Former Obama Official: People Leaving 'High-Tax' States 'Very Scary'

 January 6, 2023

Steve Rattner, who was counselor to the Treasury secretary in President Barack Obama's administration, admitted that what his party is doing in "high-tax" states is not sustainable long term.

People are fleeing solid blue states with outrageous taxes like New York and California in record droves.

They're going to states like Florida, Texas, Utah, Montana, and South Dakota. From Rattner's perspective, this "is a very scary trend for those of us who live in New York."

He's a liberal, but even he is admitting states like New York might need to take a look at their spending habits and realize that their policies are at fault for sabotaging the state. New York needs to take "a harsher, tougher look at where we spend our money." He continued:

I can tell you some things that are not going to be surprising, given everything we just talked about. Now, this is 2020 to 2022. So, we have population data for the last two years, we don’t have income data yet. And what you can see, again, not surprisingly, California, Illinois, New York rank among the bottom five states in terms of outward migration, people leaving. Louisiana and West Virginia also in that category. I can’t tell you exactly what’s going on in Louisiana. And then, on the flip side, you have Florida and Texas ranking near the top in terms of picking up people. There’s also — and these are small numbers because they’re small states — people seem to be going to places like Utah, Montana, South Dakota, and so forth. But the big trend is obviously from those big three high-tax states down to those lower-tax states, and it is a very scary trend for those of us who live in New York.

We do provide a much better social safety net than many of the other states and I’m proud of that as a New Yorker. But you also have to be realistic, we live in a competitive world, and people are going to move around and live in places in part based on their taxes. And we have been increasing our taxes, whereas, as I said, states like Florida have not been. And so, we spend in New York vastly more per resident than do almost any other state in the country and it may well be that the time has come for a harsher, tougher look at where we spend our money. Unfortunately, it’s moving against us. Right now, you have a veto-proof majority in the State Assembly and the State Senate of very, very progressive Democrats who even Gov. Hochul, whatever her intentions might be, really can’t do much about it. And, at some point, it gets so bad that there has to be a fix, but right now, we are still heading in the wrong direction.