A realtor showed my house this morning. They came without calling, and I was still in my pajamas, so I asked them to come back in ten minutes. When they did, I grabbed my mailbox key and set off for the mailboxes to give them a chance to look at the house without me there. As I was walking out the door, I heard the realtor say, "Oh wow." It's a good sign, but I'm leaving it all in God's hands.
After they left, I checked the news. WorldNetDaily reported yesterday that California's exodus has turned into a stampede. Silly me. I thought I was a trend-setter in my plans to sell the house and get out of Dodge.
California, which once lured Americans from near and far, is now driving out millions of the most productive residents – including high percentages of the most affluent.
"When California faced a Mount Everest-sized $14 billion deficit in 2003, one of the major causes for the red ink was the stampede of millionaire households from the state," says a report called "Rich States, Poor States" by economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore. "Out of the 25,000 or so seven-figure-income families, more than 5,000 left in the early 2000s, and the loss of their tax payments accounted for about half the budget hole."
And it's not just the rich leaving.
Based on data from moving companies, California had the second-highest domestic population out-flow of any state in 2005, according to the report, "despite the beautiful weather, beaches, and mountains."
The bad news for California is that it faces $14 billion deficit this year, despite boasting one of the highest tax burdens in the nation.
I find that tax statistic astounding, though I suppose I shouldn't. The loss of 5,000 millionaires from California resulted in about a $7 billion deficit. That's an average of $1.4 million in state taxes paid by each millionaire. And Democrats get mad at the rich for not paying their "fair share."
And what is California's Democrat-controlled government proposing?
UPI reported yesterday that they want to increase taxes.
California's chief budget analyst says the gap between revenue and spending may be too big to close by cutting spending and urged closing tax loopholes.
They've proposed $2 billion in spending cuts and plan on plugging the rest of the deficit with increased taxes. But if that's what they end up doing, they're going to need a word that means mega-stampede. I'm not sure even the thesaurus has a big enough word to handle what's going to happen to California.
Now, if those people want to buy my house, I'm outta here...