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High Taxes and Demographic Shift Affect Congressional Representation

"Shift Happens!"

I have written on this subject before, and now the affects of high taxes and population migration are playing out in a substantial, political way: the decline of about 40% of Congressional seats in the northeast.

According to the Census Bureau, high taxpayers are moving south. It notes that in the 11 states that comprise the Northeast, population grew at a rate of only 15% over the thirty year span from 1983-2013, while the rest of the nation grew at roughly 41%. The key factor is high taxes. The result is a loss of Congressional seats there.

The American Legislative Exchange Council recently did a comprehensive study on House representation in 1950 from Maine to Pennsylvania, and compared it to current House seats. In 1950, there were 141 House members, but today there are only 85. Remember House seats are based on population — so this change is a 40% loss of power.

Need a dramatic comparison? Texas and California combined together now have more House seats than the Northeast conglomerate. For an area that used to be a political powerhouse, it is becoming increasingly marginalized due to excessive taxes and the ensuing population shift.

In 2011, Reuters had a lengthy article detailing how northern residents were fleeing massive state and local tax hikes. I wrote about the impact of high taxes on New York population loss here in 2012. And the NYTimes reported in December 2013 that Florida was soon to pass New York in population.

High taxes are a major factor in this population and political change, and it will be interesting to watch in the next few election cycles. As the report notes above, “This result is one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in American history. This migration is shifting the power center of America right before our very eyes. The movement isn’t random or even about weather or resources. Economic freedom is the magnet and states ignore this force at their own peril.”

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