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Massachusetts and Texas have one thing in common — cost-effective government

Politicians like to argue about taxes, but arguably the more important issue is what does a government spend on. High taxes to pay for excellent services makes a lot of sense. Medium taxes to pay for terrible services makes very little sense. So kudos to WalletHub for trying to create a dataset that compares state tax levels to measures of public service quality.

The way they did it ends up producing some results that tend to cut across partisan lines. For example, by this measure Texas taxpayers are getting an excellent return on investment for their (relatively small) tax burden. But so are taxpayers in high-tax Massachusetts. By contrast, California looks bad. And Arkansas looks really bad.

Which is to say that you can make liberalism work well and you can also make conservatism work well. But you can also make either general approach work poorly.

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