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Texas vs. California - California may be dreaming, but Texas is working
The National Review ^ | March 14, 2012 | Chuck DeVore

Posted on 03/14/2012 7:37:45 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

One in five Americans calls California or Texas home. The two most populous states have a lot in common: a long coast, a sunny climate, a diverse population, plenty of oil in the ground, and Mexico to the south. Where they diverge is in their governance.

For six years ending in 2010, I represented almost 500,000 people in California’s legislature. I was vice chairman of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation and served on the Budget Committee. I was even a lieutenant colonel in the state’s National Guard. Before serving in Sacramento, I worked as an executive in California’s aerospace industry.

I moved to Texas late last year, joining the 2 million Californians who have packed up for greener pastures in the past ten years, with Texas the most common destination.

In his State-of-the-State address this January, California governor Jerry Brown said, “Contrary to those declinists who sing of Texas and bemoan our woes, California is still the land of dreams. . . . It’s the place where Apple . . . and countless other creative companies all began.”

Fast forward to March: Apple announced it was building a $304 million campus in Austin with plans to hire 3,600 people to staff it, more than doubling its Texas workforce.

California may be dreaming, but Texas is working.

California’s elected officials are particularly adept at dreaming up ways to spend other people’s money. While the state struggles with interminable deficits caused by years of reckless spending, the argument in Sacramento isn’t over how to reduce government; rather, it’s over how much to raise taxes and on whom. Governor Brown is pushing for a tax increase of $6.9 billion per year, to appear on this November’s ballot. California’s powerful government-employee unions and Molly Munger, a wealthy civil-rights attorney (wealthy by dint of being the daughter of Warren Buffett’s business partner) are offering two competing tax-hike plans. The silver lining may be that having three tax hikes on the ballot will turn voters off all of them.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Texas are grappling with a fiscal question of an entirely different sort: whether or not to spend some of the $6 billion set aside in the state’s rainy-day fund.

California’s government-employee unions routinely spend tens of millions of dollars at election time to maintain their hold on power. In Texas, the government unions are weak and don’t have collective bargaining, leaving trial attorneys as the main source of funding for Lone Star Democrats.

California’s habit of raising taxes to fund a burgeoning regulatory state isn’t without impact on its economy. Californians fork over about 10.6 percent of their income to state and local governments, above the U.S. average of 9.8 percent. Texans pay 7.9 percent. This affects the bottom line of both consumers and businesses.

With that money, Californians pay for more government. The number of non-education bureaucrats in California is close to the national average, at 252 per 10,000 people. Texas gets by with a bureaucracy 22 percent smaller: 196 per 10,000.

Of course, having more government employees means making more government rules. According to a 2009 study commissioned by the California legislature, state regulations cost almost $500 billion per year, or five times the state’s general-fund budget. These regulations ding the average small business for some $134,122 a year in compliance and opportunity costs.

While California has more bureaucrats, Texas has 17 percent more teachers, with 295 education employees per 10,000 people, compared to California’s 252.

The two states’ educational outcomes reflect this disparity. If we compare national test scores in math, science, and reading for the fourth and eighth grades among four basic ethnic and racial categories — all students, whites, Hispanics, and African-Americans — Texas beats California in every category, and by a substantial margin. In fact, Texas schools perform consistently above the national average across categories of age, race, and subject matter, while California schools perform well below the national average.

Apologists for the Golden State frequently point to Texas’s flourishing oil and gas industry as the reason for its success. Texas does lead the nation in proven oil reserves, but California ranks third. The real difference isn’t in geology but in public policy: Californians have decided to make it difficult to extract the oil under their feet.

Further, contrary to popular opinion, California’s refineries routinely produce a greater value of product than do refineries in Texas, mainly because the special gasoline blends that California requires are more costly.

Another advantage that Texas enjoys over California is in its civil-justice system. In 2002, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Texas’s legal system 46th in the nation, just behind California’s, which was 45th. Texas went to work improving its lawsuit environment, enacting major medical-malpractice reforms in 2003. Texas’s ranking consequently jumped ten places in eight years, while California’s dropped to 46th. In the last legislative session, Texas lawmakers passed a landmark loser-pays provision, which promises to further curtail frivolous lawsuits.

