One of the main concerns about any proposed tax increases on the wealthy is that their targets will simply leave the state for “greener” pastures. And although this fear is pretty much unfounded, the $500,000-and-up tax proposed in the new, terrible state budget has nevertheless produced its first case of rich flight: Rush Limbaugh. Then again, Rush’s decision to cut all ties with New York, which he announced yesterday, may not be a great indicator of what’s to come.
For one, you have to factor in that Rush already hated New York to begin with. The conservative talk-show host has for years used the city as his “escape valve” when his usual base of operations in Florida was threatened by hurricanes — but that’s it. The city has no other redeeming qualities. “I try to go as little as possible,” he said yesterday on his show. “If it weren’t for hurricanes down here, I would never go up there.” He added shortly later, “No other reason to go there.” We’d have to disagree.
Additionally, Rush has the luxury of being able to do exactly the same job from basically anywhere with space for a chair and a microphone. Right now he’s considering Texas (which, last time we checked, wasn’t immune to hurricanes either, but okay), but the possibilities are endless. And finally, Rush would love nothing more than to use his own high-profile departure to make a political point. So is Rush’s departure a harbinger of mass exodus from the state? Yes — for New Yorkers who actually hate New York, can perform their same job from any location, and wish to revel in the widespread attention their relocation receives because they’re nationally known figures.
El Rushbo to New York: Drop Dead [Rush Limbaugh]
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