Texans – of the conservative variety, at least – love to hate on California. It’s just so easy. And a new report released by the Texas Public Policy Foundation Monday at its Texas vs. California luncheon featuring Dr. Art Laffer makes it even easier.
The 40 solid pages are chock full of comparisons between the two states’ style of governing, showing concrete examples of California’s tax-and-spend approach hampering the economy, while Texas’ tax-light, freedom-heavy approach allows many more opportunities for growth, prosperity and comfort.
A few gems:
- When regional differences in cost of living are factored into poverty measurements, California has the highest percentage of population in poverty – nearly one fourth.
- Although California was the top destination state in the 1980s, its net domestic migration has been negative for more than 20 years.
- If California’s electricity rates were the same as Texas’, there would be an average savings of $265 per Californian per year.
- Excessive regulations drive up real estate prices in California by as much as 61 percent.
- California’s workers’ compensation costs are third highest in the nation. (The professional athletes who played a few games in the state and later received hundreds of thousands in workers’ comp could have something to do with it.)
- Since so many people are moving from California to Texas and so few vice versa, U-Haul charges twice as much to rent a van from Texas to California.
- If California eliminated its income taxes (which are both high and very progressive), it would still tax its residents more than Texas does.
- Despite taxing its residents at higher rates and having more tax revenue to dish out, its services are not actually better. For example, Though California spends on average three times as much per mile of highway construction and significantly outspends Texas in education, our roads and standardized test scores are much better than California’s.
Granted, there are certain areas where the states are tied (like the death tax, which neither levies), and some where Texas could even take a leaf from California’s book (like the ratio of debt and unfunded liabilities to gross state product). But in the big picture, Texas is the clear winner.
The Lone Star State is the jobs capital of the world for a reason, and the thousands upon thousands who have voted with their feet are proof. “How Big Government Hurts the Economy” lays out the reasons in clear numerical comparisons. You can read all 40 pages here. But even if you’re not a numbers person, there’s surely one equation we can all understand: Texas > California.