While California seeks more ways to tax success, it excels at subsidizing poverty. The percentage of households receiving public assistance in California was 3.7 percent in 2009, double Texas’s rate of 1.8 percent. Almost one-third of all Americans on welfare reside in California.

With this in mind, it makes perfect sense that only 18 percent of the Democrats who control both houses of California’s full-time legislature worked in business or medicine before being elected. The remainder drew paychecks from government, worked as community organizers, or were attorneys.

In Texas, with its part-time legislature, 75 percent of the Republicans who control both houses earn a living in business, farming, or medicine, with 19 percent being attorneys in private practice. Texas Democrats are more than twice as likely as their California counterparts to claim private-sector experience outside the field of law.

That Texas’s legislature is run by makers and California’s by takers is glaringly obvious from the two states’ respective balance sheets.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: California; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: chuckdevore; devore; economy; jobs; regulations; righttowork; texodus

1 posted on 03/14/2012 7:37:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

OMG! This is a crisis1 What can we do to keep these California cretins out of Texas? I lived in Austin for years during the dotcom boom and I can tell from experience that Calimmigrants can ruin Texas quicker than you can imagine.


2 posted on 03/14/2012 7:51:46 AM PDT by Zippo44 (Liberal: another word for poltroon.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I moved to Texas late last year, joining the 2 million Californians who have packed up for greener pastures in the past ten years, with Texas the most common destination.

I didn't know Chuck moved to Texas. Well done!!

3 posted on 03/14/2012 7:53:05 AM PDT by ScottinVA (A single drop of American blood for muslims is one drop too many!)
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To: Zippo44
Calimmigrants can ruin Texas quicker than you can imagine.

Just as they did Oregon and Washington. The brighter, greener pastures they move to soon become dull and brown.

4 posted on 03/14/2012 7:55:14 AM PDT by ScottinVA (A single drop of American blood for muslims is one drop too many!)
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To: Zippo44

We haven’t yet had that problem here in VA, but we have our own infestation of rot from blighted Maryland.


5 posted on 03/14/2012 7:56:24 AM PDT by ScottinVA (A single drop of American blood for muslims is one drop too many!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I hate to bring up a sore point, but when it comes to Education the reprot states TX is doing great for 4th and 8th grade kids - better than most of the country. We also have one of the lowest cost per student - that is because GWB put in place what is the model for NCLB. Education works when there is accountability! NCLB was the first time teachers across America had to face an annual review of perfomrance.


6 posted on 03/14/2012 8:09:25 AM PDT by q_an_a (the more laws the less justice)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Almost one-third of all Americans on welfare reside in California.

Wow.

7 posted on 03/14/2012 8:10:33 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Democrats love direct democracy until it's time to vote on something. Then they scream for a judge)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

California is becoming a wasteland. The communists Democrats have destroyed this State and it is still going off the deep end with more taxes and regulations that have driven much of the real businesses and hundreds of thousand of it best citizens out of the State.


8 posted on 03/14/2012 8:11:30 AM PDT by Logical me
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
For me the real money line is:

“In Texas, with its part-time legislature, 75 percent of the Republicans who control both houses earn a living in business, farming, or medicine...”

Regardless of the reelection rates Texas is dominated by part-time politicians as our founding fathers envisioned 230 years ago. The entire article, IMHO, is an excellent indictment against the “professional politician” class that has come to dominate the Republic's political scene be they dimorcrat or Republican.

9 posted on 03/14/2012 8:58:37 AM PDT by Nip (TANSTAAFL and BOHICA)
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To: ScottinVA
“Just as they did Oregon and Washington. The brighter, greener pastures they move to soon become dull and brown”

Yes Oregon, WA, and Colorado caught a lot of the Cali transplant tree huggers. I suspect that is less true of those moving to Texas. Meantime more of an issue is the Universities in all 50 states, the leftist Professors are a cancer on society.

10 posted on 03/14/2012 9:13:30 AM PDT by DAC21
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To: ScottinVA; Cincinatus' Wife

I, too, quit Los Angeles (born and raised there) and now am a proud Dallasite (Irvinger?).

And I can’t help but shake my head when I hear California is trying to once again raise taxes (on the ballot) and fees (illegally but they do it anyway).

Gasoline is 50 cents plus more a gallon there also.

I and my 6-figure income are happy in the Lone Star State.


