by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Conservatives in favor of low taxes and business-friendly laws are pleased with their progress at the state level.
“The world is moving in our direction,” said Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore Tuesday, discussing the eighth edition of the state competitiveness index published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an advocacy group that promotes pro-business policies among states.
The Rich States, Poor States index … shows that more states are lowering tax rates than raising them, and more are implementing right-to-work legislation than pro-union laws, Moore said.
The evidence is “overwhelming” that fiscally-conservative policies are successful for states, Moore claimed, calling out liberal critics such as New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman.
“How do you explain the huge exodus out of California?” Moore asked rhetorically, referring to the state’s ranking of seventh to last in the index. “They didn’t move because of the weather.”
The index predominantly favors red states, with Utah maintaining its top spot thanks to its low taxes, small public workforce, pro-business legal system and right-to-work law. North Dakota, Indiana, North Carolina and Arizona round out the top five, followed by other conservative-leaning states.
High-tax, high-spending, union-friendly blue states dominate the bottom of the list, with New York coming in dead last.