July 16, 2009

CA vs. TX

Much has been made of this article in The Economist regarding TX 'overtaking' CA as the premier state in the country. It's bullshit (not that I'm not a fan of Texas exceptionalism, but there's little to be proud of these days).

1) Our business climate is AWESOME because we welcome any enterprise to this state, let them use our resources and infrastructure AND give them tax abatements on top of not making them really contribute much of anything. Plus, if you're really lucky, your business can even get money from 39%'s slush fund.

2) Our schools (public and private from the elementary level to university) are seriously behind. For the love of God, we're actually wondering if kids should be taught whether or not the Earth is 6000 years old.

3) Taxes are low. Tell that to property owners. And anyone who buys something. At least people in CA get to deduct what they pay in state income tax from what they pay the Feds. In Texas, ordinary citizens shoulder the burden exclusively. In other states, it's usually aided by business.

4) Regulation is lax in Texas compared to CA... no shit. Just ask refiners along the coast. People in CA actually complain about toxic releases and flares.

5) The budget in Texas is balanced. It's true, but it's only true because of $12bn from the Feds.

Very little mention was made of the regressive tax structure, our crumbling and woefully inadequate infrastructure (or of the desire of some to sell it off, in some cases with taxpayer subsidies), our super high electric and insurance rates and the list goes on and on.

California's problems are largely of their own anti-tax design. It's when citizens decide they don't want to pay for the services they use. Combine that with a massive recession and an overextended housing market and CA today looks, well, a lot like Texas in the 80's. But, even still, they're way better in a lot of categories.

I write this not to shit on the state I love but because I don't want people crowing about this. We should be doing much better, but we can't because 39% and the Republicans have been a miserable failure. Remember that while you write your check for your electric bill. And insurance bill. And property tax bill. Think real hard about it when you're sitting in traffic on a freeway that's basically the same as they day it was opened.

Posted by mcblogger at July 16, 2009 02:52 PM

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And who can forget that goldie oldie Prop 13

Posted by: Captain Kroc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 16, 2009 07:16 PM

The funny thing is that we haven't passed our own.

Posted by: mcblogger [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 16, 2009 11:53 PM

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