In the local paper today, it is not on their website, is the following headline:

Who Sends The Most Taxes To DC

With the following subheadline:

The Surprising Answer: It’s Not A State

The first paragraph:

As Tax Day approaches show some love for the good people [what about the folks who are not good?] who live in the nation’s capital.  [Because?]

They send the most money per capita to the US government.  Color us surprised.  Not.  Even if we weren’t informed it should be a logical guess that with all that tax and lobbying money going into DC that its denizens will be doing well.  How can anyone be surprised that the folks in DC are, on average, making big bucks.  As they quote somebody later, the reason they pay lots of taxes is that they are getting lots of dollars for income.  Big income means, on average, big taxes per capita.

Of course, the headline of most taxes and the switch of per person in the second paragraph are, at best, not very well thought out.  DC has a larger population than just two states.

Sidebar: Places with a small population are are likely to have the small and large per capita results because small numbers of observations means big variation.  If you don’t believe it [we say without even checking] then check the major league leaders as of today.  After about a dozen games there are strange results.  End Sidebar.

Fifteen states have ten times the population of DC.  Since only one state, West Virginia, pays less than one-tenth of DC then the headline is highly misleading.  Lots of states pay more in taxes then DC.  Per capita is a whole different thing.  We hope that the media remembers that when considering economics and unauthorized workers.  We doubt our hopes will be recognized.

There are no surprises here.



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