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Just Because California Is Terrible, that Doesn’t Mean Texas Is Perfect.
Townhall.com ^ | January 22, 2013 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 01/22/2013 7:53:11 AM PST by Kaslin

Texas is in much better shape than California. Taxes are lower, in part because Texas has no state income tax.

No wonder the Lone Star State is growing faster and creating more jobs.

And the gap will soon get even wider since California voters recently decided to drive away more productive people by raising top tax rates.

But a key challenge for all governments is controlling the size and cost of bureaucracies.

Government employees are probably overpaid in both states, but the situation is worse in California, as I discuss in a recent interview with John Stossel.

But being better than California is not exactly a ringing endorsement of Texas fiscal policy.

A column in today’s Wall Street Journal, written by the state’s Comptroller of Public Accounts, points out some worrisome signs.

As the chief financial officer of the nation’s second-largest state, even I have found it hard to get a handle on how much governments are spending, and how much debt they’re taking on. Every level of government is piling up incredible bills. And they’re coming due, whether we like it or not. Even in low-tax Texas, property taxes have risen three times faster than the inflation rate and four times faster than our population growth since 1992. Our local governments, meanwhile, more than doubled their debt load in the last decade, to more than $7,500 in debt for every man, woman and child in the state. In Houston alone, city-employee pension plans are facing an unfunded liability of $2.4 billion. But too many taxpayers aren’t given the information they need to make informed decisions when they vote debt issues. Recently I spent several months holding about 40 town-hall meetings with Texans across our state. Each time, I asked the attendees if they could tell me how much debt their local governments are carrying. Not a single person in a single town had this information.

In other words, taxpayers need to be eternally vigilant, regardless of where they live. Otherwise the corrupt rectangle of politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and interest groups will figure out hidden ways of using the political process to obtain unearned wealth.

Dan Mitchell Comparing Excessive Bureaucrat Compensation in Texas and California


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
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1 posted on 01/22/2013 7:53:17 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I think the big difference is that Texans will do more to actually SOLVE their problems rather than perpetually kick the can down the road like California.


2 posted on 01/22/2013 7:56:32 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: Kaslin

When you do run across a Liberal Democrat from Texas he or she does tend to be a member of the extreme nutball fringe (Ronny Earl, Dan Rather, Molly Ivins, Jim Hightower, Sheila Jackson Lee, etc. etc. etc.)


3 posted on 01/22/2013 7:56:50 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Kaslin

I think Texans should be careful what they wish for. One of the reasons my state has headed to the right is because the liberals are fleeing to greener pastures and Texans are advertizing the greenest grass around.


4 posted on 01/22/2013 7:58:30 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Kaslin

Hey, if they could give Austin away to someone I’m sure they would. Whaddaya gonna do?


5 posted on 01/22/2013 8:02:30 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! [You can vote Democrat when you're dead]...)
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To: Free Vulcan

We are considering moving there to add to the conservative vote, but we have noted pockets of liberals who are spouting the same drivel as here in CA.
Of particular concern is the growth in hispanic population and the future politically with many of these hispanic’s having a very socialist mindset.
Unfortunately most of the recent hispanic immigrants don’t have the hard working characteristics of those in the past..the new ones have an entitlement mentality and are catered to by the RATS.


6 posted on 01/22/2013 8:06:36 AM PST by Oldexpat
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To: Oldexpat

Property taxes are based on property values. Further, Texans have voted to support schools by property taxes, not income taxes. However, there is no cap on taxes, which allows for increases in excess of inflation. That is one item to be addressed this session.


7 posted on 01/22/2013 8:10:05 AM PST by rstrahan
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To: Kaslin
If Texas were to dig up Austin, put in on a trailer and then transport it to Southern California where a big hole is waiting for it, both states would be made more perfect in their particular beliefs, morals and principles.
8 posted on 01/22/2013 8:11:14 AM PST by Happy Rain ("Banning guns over Adam Lanza would be like banning speech over Bill Maher.")
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To: Kaslin

Every level of government is piling up incredible bills.

- - - - -

No. Texas State Government is back to running a surplus

Texas not the only state with a budget surplus
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2976362/posts

Boom: Energy cash influx leads to a state budget surplus in Texas
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2976126/posts


9 posted on 01/22/2013 8:12:57 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Oldexpat

I’m a supporter of standing and fighting but some places are just too far gone to save.


10 posted on 01/22/2013 8:14:30 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Free Vulcan

“Hey, if they could give Austin away to someone I’m sure they would. Whaddaya gonna do?”

