Illinois, meet Connecticut

Illinois, meet Connecticut

At least Illinois has some company in its financial misery.

In the latest demonstration of the concept that politics and policy have consequences, consider Connecticut, long considered to be one of the wealthiest states in the union.

The Nutmeg State has been battling a series of financial crises in recent years, raising taxes to meet plans for increased spending and then raising taxes again to carry out plans for even higher spending.

A problem, however, developed, as Gov. Dan Malloy finally conceded.

Raising taxes didn't solve the problem, as shown when the increased revenues that were expected to come pouring in fell short.

Why? Well, income levels, particularly among the wealthy, can widely fluctuate. But Connecticut developed another problem — wealthy people decided to move out of state.

Between 2011 and 2015, nearly 65,000 people moved into Connecticut. They brought with them $3.3 billion in adjusted gross income. At the same time, nearly 85,000 people moved out, taking with them more than $6 billion in adjusted gross income.

Where are those Connecticut residents going? Some moved to high-tax California, but others went where they could keep more of their money — Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida and Texas.

Neither Florida nor Texas has a state income tax.

Legislators in Connecticut can't seem to figure out what the problem is. They keep raising taxes to solve their problems, but the problems don't get solved.

Here's their problem — they've embarked on a negative-growth approach in which they try to do more and more with less and less.

One would think they might learn something from Illinois' failure taking that approach. Or vice versa.

So far, no one has learned anything, and that's why Connecticut — and Illinois — has a problem with outmigration.

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