There are lots of other things that affect state growth besides state taxes. However, the reason I look at taxes is because these are policy variables that can be changed by state governments in order to get better results than they otherwise had.
Let's take the nine states that have no income tax and compare them with the nine states with the highest income tax rates in the nation. If you look at the economic metrics over the last decade for both groups, the zero-income-tax-rate states outperform the highest-income-tax-rate states by a fairly sizable amount.
Let me just try to give you sort of the intuitive one here on the stimulus funds. If you have a two-person economy - let's imagine we have two farms, and that's the whole world, just two farms. If one of those farmers gets unemployment benefits, who do you think pays for him? Am I going way over your heads today?
I mean, everyone agrees with stress tests for banks. I mean that's clear. But banks should do that on their own. And they should worry about their own capital functioning. That's what they should do. It shouldn't be a government function.
There are several states that move from Karl Marx-like policies to Adam Smith-like policies and back again in a weekend. So for the states with huge volatility in their income tax policies over time, the differences in growth rates in those periods are really amazingly consistent with tax rates really mattering.