I feel the same way - but - then I remember.

It is possible for a state to require an enema. At that point, Austin becomes a vital necessity.

Other than that, there is no use for it whatsoever.


11 posted on 01/22/2013 8:15:58 AM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: rstrahan

The rollback rate provides the taxing unit approximately the same amount of tax revenue it spent the previous year for day-to-day operations plus an extra 8-percent cushion, and sufficient funds to pay its debts in the coming year. For school districts, the cushion is eight cents per $100 of property value, not 8 percent. If a unit adopts a tax rate that is higher than the rollback rate, voters in the unit can circulate a petition calling for an election to roll back (or limit) the size of the tax increase. For school districts, no petition is required. The school board calls for an election to ratify the adopted rate if the adopted rate exceeds the rollback rate.

http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/tx96_295/rates.html


12 posted on 01/22/2013 8:16:11 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: rstrahan

It’s not just a Texas or california thing. Here in what is claimed to be a conservative suburb in ohio, the soccer moms here have a sense of entitlement that would make an inner city welfare queen blush. These doughy broads will call you every name in the book if you suggest they should pay full freight for the kids they brought into the world to play games and/or be in clubs at school. No...they would force people like me who ate a lot of mac annd cheese to send my kid to a private school to carry their water.


13 posted on 01/22/2013 8:19:54 AM PST by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: Kaslin
Here's something I posted that shows a Texas senator trying to solve this.

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2980204/posts

14 posted on 01/22/2013 8:22:11 AM PST by manic4organic (It was nice knowing you, America.)
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To: cripplecreek

Agreed. Between the illegal aliens flooding north, and the leftist rats from the west coast jumping ship, it will not be long before they kill Texas just like they did in California. My only hope is that we are attracting enough conservatives to counter act the scum.


15 posted on 01/22/2013 8:22:46 AM PST by RightOnTheBorder
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To: Kaslin
It’s very simple: Government is overhead. Let the overhead get away from you or be spent on unnecessary items and you’re DOA.
16 posted on 01/22/2013 8:23:02 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

“People will be hunting Democrats with dogs,” said Senator Phil Gramm of Texas in 2009.


17 posted on 01/22/2013 8:26:52 AM PST by dblshot (I am John Galt.)
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To: RightOnTheBorder

I’m happy to take the northern conservatives in Michigan to keep our momentum. We just need to find a way to convince liberals to go to Europe and stay there.


18 posted on 01/22/2013 8:28:06 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Happy Rain

“If Texas were to dig up Austin”

And if we Conservatives in California were to dig up SF (including Marin & Alameda Counties) and LA (including Hollywood) and transplant them next to Austin, we’d have a pretty decent state too! Actually, you could group everything down near Houston and it would work out better for both of us.


19 posted on 01/22/2013 8:32:20 AM PST by vette6387
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To: Happy Rain

“If Texas were to dig up Austin”

And if we Conservatives in California were to dig up SF (including Marin & Alameda Counties) and LA (including Hollywood) and transplant them next to Austin, we’d have a pretty decent state too! Actually, you could group everything down near Houston and it would work out better for both of us.


20 posted on 01/22/2013 8:32:29 AM PST by vette6387
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To: vette6387
you could group everything down near Houston

I think many of those liberals heads would explode if forced to live near America's Energy Capital. Too many of us oil/gas folks for their liking.

21 posted on 01/22/2013 8:42:21 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: RightOnTheBorder

Part of why I’m bailing from CA and moving back to Texas. I’ll make my last (political) stand and try to help out my fellow conservatives there, where we still have a chance. That is just not the case in CA...


22 posted on 01/22/2013 8:44:01 AM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: cripplecreek

“I think Texans should be careful what they wish for. One of the reasons my state has headed to the right is because the liberals are fleeing to greener pastures and Texans are advertizing the greenest grass around.”

Yeah, like the ones that came here from the Northeast after WWII and crapped in our nest here in California. We also “took in” the “poor Blacks” from the South who came here to build ships and airplanes during that same war and decided to set up shop here, make babies and vote themselves a check.


23 posted on 01/22/2013 8:48:57 AM PST by vette6387
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To: vette6387

Very true. Sadly, LA and SF totally dominate Sacramento. Austin dominates, well, Austin. That’s about it. Now, urban Dallas and Houston are also leftist swamps of entitlement, but they are fairly powerless for now. That may be changing. If it does, TX just becomes a smaller CA.

Don’t think we’re going to let that happen, though...


24 posted on 01/22/2013 8:50:45 AM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: vette6387

That’s almost exactly the same thing that happened to Michigan right down to the industry. Fortunately we’re turning things around.


