Texas Is Proof That Less Taxes and Regulations Works For Jobs
It seems that the Republican methodology has been proven correct. Their mantra is less taxes and less government will create jobs and create economic recovery. Because of Texas Republican Governor, the state has been having a boom time. This is happening as the much of the USA struggles to recover.
When you combine this with low cost of living, people flock to it like a fly goes to light. Texas has grown in 2-3 years, adding 1.3 million people. This is more than any other state. If that is not proof enough, there is the fact that 5 out of 10 with the largest population increases in the USA have been in Texas in the last year. Its capital, Austin, grew by over 25,000 and now has more people than San Francsico, CA. Last year, Texans paid 7.5% of their income to the state, while in California, they paid 11.5%. That explains why so many California businesses have relocated to Texas and why its Governor Perry frequently has ads in California promoting why business should relocate to Texas.
The down side is that Texas spends less per resident for infrastructure than most other states in the USA, ranking 45th on highway expenditures. But, 310,000 jobs were added in just a year while unemployment is 5.5%, the national rate is close to 7%. For California, the ads from Governor Perry seem to be very effective because 25% of all new residents between 2006 to now came from California!
Industry is finding the state a great place. Toyota is opening a new auto plant near Dallas and will create 4000 new jobs. However, the dark spot with all this growth is that the quality of life diminishes especially in the urban areas. Just try getting around in Austin, Dallas, Houston. If you hated LA freeway congestion, it is no different there. Water is a big deal in a this dry state and 70% of the state is already in a drought. Finding new water sources is a serious issue.The state has a shortage of $5 billion for the state's infrastructure. The congestion on the Texas freeways is so bad and causes road wear, many businesses are asking the state to increase the gas tax.
Cities and the state battle each other for funding. The state is frugal and attracts many new residents, yet, the cities must actually deal with them locally for roads, water, schools etc. Because the state refuses to, Austin is $40 billion in debt. So is Houston. Cities are having to provide funds that traditionally have always been the state's responsibility. San Antonio, which has 14 million people, survives on water from Lake Medina. It is at its lowest point since the 1950's. Water rates there have increased 20% every year for the past five years to fund a $400 million desalination plant that will treat dirty underground water. The city is now in $10 billion in debt!
But, while Texas is having a boom time, the cities within are facing major debt and problems because the state will not pay their share. But before you rush to the state, or Austin, specifically (a great city, BTW), Austin was the awarded the fourth worst traffic congestion in the USA. Austin is like a magnet for non-residents. It attracts with its numerous lakes and hills and university. Even in the 60's, Austin, which was 200,000, was thought as "California" where long hair and progressive ideas flourished. Austin now gets 100 new residents daily. Besides horrid traffic conditions that will not get better, rents and housing are rising as competition creeps in.
So, the Republican method seems to be valid to a point. But as the state refuses to fund many projects to help its cities, life will deteriorate in its cities.