “expected giving.” During those five years the Garden State had a $98 billion net influx of capital due to wealthy households moving into the state, and it enjoyed a corresponding $881 million increase in “charitable capacity.”

The Garden State was blooming. Then the trend reversed. From 2004-2008, author John Havens found “a large decline in the number of wealthy households entering New Jersey” as well as “a moderate increase in the outflow of wealthy households leaving.” The result: a net decline of $70 billion in household wealth while the “expected giving” became a net outflow of $1.132 billion.

So what happened in 2004?
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