25 posted on 01/22/2013 8:51:44 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: thackney

At the State level, yes. Things are indeed looking up.

However, at the Local level, things are not so rosy, as imbecile ‘rats (I know, redundant) continue to spend money they do not have. Cities like Houston, Dallas, Austin, etc. are generally run by ‘rats, and they budget accordingly. Hence, the ever expanding debt bomb and continued increases in local taxes to pay for worthless bureaucrats and other government ticks.


26 posted on 01/22/2013 8:55:47 AM PST by BrewingFrog (I brew, therefore I am!)
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To: Kaslin

Just because Texas isn’t perfect doesn’t make California tolerable.


27 posted on 01/22/2013 8:58:52 AM PST by NonValueAdded (If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you've likely misread the situation.)
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To: vette6387
A Conservative in California is like one cool breeze in the Sahara desert...nice to have you but don't mean a damn.

If anything, conservatives in California are dangerous now because once the Left has milked every tax dollar for the shiftless takers they will then tell the state GOP, “OK? What can YOU do?!?!”

And if the conservatives do what they are supposed to do the majority worthless bums will riot so bad the Obama administration will have no choice but to bailout the state in order to keep “order” and he will blame the GOP and his butt smooching MSM will agree.

Bankrupt states like Kalifonia are the Cloward/Piven test cases...we all are gonna fall in the end.

28 posted on 01/22/2013 9:08:01 AM PST by Happy Rain ("Banning guns over Adam Lanza would be like banning speech over Bill Maher.")
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To: RightOnTheBorder

Don’t wait. Change the laws now and make it very hard not just to tax, but to spend and borrow. Don’t forget the local level, etc. Make governement compete against each other for tax dollars. They’ll improve.


29 posted on 01/22/2013 9:11:49 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: vette6387

It is not the liberals who are fleeing the state. Why would they flee the “paradise” they worked so hard to create.

State income taxes maybe high but they are deductible on your federal taxes unlike other forms of taxes some states use.

Then we have a coming battle between state workers union greed vs environment idealism. You think they will lose part of their pensions while California is sitting on enough oil to pay for there pensions and fund useless government transportation projects built by union workers?


30 posted on 01/22/2013 9:14:21 AM PST by ThomasThomas
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To: vladimir998
I think the big difference is that Texans will do more to actually SOLVE their problems rather than perpetually kick the can down the road like California.

Contradicted by the facts in the article

Even in low-tax Texas, property taxes have risen three times faster than the inflation rate and four times faster than our population growth since 1992. Our local governments, meanwhile, more than doubled their debt load in the last decade, to more than $7,500 in debt for every man, woman and child in the state. In Houston alone, city-employee pension plans are facing an unfunded liability of $2.4 billion

Not a resounding endorsement of Texas' government

31 posted on 01/22/2013 9:16:05 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: Kaslin

North Dallas has turned into islam-central. It’s a shocking change since 9/11 even. Halal meat shops everywhere, burkas all over. I’m not joking whatsoever either. It’s really nuts.


32 posted on 01/22/2013 9:16:09 AM PST by Monty22002
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To: Kaslin

Texas is going to be California in 20 years, because of demographics. Hispanics will completely swamp the state, and the race for free stuff will begin. Taxes will shoot up. Crime will shoot up.


33 posted on 01/22/2013 9:17:06 AM PST by DesScorp
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To: Kaslin
It's true. Wages in Texas are the lowest in the nation, for example. If you have out-of-state obligations, you may find it tough to keep up on what you will be paid.

You cannot survive without a car (and the associated automobile expenses) in Texas' population centers.

If you are able to ditch out-of-state obligations, have a running automobile, and willing to trade the haut of the East for the hot of Texas, Texas is an option.

34 posted on 01/22/2013 9:18:35 AM PST by Lexinom
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To: dblshot

I guess that I’ll need to get some hounds then.


35 posted on 01/22/2013 9:20:07 AM PST by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: Oldexpat
Of particular concern is the growth in hispanic population and the future politically with many of these hispanic’s having a very socialist mindset.

California and Texas have the same exact percentage of Hispanics.

36 posted on 01/22/2013 9:22:15 AM PST by ansel12 (Cruz said "conservatives trust Sarah Palin that if she says this guy is a conservative, that he is")
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To: Happy Rain

“A Conservative in California is like one cool breeze in the Sahara desert...nice to have you but don’t mean a damn.”

