Pennsylvania’s economic performance wasn’t always subpar. In the first half of the twentieth century, the commonwealth’s personal income per capita exceeded the national average. It then descended into mediocrity. While Pennsylvania slid down the ranks, other states saw their incomes rise.
The graph above comes from Pennsylvania Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Taxes and the Economy. The guide contains a collection of interesting facts and figures, including the illustration below, which explains why Pennsylvania has been losing ground to its peer states:
The state’s poor tax climate has been choking off robust economic growth for decades. At a time when other states are implementing pro-growth reforms, Pennsylvania remains stuck in neutral. Though, if Gov. Wolf has his way, he will exacerbate the tax burden on working people. This is the last thing Pennsylvanians need.
Higher taxes and excessive government spending are not the solution. They’re the problem. If policymakers want to improve the lives of the people they represent, embracing lower taxes and restraining government spending is essential.
We have a great opportunity to make Pennsylvania the hub of the Northeast. The states on our borders are neither taxpayer nor business friendly, meaning our productive neighbors looking for a better place to live and work could move to Pennsylvania. But they need a reason to do so. Right now, there are too many reasons to leave.