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Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

January 12, 2013

A fellow I used to work with 25+ years ago sent me a long-time-no-see message a few days before Christmas. It was good to hear from him and we swapped news about people we knew back when.

He and his wife left Missouri for Silicon Valley in the late 1980s. Last year they decided to retire to Tulsa. I asked him, "Why Tulsa?" and his response set me to speculating how his voting choices while living in California had affected his retirement options.

Retiring in California is expensive, so we looked for some place in the Midwest with mild winters […] and Tulsa seemed to be a nice size […]. It is a bit conservative, I raked leaves with my “Oklahomans for Obama” T shirt, the neighbors leave us alone now.

Taxes aren’t the only factor in the cost of living, but here’s Calfornia’s rank in taxes among the 50 states. And that’s not to mention the on-going threat of municipal bankruptcies and the multiple pension crises which are likely to keep California’s tax rates high.

I didn’t ask my old workmate how he’d voted in California. But I’d bet dollars to donuts that he’d voted for the party that’s controlled the state for the last 40 years.

That’s the party that now has a "supermajority" in the California legislature, with plans to revisit Proposition 13. Some of us recall that Proposition 13 in 1978 was hailed as the start of a "national taxpayers’ revolt." We’ll see how long it lasts.

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