The Corner

One Last Red-State Subsidies Point

An email: “who is more affluent, the retiree who stays

in New Jersey, or the retiree who moves to Florida? Correct: It is the MORE

AFFLUENT retirees who relocate to the Sunbelt. Now, because Social Security

income is calculated on a formula based on total Social Security tax

payments (and thus reflects lifetime earnings), this means that the retiree

who moves to Phoenix, Ariz., Gulf Shores, Ala., or Galveston, Texas, likely

has a much LARGER monthly SS check than does the shlub who’s stuck in

Milwaukee or Peoria. And because Social Security checks are to a great

degree tax exempt, this aspect of the higher income of affluent Sun Belt

retirees does not result in a higher level of federal tax payments from Red


Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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