Seven of eight states with the biggest population outflows have high state taxes.
Reuters withdrew a story Tuesday that suggested Obama would cut the deficit through backdoor taxes on the middle class.
A ballot before Oregon voters Tuesday would raise taxes on high earners to lower the yawning state deficit. It is being seen as a snapshot of the national mood.
With seven states now seeing double-digit unemployment rates, the region is feeling some of the costs of a low-wage economy.
The government spent $9,184 per person last year. But the money was not distributed evenly among the 50 states.
Modest effort may still face still opposition in Congress.
In practice, the populist solution is not as simple or as effective as it sounds.