Jan. 9-10 Optic quotes a researcher as saying, "the number of senior citizens in the state who depend on government services will increase, as budgets for programs to help them will shrink." I wonder if senior citizens are more dependent on government services than other demographic groups (children, people with disabilities, and others) and whether the services they depend on come from state government or federal.
The researcher goes on to say, "the number of people tapping into social benefits compared to the number working and paying into the system will also change dramatically." Again, how much of the money for these benefits comes from state government versus from the federal government, and how much comes from taxes previously paid by these beneficiaries versus paid for by current workers. (For that matter, don't many folk who receive benefits of some sort actually work and contribute in some way to the programs they benefit from?) Is this researcher suggesting that if we got all our senior citizens and all of those who receive some sort of social benefit to move to another state our state would be financially better off? I don't have the data, but I suspect that private pensions, social security, medicare, and many social benefit programs represent a significant revenue stream that comes not from state coffers but from federal. Perhaps the researcher is turning comparative economic strenghts into weaknesses.