Charlie Baker Heralds His, Well, Existence

January 29, 2013

Monday’s Boston Herald featured this op-ed from former Massachusetts gubernatorial wannabe Gone Time Charlie Baker on actual Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed tax hikes:

Politics aside, tax hikes just bad

Mass. pays economic price for its high rates

Two weeks ago, Gov. Deval Patrick proposed to raise over $2.5 billion in new taxes, including a 20 percent jump in the income tax — the largest in state history. Since then, most of the discussion has focused on the politics of such massive tax increases, and not on the economic implications of such a significant hike in the cost of government. The over-arching message seems to be that tax rates don’t matter, the size of government doesn’t matter, and the machine that is state government is already doing a perfectly fine job of maximizing the use of state tax dollars. All it needs to ramp up its performance — and the commonwealth’s along with it — is a lot more money.

In short, the debate has already presumed that there is no economic development price — no “growth” price, to use the governor’s words — to be paid for such a huge increase in taxes — just a political one. Recent history would suggest otherwise.

Over the course of the past decade, the nine states with no personal income tax benefited from population growth, Gross State Product growth, job growth, and tax revenue growth that far exceeded the national average. The nine states with the highest personal income tax rates lagged the national average in all three categories, and it wasn’t close. (See chart.)


Unfortunately, there’s no link to the helpful chart on the Herald website (big surprise), so you might want to dig a print edition out of the recycling bin.

Regardless, Baker’s piece comes hard on the heels of the hardreading staff’s noting his conspicuous absence from any speculation about potential candidates for the U.S. Senate seat John Kerry (D-Seriously, Am I Secretary of State Now?) will soon be vacating.

Coincidence? We think not.