Two factors determine whether a state makes this elite list of fiscal hellholes. The first is whether it has more takers than makers. A taker is someone who draws money from the government, as an employee, pensioner or welfare recipient. A maker is someone gainfully employed in the private sector.
Let us give those takers the benefit of our sympathy and assume that every single one of them is a deserving soul. This person is either genuinely needy or a dedicated public servant or the recipient of a well-earned pension.
But what happens when these needy types outnumber the providers? Taxes get too high. Prosperous citizens decamp. Employers decamp. That just makes matters worse for the taxpayers left behind.
Let’s say you are a software entrepreneur with 100 on your payroll. If you stay in San Francisco, your crew will support 139 takers. In Texas, they would support only 82. Austin looks very attractive.