You know, I just did some quick number crunching. It makes economic sense for Vermont to leave the union.
First, just general facts, for those of you who don't trust numbers - according to Wikipedia, Vermont has the lowest median income of all 50 states, yet the 14th highest tax burden, and highest as a percentage of per capita income. That sort of speaks for itself, but...
Vermont's population, according to Wikipedia, was 608,827 as of the last census. It's average per capita gross income is $38,306, which multiplied out gives us a taxable state gross income of $23,321,727,062.00, $23 billion and change.
So, according to the US Census web site, Vermont recieved $4,632,933,000 in federal funds in 2004, the year of the last census. As a percentage of state gross income, divided out that gives us 19.8%.
Or, in plain English, if you did away with the federal income tax (of around what, 32%?) because, well, you were no longer part of the federal union, the economic break-even point comes with a Republic of Vermont federal tax of just shy of 20%. Suceeding from the union would translate into either a real-world tax break of about 12%, or a state budget surplus of (assuming I didn't pull 32% out of my ass) 2.8 billion dollars, or approximately $4,650 per capita per year.
Interesting. Very interesting. Kevan, sure you wouldn't reconsider your stance for a 12% tax cut?