Hello, I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. I’ve spent a lot of time right here at PersonalLiberty.com as a prosecutor laying out the indictment of Barack Obama. But now it’s time to see the glass as half full. It’s time to light the way to prosperity. Now I’m going to paint a picture of how a country should be run. That example is the great State of Texas. If you want to see how a country should be run; if you’re interested in seeing your citizens succeed; and if you’re interested in creating opportunity, mobility and the pursuit of happiness, all you need to do is look at Texas.
Facts don’t lie. It seems like everyone is moving to Texas, the land of “Wild West Cowboy Capitalism” –especially residents of high tax-and-spend States like California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois and Michigan. From 2000 to 2010, a staggering 3.4 million people moved out of New York, resulting in a net loss of 1.3 million residents. California was a close second with a net population loss of 1.2 million during the same decade.
During that same time, Texas led the Nation in net population growth. A remarkable 551,914 new Texans came from one State: California. They brought with them $14.3 billion in income. In just one year (from 2009 to 2010), 48,877 Californians moved to Texas, bringing with them $1.2 billion. But even that paled against the almost $1 trillion in assets and income that relocated New Yorkers brought to the Lone Star State. Wow!
So why is everyone running for their lives from New York and California? And why are so many of them heading to Texas? The answers are taxes, regulations and quality of life — in other words, government interference in their lives or, in the case of Texas, minimal interference. It’s no coincidence that New York has ranked first or second in the Nation for tax burden every year since 1977.
In addition to State income, property and sales taxes, New York has a whopping 49 cents per gallon gas tax and the highest estate and gift taxes in the Nation. After grabbing more of your money than any State while you’re alive, New York also steals more of your money after you’re dead — with estate taxes. I should know; I left New York 25 years ago and never looked back.
But California couldn’t stand to be No. 2. Those Hollywood socialists are so competitive. Not to be outdone by New York, last November, California passed the highest State income taxes in America. You can almost hear the liberals shouting: “We’re No. 1!” Yes, the State is No. 1 in taxes, but it’s also No. 1 in people running for the exit — especially high-income earners and high-net-worth individuals. Be careful what you wish for.
California not only leads the Nation in taxes, it is also the worst State for excessive rules and regulations. It’s no wonder so many people are escaping California. I should know; I left California, too.
Lest you think this is some kind of fluke or that taxes are not the determining factor in this “escape from New York and California,” it isn’t just Texas that is gaining all these fleeing residents. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that all of the top 15 States for population growth during the past decade are no-tax or low-tax States. And since the 2010 census, Texas dominates the list for fastest-growing cities, with eight of the top 15. Remarkable.
It seems Americans are smarter than politicians give them credit for. They are voting with their feet for lower taxes, pro-business attitude and more economic freedom.
Because no State in the union has a better economy, let’s look “up close and personal” at the Texas miracle. What exactly is “Wild West Cowboy Capitalism” and why does it work?
Texas has zero State income tax, zero capital gains tax and zero death tax. It is a “right to work” State where employees may choose to join a union, but are never forced. It is a pro-business and anti-lawyer State, passing both landmark medical lawsuit reform and America’s first “loser pays” lawsuit reform. The results of the medical reforms? Lawsuits dropped by 70 percent. Twenty-five thousand doctors moved to Texas. Medical liability insurance rates dropped by as much as 50 percent. Texas is also one of the most difficult States in which to file class action lawsuits.
Quite simply, Texas treats businesspeople and taxpayers nicely. The State offers more business incentives ($19 billion) than any other State.
On the other hand, Texas is tightfisted with taxpayer money. They pay the least generous welfare and entitlement benefits. California is the exact opposite. They are the welfare capital of America. California has one-third of the Nation’s welfare recipients. Why? Because California pays the most generous welfare benefits in the Nation: $179 per citizen compared to $32 per citizen in Texas.
Texas is also tightfisted with its government employees. California government employees are paid 25.2 percent more on average than State employees in Texas. California has the highest-paid teachers in America, while Texas pays its teachers far less. Yet the high school graduation rate is higher in Texas than California. Texas runs its government far more efficiently.
Texas has a balanced budget amendment. By contrast, California owes an astounding $167 billion. The result is people with high incomes, assets and ambition are moving into Texas, while those who lack work ethic and feel entitled to handouts are moving out. Good luck to New York and California. We’ll see you in bankruptcy court.
One of the ways this has been made possible is that the Texas State constitution limits the time politicians can meet to 90 days every other year. That explains everything. Texas, like my adopted home state of Nevada, has low taxes and the fastest growing population because politicians aren’t allowed to sit in their seats all year long thinking of new ways to redistribute income, impede business and destroy jobs.
Just look at the remarkable results of favoring hard-working business owners and job-creators over entitlement addicts and lawyers. The annual Texas economy has passed $1 trillion, accounting for 8.3 percent of the entire U.S. economy. It is second largest in America and 14th largest in the world — equivalent to Russia.
How about jobs? Feast your eyes on these statistics: Since 2007, one-third of all jobs in America were created in Texas; and in the past decade, more jobs were created in Texas than in the other 49 States combined. Texas is where three out of every five jobs created in America since 2007 were created.
Even more amazing is the kind of jobs Texas has been creating. They have created the most private-sector jobs in the Nation and eliminated government jobs — the kind that cost taxpayers big money.
According to CNN/Money, Texas for the first time has more Fortune 500 headquarters than New York. Texas is also home to six of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies.
At the same time, Texas displaced New York as the second largest economy in this country. Texas’ economy had the most explosive growth in all of America for the past 50 years, while California’s economy has been among the worst.
Texas’ fiscal condition is sound. California, New York, Illinois and all these other high tax-and-spend States careen from crisis to crisis, always on the verge of bankruptcy. Business flourishes. Here’s an example why. California-based CKE Restaurants has more than 3,000 restaurants, including Carl’s Jr. and Hardees. Its president, quoted in The Wall Street Journal, called his home State of California business-unfriendly and noted that opening a restaurant in California takes two years and costs $200,000 more than opening one in Texas, where it takes only six weeks. Is it a surprise that CKE has stopped opening new restaurants in California, but plans to open 300 in Texas? Chevron must have gotten the same memo. It recently announced it is moving 800 high-paying employees (one quarter of its workforce) from California to Houston.
Still unconvinced? Ask the CEOs of America. In Chief Executive magazine’s annual poll (the one that ranked California dead last in America for business for eight consecutive years), Texas has been ranked No. 1 for those same eight straight years. And CNBC just ranked Texas as the top State in America for business for 2012 — the third time it’s been ranked No. 1 in six years.
Texas recently passed its 2013 budget. Texas cut taxes and spending, and it wound up with a record-setting $8 billion budget surplus. Congratulations to Governor Rick Perry.
Now you know why all my exes live in Texas. I’ll bet all your ex-business partners and ex-friends do, too. Now you know how to save America. Just follow Texas; it’s that simple. Now you understand that businesses, as well as people, choose States that treat them better, give them more economic freedom and allow them to keep more of their own money. Imagine that?
The results of smaller government, restrained politicians and lower taxes is dramatically increased wealth, job creation and citizens with a higher quality of life. God bless Texas. The solution to saving America is to do the opposite of everything Obama does. Texas proves it works.
By the way, my Texas friends want everyone to know: “Come on down, ya’ll are welcome. Just leave your socialist politics at home.” I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. See you next week. Same time, same place. God bless America.