by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Last year, a record 1,788 Americans renounced their citizenship, mainly in favor of countries with lower taxes and friendlier political rhetoric.
Golf great Phil Mickelson generated headlines this week when he suggested that high taxes might drive him from California — or perhaps America.
“There are going to be some drastic changes for me,” Mickelson said.
“If you add up all the federal [levies], the disability, the unemployment, the Social Security, and the state, my tax rate’s 62, 63 percent.” Imagine keeping just 37 cents of every dollar you earn. Is that a fair share?
Before President Obama, Washington Democrats, and even some invertebrate Republicans boost taxes any higher, they should read How Money Walks. Author Travis Brown demonstrates how Americans between 1995 and 2010 shifted some $2 trillion in wealth by abandoning California, Illinois, New Jersey, and other high-tax states and unpacking in low-tax states such as Florida, Nevada, and Texas.
“After spending several years mapping and analyzing these data, one correlation keeps popping up: Income moves to where it is most welcome, tax-wise,” Brown writes. “Money walks because opportunity talks.”