In the fifth, and final, episode of Fox Nation’s special “An Unauthorized History of Taxes,” anchor Bret Baier and his guest experts explore the contemporary state of taxation, and its cause-and-effect.
In the postwar West, taxation ramped up more exponentially than it had in previous decades, with extremely high marginal tax rates in both the U.S. and U.K.
As Baier notes, exorbitant taxation across the Atlantic in Great Britain during the late 1960s and 1970s drove the iconic Rolling Stones to the South of France to record what many consider their most popular album — “Exile on Main St”.
Escaping what economist John Tamny said during the special was an estimated 83% marginal tax rate and a 98% capital gains tax in England at the time, the band made its way quickly across the English Channel.
Closer to present day, the Fox Nation special went in-depth on the state-to-state battle over what is a proper tax rate — and at times the noticeable population shifts that go along with the debate.
Former President Donald Trump recognized what he saw as an inequity between states that utilized a federal tax deduction on their often-high state taxes, and those states that ultimately subsidized the deduction
As the Fox Nation special notes, Trump’s decision to champion the end of the SALT deduction was met with fierce blowback from high-tax state governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey’s Phil Murphy.
Cuomo railed against Trump in a 2018 clip played by Baier, claiming New Yorkers send more money to Washington than the other 49 states, and that his fellow Queens native’s new tax law unfairly burdens 11 other states like his, in favor of 38 lower-tax states.
Cuomo added at the time that the move was a naked partisan jab against blue states that voted for Hillary Clinton, while Trump maintained it was a decision grounded in a fair fiscal outlook for all federal taxpayers.
In 2020, Murphy signed a new state law in Trenton that proponents said acts as a “work-around” Trump’s recission of SALT, by allowing some businesses the option to pay state taxes on the entity level rather than the individual level.
Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf also said in 2017 that repealing the SALT deduction would be a “huge blow to middle-class Pennsylvanians” — while on the opposing side of the debate, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis remarked that blue-state tax structures were simply driving northeasterners — and their wallets — into the “open arms” of the Sunshine State.
DeSantis said in 2019 that he has no plans to institute an income tax, and is satisfied with the state’s business climate.
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The Fox Nation special also explored how, outside of the SALT debate, blue states have seen an exodus not unlike the way the Rolling Stones temporarily left Britain in 1972.
Eight states — Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas — all have no state income tax.
Business-wise, Delaware’s state tax structure separately has made its largest city, Wilmington, a haven for financial institutions like banks and credit card companies.
A number of those states, including Florida and Texas, have seen an influx in population while high-tax blue states like Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and California have seen an exodus.
In the Fox Nation special, a clip from Cuomo also explained how even within the state of New York, there has been an intrastate population shift, as people leave New York City for lower-tax Long Island and Upstate.
Watch the rest of the special now on Fox Nation to see what the experts believe these trends, and President Biden’s outlook toward potentially raising taxes the most markedly since 1993 might have on the future of America.