Tax Less, Frack More — That’s the Red-State Formula as Newsom and DeSantis Debate

California has the highest taxes in the country, and Florida is one of a handful of red states with a zero income tax.

AP
Governors DeSantis and Newsom. AP

Spend less, tax less, regulate less, frack more: That’s the red state formula that is crushing blue states, and with those policies, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, cleaned the clock of California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, in the red vs. blue debate this week hosted by Sean Hannity of Fox News.

Virtually all the facts were on Mr. DeSantis’s side, and he did a good job defending them. Unfortunately, Mr. Newsom chose a losing strategy: He denied that the facts existed, but those were government facts. Kind of like Mr. Newsom’s hero, President Biden, who is incapable of telling the truth about the economy or virtually everything else.

As a supply-sider, I’m especially interested in the tax story. California has the highest taxes in the country and Florida is one of a handful of red states with a zero income tax. Importantly, talking about red states, they’re all congregating toward low-flat tax rates and zero tax rates, and that’s why their economies are outperforming those of blue states.

Mr. DeSantis could’ve really just made it simple and said, “Well, your top rate of 13 percent is higher than zero and your middle rate of 8-9 percent is higher than zero. And your 6 percent is also higher than zero.” Florida’s unemployment rate is lower than California’s. Florida’s in-migration rate is higher. Florida spends less. Its poverty rate is lower. Its homeless rate is lower. And its gas prices are lower.

Mr. Desantis got it done and Mr. Newsom tried to lie his way through it. Not good. I’ve known Mr. Newsom for years. He’s a personable guy. He’s a smart guy, but he had a very bad night on the debate stage. Too sarcastic, snooty, and swarmy. I’m not saying Mr. DeSantis is Mr. Personality, but he was a whole lot better than Mr. Newsom.

My guess is Mr. DeSantis climbs a few points in the polls, especially against Ambassador Nikki Haley. The Republican race won’t be changed. It’s all President Trump.

On the other hand Mr. Newsom, who had a poor night, did not help himself either as a potential exit strategy from a Joe Biden collapse or even looking way ahead to 2028. Sean Hannity was the real hero of the night — for having a very good idea for the debate and for being a terrific, even-handed host. Good for Sean.

From Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox Business News.


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