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Low-Tax Texas Versus Big-Government California

California with its massive government and bloated bureaucracy is on the verge of bankruptcy while Texas is booming. Why? Michael Barone explains:

California has gone in for big government in a big way. Democrats hold big margins in the legislature largely because affluent voters in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area favor their liberal positions on cultural issues.

Those Democratic majorities have obediently done the bidding of public employee unions to the point that state government faces huge budget deficits. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt to reduce the power of the Democratic-union combine with referenda was defeated in 2005 when public employee unions poured $100 million -- all originally extracted from taxpayers -- into effective TV ads.

Californians have responded by leaving the state. From 2000 to 2009, the Census Bureau estimates, there has been a domestic outflow of 1,509,000 people from California -- almost as many as the number of immigrants coming in. Population growth has not been above the national average and, for the first time in history, it appears that California will gain no House seats or electoral votes from the reapportionment following the 2010 census.

Texas is a different story. Texas has low taxes -- and no state income taxes -- and a much smaller government. Its legislature meets for only 90 days every two years, compared with California's year-round legislature. Its fiscal condition is sound. Public employee unions are weak or nonexistent.

But Texas seems to be delivering superior services. Its teachers are paid less than California's. But its test scores -- and with a demographically similar school population -- are higher. California's once fabled freeways are crumbling and crowded. Texas has built gleaming new highways in metro Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.

In the meantime, Texas' economy has been booming. Unemployment rates have been below the national average for more than a decade, as companies small and large generate new jobs.

And Americans have been voting for Texas with their feet. From 2000 to 2009, some 848,000 people moved from other parts of the United States to Texas, about the same number as moved in from abroad. That inflow has continued in 2008-09, in which 143,000 Americans moved into Texas, more than double the number in any other state, at the same time as 98,000 were moving out of California. Texas is on the way to gain four additional House seats and electoral votes in the 2010 reapportionment.

Honestly, if it were at all possible, I would pick up my family and move to Texas in a heartbeat. It's no accident that it is prospering while other states such as New York and my state of Michigan are sinking in an economic quicksand created by it union-controlled Democratic governments. The government of Texas and its citizens have fully embraced the freedom, independence, and rugged individualism that our Founders clearly laid out in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers.


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Comments (18)

I would welcome folks from ... (Below threshold)

I would welcome folks from the land of Fruit & Nuts, but they have to leave their liberal socialist nutty ideas behind.

We don't want ANY of your problems coming with you.

From Greg Cotharn's "The En... (Below threshold)

From Greg Cotharn's "The End Zone" post Houston elects fiscally conservative mayor ...

"One other open your eyes item which caught my eye in the About Annise page: "the city's $20 million Rainy Day Fund". What fiscal truth does Houston know, yet NYC, Boston, Chicago, and LA do not? This is not a tricky question.

"In addition to Houston's fiscal responsibility, note the State of Texas both
1) runs our budget in the black, and
2) has a $9 Billion Rainy Day Fund.

"What is it that Texas, Mississippi, Utah, and Alaska know, and that New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, and California do not? This is not a tricky question."


"Honestly, if it were at... (Below threshold)

"Honestly, if it were at all possible, I would pick up my family and move to Texas in a heartbeat."

Yeah, but then you'd be living in Texas. I've done that. I lived in Houston for more than a decade. I don't ever want to go back, and can't recommend it to others.

Don't forget Wyoming and Ut... (Below threshold)

Don't forget Wyoming and Utah. We also have low taxes and nonunion jobs.

But..but..but...Arnold says... (Below threshold)

But..but..but...Arnold says that 'green' jobs are just around the corner. Forget that 12.7% unemployed. Just wait until all the new "GW" rules kick in. We'll show the rest of the country how to become 3rd world in just a few years.

We are already a third worl... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

We are already a third world-like country. I knew that as soon as Awnauld was elected he had RFK.Jr. screaming in his ear about locking down California environmentally. Businesses have been leaving California in droves with thousands of jobs because of taxes. As California goes, so goes the nation under "O" and his horde.

Coincidentally, just got ba... (Below threshold)

Coincidentally, just got back from a quick trip to DFW with the family. We all took notice of the thriving retail, the infrastructure, the seemingly healthy economy. We were theorizing that it was left over from oil revenues, but this article seems to correct that misimpression.

Loved the city. In the elevator in the hotel, I was chatting with some young ladies in softball uniforms. When I asked if they were there for a tournament, their response was "yes, ma'am". Nope, Dorothy, we're not in California anymore....