11 posted on 03/14/2012 9:58:29 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

They must constantly be reminded about why they left California and came to Texas. Maybe some before and after pictures of California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, etc.Except of course the ‘before” would be better looking than the “after” in these cases. At one time Oregon had a bumper sticker: “Don’t Californiacate”...alas, they did.


12 posted on 03/14/2012 10:08:16 AM PDT by Anima Mundi
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To: Zippo44

Chuck can stay, the liberal ones need to be sent packing. We need border guards on all the borders, not just the one with Mexico. lol.


13 posted on 03/14/2012 10:52:45 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: freedumb2003; Cincinatus' Wife
I call myself a "Valley Rancher". Been a naturalized Texan for over 30 years. I grew up in CA, near Berkeley. Left right after HS, never really went back.

Thanks for posting CW.

14 posted on 03/14/2012 10:54:37 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (My dream ticket for 2012 is John Galt & Dagny Taggart!)
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To: freedumb2003

I lived here all my life and I still don’t know if its Irvingites or whatever


15 posted on 03/14/2012 10:55:09 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: freedumb2003

Yesterday it was reported that tax revenue was down 22%. Tax increases can do that. lol.

Their answer is to raise them again, lol.


16 posted on 03/14/2012 10:56:22 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“...joining the 2 million Californians who have packed up for greener pastures in the past ten years, with Texas the most common destination.”

Much to our regret. Too many bring their failed Liberal ideas along with them and expect us to change. They are like birds that foul their own nest, then go looking for another to foul.


17 posted on 03/14/2012 12:05:20 PM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: q_an_a
We also have one of the lowest cost per student - that is because GWB put in place what is the model for NCLB. Education works when there is accountability! NCLB was the first time teachers across America had to face an annual review of perfomrance.

NCLB will destroy our educational systems over time - it gave the federal government a chance to really get their foot into the door on the road to controlling education from Washington. NCLB is nothing to be proud of. Unfortunately, too many so-called "Conservatives" in Congress signed off on it.
18 posted on 03/14/2012 12:14:11 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: Zippo44
I can tell from experience that Calimmigrants can ruin Texas quicker than you can imagine.

It won't be Californios that ruin Texas. It'll be Democrats pandering to minorities. Texas is already a minority-majority state and has been for several years. By 2020, Hispanics will be the largest ethnic group within the state, they make up nearly 40% of the state now and will be passing up whites within the next 5 years or so, give or take a year.

Just wait, the Democrats are starting to make a little noise, but by the time Hispanics are the largest group in Texas, the Democratic push to con them will be in full swing. Texas will be Democrat or close enough when 2020 rolls around. Then we'll turn into California.
19 posted on 03/14/2012 12:19:19 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr

Before NCLB the government sent millions to the schools with no regrad to outcome. For the first time schools have been CLOSED due to poor teaching programs and bad leaders. Is that not what conservatives are for? Charter schools exist because of NCLB - how is that bad?


20 posted on 03/14/2012 12:56:11 PM PDT by q_an_a (the more laws the less justice)
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To: q_an_a
Before NCLB the government sent millions to the schools with no regrad to outcome. For the first time schools have been CLOSED due to poor teaching programs and bad leaders. Is that not what conservatives are for? Charter schools exist because of NCLB - how is that bad?

First, George W Bush is not exactly a Conservative, nor was his buddy Teddy Kennedy who helped get it to pass in Congress, and we can't forget John Boehner either since he helped it in the House.

Regardless of that, schools and teachers should be the responsibility of the local school districts and the local taxpayers, not bureaucrats in Washington. Just because there are districts where parents and taxpayers don't step up and take responsibility doesn't mean we should invite the federal government into all of the classrooms across the country.

Thanks to NCLB we are cranking out a generation of test takers. I supposed that's good if you want kids to work the counter at McDonald's, but teaching to the test will hurt this country in the long run.

You can be a cheerleader for all you want, but don't come crying when some future version of Obama uses NCLB in a way you don't like.
21 posted on 03/14/2012 1:26:03 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: q_an_a
Before NCLB the government sent millions to the schools with no regrad to outcome.

By the way, those "millions" were not the property of the federal government to begin with, and they should never have left local districts and states, because those "millions" are what you and I call taxpayer money. You know, taxpayers, me and you, that ever-shrinking soon-to-be minority of folks in this country.

