Are citizens stronger, happier, and generally better off when they have more control over their own lives and money? We Texans not only think so, we believe the facts support our claim.
In fact, we think Texas policies should be a model for the nation.
In order to compare apples to apples, let’s compare Texas to California. After all, we’re the two most populous states, we both have diverse populations, long coastlines, a border with Mexico, large numbers of immigrants, abundant energy and natural resources, and enviable climates.
Our public policies, however, are polar opposites.
California’s state income tax is the 4th highest in the nation. Rates are bracketed by income, starting at 1% for those earning $15,174 or less – up to 13.3% plus $109,884.00 for those earning a million or more.
While the “1 percenters” at the top of the California food chain have average earnings of about $1.6 million, the rest of the population has an average income of $45,775.* If single, their California State Income Tax is 8.00% plus $1,360.28.**
Texas has NO state income tax – meaning that we Texas residents keep more of the money we earned.
California’s energy policies discourage oil extraction, even though California actually has more shale oil reserves than Texas.
Texas’s policies encourage oil production. We also have wind farms, creating even more energy.
California’s Industrial electrical rates are 88% higher than rates in Texas – making it much less expensive to manufacture goods in Texas.
Texas is growing faster…
Between 2000 and 2012, California’s population grew 11.9%. Texas grew by 24.4%. (The U.S. population as a whole increased by 11.3%.) A good number of those new Texas residents came from – where else – California. That debunks the idea that people only migrate to Texas for the weather!
Where are the greatest number of new jobs? Texas!
In the period between January 2000 to April 2013, nonfarm payroll in Texas grew by 19.7%, while California grew 2.6% and the U.S. overall grew by only 3.6%.
A common belief is that Texas “only” has jobs in oil production. Not so. Oil and gas extraction only amounted to 9.8% of Texas’ GDP in 2012, while manufacturing’s share was 14.5%. Then there are all those jobs in support industries, tourism, education, medical care, and yes – even technology. The Texas economy is diversified.
Why is this happening? Texas is business friendly. Businesses have far fewer regulations and hoops to jump than in California.
We’ll admit, California’s wages are higher than similar wages in Texas. However – First, Texans keep more of their earned dollars because of the difference in taxation. Then, the cost of housing, food, transportation, and health care is far higher in California.
If you compare two individuals working at the same kind of job – one in California and the other in Texas – the Texan can buy far more goods and services for 40 hours’ worth of work than his California counterpart.
So yes, we do believe Texans are better off than Californians.
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