But Kim, you'd miss the lon... (Below threshold)

But Kim, you'd miss the long cold winters, Mud Season, black fly season, deer fly season, mosquito season, hockey season, and ice fishing. Really now, just say Ya to the UP, eh?

Some prefer prosperity, oth... (Below threshold)

Some prefer prosperity, others prefer Obama.

You forgot to mention all t... (Below threshold)
Don L:

You forgot to mention all those great looking blonds that show up in the Miss America contests, and the fact that Texas probably wont wash out or break off into the sea.

(shh! About all those rattlesnakes - they're not as dangerous as California politicians!)

Texas also has the option o... (Below threshold)

Texas also has the option of seceding from the Union. (Mentioned on occaison by Rick Perry).
What would happen if they exercised that option and became their own country?
Off-setting what they get in Federal Funding is the tariffs they could get from the Feds from oil and gas, fruits vegetables and other agricultural products, increased prices of gasoline and other fuels FROM THEIR OWN REFINERYS, tariffs on products shipped into their OWN SEAPORTS, control of their own off shore platforms, toll fees on any highway, rail system, and air space. Not to mention the extensive border with Mexico and trade that takes place there. Knowing the independant spirit of Texans, I bet they would have no problem putting a border fence on the NORTH side of the state. Believe me, anything they would lose from the federal government, they would gain - plus. And all done legally.
Keep it up obama, you'll split the nation.

TexBobThe problem is... (Below threshold)

The problem is they don't. Ask Colorado. They ruin California with their liberal ideas then move to another state and bring the same nutty ideas there.

TexBobIndeed. Howe... (Below threshold)


Indeed. However up here in the eastern WA, north ID, western MT area they came in masses (until they couldn't sell their shithole split entries and ranchers for millions anymore). Coeur D'Alene, Whitfish, Spokane, and Missoula now sport more Lexus' and Prius' than pickups. They want the great northern Rockies to be "just like home".

If Texas secedes, can you f... (Below threshold)

If Texas secedes, can you folks in that great state give us a heads up? We'd like to make a run for the border before you get it shut down.

I love my Colorado mountains but my ancestors were pioneers and they travelled a long way for freedom and liberty. I'll do the same if I have to, and never look back.

Hope I won't have to, though.

Please, please PLEASE liste... (Below threshold)

Please, please PLEASE listen to Stan! Move to Wyoming or Utah. We don't need anymore DamnYankees heading this way. Texas absorbed a huge chunk of Rust-Belters in the late 70's and 80's, and barely managed to get them assimilated before the tech-boom brought a bunch of West Coasters in the 90's. Those idjits are why a $75,000 ranch house in Austin now sells for $350,000, and the town's been voting Democrat ever since. Even metro Houston voted for Obama last go-round, due to the influx of furriners and Blue-staters.

Look, we love y'all, but stay the hell out of Texas unless you leave your tax & spend attitude and penchant for paying 5x the going rate for real estate at the border!

And, no, there are to be NO beans or pasta in chili! I don't care how y'all did it back home!

Sincerely, a 5th generation Texan.

Sammy #3 - you don't say wh... (Below threshold)

Sammy #3 - you don't say why?

Wayne #12 - "They ruin California with their liberal ideas then move to another state and bring the same nutty ideas there."

I don't think liberals understand that THEY are the ones who ruined CA. They can't think past - warm and fuzzy - they don't understand how you can argue with, "you don't want to see people/animals/things die or suffer do you?" Well of course not! It's the... I'd rather teach a person how to fish than give the person a fish EVERY day - thing.

They can't get their heads around - pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and making wise and/or tough life decisions and not expecting handouts.

Well, it seems that way to me anyway.

Born and raised in and arou... (Below threshold)

Born and raised in and around Philadelphia, Pa. Joined the service, got out, met my bride, married her and the next day we moved to Texas. 35 years ago. My son is a Texan as is my grandson. This great state has such pride, it is incomparable to any other. Texan's has always and will continue to distrust government. That is why our legislature only meets every other year and then only for a few months. Reps and Sens have day jobs for the most part. If they want to get "in our wallet" they have to put it on the ballot. Texas is one of the truest forms of a government of, by and for the people in the USA. God bless Texas and most certainly don't mess with us. ;) ww

This post has been linked f... (Below threshold)

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 3/9/2010, at The Unreligious Right






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