We should not be sending money we need for our local districts to Washington, because that gives Washington the chance to dictate how we spend it, if we even get most of it back.

22 posted on 03/14/2012 1:30:01 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Austin really isnt Texas anymore. Its 2 million Californians who want to change Texas into the home.


23 posted on 03/14/2012 1:33:08 PM PDT by DainBramage
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To: af_vet_rr
well you and I would do well to kick a heck of a lot of folks out of Wahsington, that take our tax dollars and spend it like it is their money not ours. I am working to get my congressman, in N. TX to be FORMER Congressman, I hope he loses big time, because he is always smiling when handing out checks to cities, museums etc. etc.

Do you have any idea what the budget for library money is in the Fed Budget? It is $160,000,000. Take fifty or sixty of those programs out of the government, cut the amount of money sent to states from education dept, reduce 1,000s of old regulations that have no purpose and suddenly government is a better size. I am working for change.

24 posted on 03/14/2012 3:08:11 PM PDT by q_an_a (the more laws the less justice)
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To: q_an_a
well you and I would do well to kick a heck of a lot of folks out of Wahsington, that take our tax dollars and spend it like it is their money not ours.

Amen to that! When we send taxpayer money off to Washington and have it doled back out by the bureaucrats to the states for education, there's a huge chunk of that money that stays in Washington to pay for those bureaucrats.

I have a feeling that a lot of states that are having problems with funding education wouldn't have that problem if more tax dollars stayed within the state, if not the local districts.
25 posted on 03/14/2012 3:14:52 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr
You make a couple of interesting points - to say GWB was no conservative is to say that the people he got onto the Surpreme Court are not conservative or that having the money we spend on schools make better schools is not conservative. We would not have a need for NCLB if states like Calif did not get federal money to teach gender studies instead of American History.

Here is a solid fact you can take to the bank, in 2000 80% of all federal and state inmates could not read at 4th grade level. What happens when you get people able to read and they no longer need to steal to make a living? NCLB has improved the 4th and 8th grade reading of TX kids. In the past five years - 10 years after the TX model for NCLB program started our prison growth has been FLAT!! As a supporter of Kiros in TX prisons it is proven that the folks who can read stay out of prison once released at a higher rate than those that can't read. Is reducing CRIME a conservative ideal? Then NCLB may be a big help.

26 posted on 03/14/2012 3:18:41 PM PDT by q_an_a (the more laws the less justice)
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To: q_an_a
to say GWB was no conservative is to say that the people he got onto the Surpreme Court are not conservative or that having the money we spend on schools make better schools is not conservative.

It's not saying that at all. GWB oversaw the biggest and most powerful expansion of the federal government in our history. Don't pretend he's a Conservative or defend him by defending his judge appointees.

We would not have a need for NCLB if states like Calif did not get federal money to teach gender studies instead of American History.

Here's an idea: Get rid of NCLB and stop sending education tax dollars to Washington. If the idiots in California want to run their schools into the ground, let them. It should not be the federal government's job to dictate what local schools do with taxpayer money, it should be up to the local taxpayers. If the local taxpayers want to support such idiotic things, let them.

Here is a solid fact you can take to the bank, in 2000 80% of all federal and state inmates could not read at 4th grade level.

Here's a solid fact that you can take to the bank: There are going to be people who do not finish school or who don't have parents that help them succeed in school, and teacher ratios, spending per student, NCLB, or anything else of the nature will not fix it. It's funny you mention Texas, we have a tremendous number of immigrants who do not speak English, do not have anything approaching a high school education, and NCLB is not going to fix that. If anything, it will hurt us as their numbers increase, because their children will drag down our scores and we'll have to spend more and more on ESL.

The federal government should not be involved in local school issues and the federal government is wasting taxpayer money that could be better spent by local schools just by its very nature of existence - for every tax dollar you send to Washington, you do not get a dollar back, not even close.
27 posted on 03/15/2012 11:50:51 AM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr

your arguements about how the money is spent is interesting but it fails one test - name one Republican in senate or house that really tried to get the FEDS out of the education business. The dollars come to Washington, the congress devides it up into the various departments, you and I don’t send five dollars to Washington for schools they divide our 100 20 ways including 5 for schools and 5 for defense.


28 posted on 03/15/2012 12:09:48 PM PDT by q_an_a (the more laws the less justice)
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