No reputable research uses words like “best” and “worst.” There’s simply too many factors involved. If you look at the actual report, which is here — https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Norcross-StateFiscal-Condition.pdf

It’s based on only one metric,”fiscal condition.” When in fact there are several additional factors to be considered, which have not been included in what you shared. A more accurate metric is the size of the economies (California 1, New York 3) and how much they contribute to the federal government (New York 1, California 2) compared to the states that are most dependent on the federal government (all red, except for New Mexico, which is a swing state).

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