Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Ten Worst States for Taxes (Nine Are Blue States)

The Fiscal Times LogoThe Fiscal Times:  The Ten Worst States for U.S. Taxes:

  1. New York
  2. New Jersey
  3. California
  4. Vermont
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Minnesota
  7. North Carolina
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Iowa
  10. Maryland

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"The headline for this post contains a value judgment--that somehow having to pay more taxes is worse than paying less taxes. I don't agree with this judgment where the taxes are going sensibly and efficiently to needy causes that serve the greater good."

Sensibly and efficiently, LOL. Too bad that NEVER happens. Government-delivered "services" stink, and human nature dictates that any entity that extracts money by force has zero incentive to actually deliver anything of value in exchange.

And don't cry to me that there are certain services that "have" to be delivered by governments. NOTHING "has" to be delivered by anybody.

Posted by: BuckarooBanzai | Mar 14, 2013 10:31:57 AM

It might just as easily be said that these are "slave States." Why? The more of your income that is stolen from you, the more you are a slave. Gerard Depardieu just decided he'd rather be taxed at 13% by Russia - and be 87% free and a 13% slave...then to be taxed 75% by France and only be 25% free. So your percentage of freedom can, in a nutshell, be expressed in how much of your labor you keep. If you own yourself, then you also own the labor you produce. Why should a mob decide that it is OK to steal 1% or 10% or 60%? And then, in altruism, decide it is moral for them to steal from you to give to someone else.

I hope that folks will visit the free eBooks and information compiled at Especially start with "Economics In One Lesson" by Hazlitt.

Posted by: Lulu | Mar 11, 2013 6:12:13 PM

The two responses to my comment miss the point. "Worst" is an opinion. "Higher" Taxes or "More" categories of taxes levied are objectively determinable facts. Hence, if this blog or the underlying publication to which it links are seeking to report information and not convey opinion, the choice should have been "higher" or "more," not "worst." Some think it's "worse"; some don't.

Posted by: Ben Bratman | Mar 9, 2013 4:04:45 PM

"The greater good?" Isn't that a value judgement? Who gets to determine that? What is so great about 53% of taxpayers paying 100% of income taxes? How efficient and productive has been the spending of the tax intake? I would argue the greater good is not being served because the ones doing the "serving" are actually doing the taking also and making slaves of those they presume to "help."
That is why lower and fairer taxes are better that higher taxes and more graft.

Right on, Ben.

Posted by: Shotgun | Mar 9, 2013 9:53:41 AM

Value judgments are critical to functioning minds, and to attack something for being a value judgment is, in my opinion, more than silly. Virtually every time we use discernment or judge between competing goods, we make value judgments, and we must do so.

As for taxes and paying more being worse than paying less: yes, it is worse. The only good tax is one we don't pay because it doesn't exist. Taxes, most especially in democratic forms of the state, are an arrangement where one group fleeces another, benefiting the one group and benefiting the bureaucracy. Every tax is objected to by someone, and therefore oppressive in some way to that group, much like a funny and fairly accurate definition of democracy: Democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

There are always wolves (taking advantage of, and/or fleecing the others via some sort of tax) and always sheep (being fleeced by wolves). Just because we as citizens are sometimes in the wolf group and sometimes in the sheep group doesn't make it right.

You want high taxes and, as you say, the 'benefits' these taxes purport to provide? (and keeping in mind that you're also supporting a vast/bloated bureaucracy that 'administers' the tax and provides the service) - As long as you don't force anybody else to cough up too, then that's fine with me, but no other way.

Posted by: Yishmeray | Mar 8, 2013 6:48:21 PM

The headline for this post contains a value judgment--that somehow having to pay more taxes is worse than paying less taxes. I don't agree with this judgment where the taxes are going sensibly and efficiently to needy causes that serve the greater good. I am proud to pay my taxes. They are, in my view, better termed as "responsibility payments." Thanks largely to the Republican party, the concept of taxes has been no less than demonized over the last several decades. And the adverse results of such nonsensical public policy are all around us.

Posted by: Ben Bratman | Mar 8, 2013 12:53:19 PM

The list is just wrong. Where's Illinois? IL's tax rates are currently much worse than Wisconsin's. I practice in Rockford, IL (near the boarder) and I have corporate client's moving their businesses to avoid IL's high rates.

Posted by: Aaron | Mar 7, 2013 12:20:32 PM

Nobody likes taxes (well actually some people do like to see other people taxed just out of spite or envy), but they pay for public services. Some folks desire more public services than others, and there is nothing wrong with that. A "worst" state for taxes might nonetheless be a "best" state in which to live, if the state is providing commensurate services that you prefer. I say that as a conservative who prefers lower taxes and a modest array of services competently performed.

Posted by: Mike Petrik | Mar 7, 2013 11:33:56 AM

NC is barely Red. Until 2010, it never had a "Red" House of Reps (since reconstruction). And until 2012 it never had a unified "Red" Government. Tax reform is coming. It may take some time beating back the Dem(amogery) that progressive special interests (local and out of state) will feed the local media (which is just as lame as the national media), BUT I suspect NC will be off this heinous list sooner rather than later.

Posted by: MG | Mar 7, 2013 7:25:34 AM