Why don’t you run that notion by Jim Rob? Don’t you find it the least bit interesting that the premier Conservative Blog (FR) is headquartered in Fresno?
A lot of posters extol the “virtues” of Texas. And I guess if you want to live in rural Texas you can find freedom from most of the effects of Liberalism. But you can do the same thin in rural California. Do you actually think that places like Dallas and Houston are all that different than LA or SF? Well, excluding the weather.


37 posted on 01/22/2013 9:24:26 AM PST by vette6387
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To: piytar

I did just that last summer. I miss the weather, the beach and the mountains but I actually feel safer here. I lived in the bay area and though there are some fine conservative people even there they are just outnumbered by the wackos. And the labor unions are a big force.


38 posted on 01/22/2013 9:24:57 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: DesScorp

See post 36, and you are overlooking that Texas is something that California has never been, conservative.

California has been republican, but it was never right wing and seriously Christian.


39 posted on 01/22/2013 9:25:08 AM PST by ansel12 (Cruz said "conservatives trust Sarah Palin that if she says this guy is a conservative, that he is")
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To: Kaslin

Texas continues with latino trajectory and it will be lost as well.

And that will be it.


40 posted on 01/22/2013 9:25:38 AM PST by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: vette6387
Do you actually think that places like Dallas and Houston are all that different than LA or SF?

Yeah, I do, California is a disaster with a bleak and dark and irreversible future, Houston is still wild and woolly and very Texan.

41 posted on 01/22/2013 9:29:47 AM PST by ansel12 (Cruz said "conservatives trust Sarah Palin that if she says this guy is a conservative, that he is")
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To: vette6387

I agree with you about rual CA, but you can’t escape the state taxes and regulations.


42 posted on 01/22/2013 9:29:54 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: Oldexpat

Quit feeling like you have to qualify a fact.

Hispanics have always majority voted Democrat since they became a political force of any kind ..except Cubans and now that has turned too with younger Cubans going democrat.

We opened our doors in the 60s with Kennedy immigration bill and amped up minority visas and later opened our frontier borders as well.

We have quadrupled minority population here...at a minimum...and this is the windfall.

I hope folks are happy...I pointed this out here for years over a decade ago and was banned and smeared for my efforts.

White people are like chicken..stupid.

This nation as we know it will not survive...it’s happening quicker than I figured.

and when northern white liberals wake up it will be too late


43 posted on 01/22/2013 9:31:56 AM PST by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: Kaslin

Texas will love it when they have 40 million people, and a 7-11 greedymart run by Muslims on every corner...

Good luck with that


44 posted on 01/22/2013 9:33:41 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: ansel12

“Yeah, I do, California is a disaster with a bleak and dark and irreversible future, Houston is still wild and woolly and very Texan.”

If that’s true, why do I read very often here on FR about property crimes involving break ins in Houston? I used to spend a lot of time in Houston selling into the oil patch. It didn’t look to me that it was a lot different than other big cities except that you had to watch driving on the wet streets in the summer from the car A/C condensate! Lots of transients and bums on the streets too! So do I also gather that you have spent time in California to make your assessment?


45 posted on 01/22/2013 9:36:25 AM PST by vette6387
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To: Kaslin

The title itself suggests that California is even worse than it appears. If “perfect” is to be the benchmark of a good state, and Texas is not perfect, while California isn’t even close to Texas...

Then California is even closer to completely bad.

And of course it is, though things will get even worse. There is now a supermajority of democrats in the state legislature, and an even worse democrat as governor, giving the party of evil a blank check.


46 posted on 01/22/2013 9:36:27 AM PST by DPMD
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To: Kaslin

The Only Reason Texas isn’t perfect can be summed up in one word: “Austin”


47 posted on 01/22/2013 9:40:19 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: vette6387
Do you actually think that places like Dallas and Houston are all that different than LA or SF? Well, excluding the weather.

Outside the hellish heat and dripping humidity of Dallas and Houston, they both have considerable more crime per capita than LA.

48 posted on 01/22/2013 9:41:21 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Kaslin

The best thing Texas has going for it is that our Representatives’ to the state government are allowed to meet once every two years and then for a limited number of days(I believe 120).

Special sessions can be called by the Governor but must have a specific agenda.

Unfortunately our ‘Representatives’ once elected deem themselves lawmakers and that is where the problems start and seldom end...


49 posted on 01/22/2013 9:43:07 AM PST by CenTex (November 6, 2012... A day that will live in infamy!!!)
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To: from occupied ga

Texas property taxes are controlled by local not state government. .


50 posted on 01/22/2013 9:43:15 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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