Saturday, February 6, 2010

TEXAS: The Model State

My Fellow Americans,

For the last year and a half, given the state of the economy in the United States, I have looked around the country to find a place to live that would allow for the best quality of life.  I searched various states, scoured the Internet for small towns, and looked for any city that had any promise of job growth.  What I found was that no place seemed to compare to one state in particular: Texas.  The Lone Star state has lived up to its name: it really is the lone shining star in a sky full of duds.

So, what makes Texas (photo: Google) the best place to live in the United States?  Well, besides it being the home of my favorite politician, Ron Paul and my favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys, Texas has NO state income tax.  And if that isn't enough of a reason to move there, consider the following, courtesy of NBC Dallas-Fort Worth:

- "[Texas'] economy is stronger. The Lone Star State has more Fortune 500 companies than any other state in the Union. Texas has 64 compared to California's 51 -- including three major airlines, AT&T, Dell, Texas Instruments, ExxonMobil ... just to name a few. According to the article in Trends magazine, Texas also created 70 percent of all new jobs in 2008 and enjoys a robust surplus. California is adding roughly $25 million per day to its $26 billion in debt. Ouch."

- "It's safer in Texas. Whether the calamity be weather- or crime-related, Texas fares better than California. Your wildfires cannot be topped and no amount of Earth-rattling will dump us into the ocean. As far as crime goes, we both have the death penalty ... Texas just isn't afraid to use it."  (Could you imagine if the terrorists attacked Dallas or Houston instead of New York?  Let's just say we wouldn't be worried about where the trial would be).

- "Our elected leaders, while often not perfect, are not former actors, wannabe actors, widows of actors, formerly engaged to actors or want to work part-time as actors while they "serve" the people as politicians. By and large, Texas politicians are people who care about making Texas better through making things better for Texans. Seems to be working."

- "The cost of living is remarkably lower. The price of land and residences are exponentially lower. The difference in what you can buy here for $250,000 vs. California is shameful. We have no state income tax and no taxes on capital gains. No further words about this are necessary."

I want to talk to you more about the Texas economy.  A Sept. 21, 2009 story in the Houston Business Journal had this to say: "After a small contraction in 2009, the state’s gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.7 percent in 2010, aided in part by a surge in home sales, according to economists with BBVA Compass. The GDP of the entire country, by contrast, is predicted to increase by only 0.2 percent [in 2010]."

Furthermore, "Though 48 states predicted budget shortfalls at the beginning of [2009], with Texas projecting a 9.5 percent deficit, it is the only state among the seven Sun Belt states covered by BBVA Compass to forecast a balanced budget in 2010."

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, in its Feb. 2010 Regional Economic Update, cites "[c]ontinuing improvement in the regional economy supports the prospects of a mild recovery.  Notably, Texas real GDP increased at a 3.3 percent annualized pace in the third quarter [of 2009]. In addition, total nonfarm employment increased in both October and November and fell slightly in December. Overall, from September to December, jobs were essentially unchanged...The Texas unemployment rate rose slightly in December to 8.3 from 8 percent, but remains below the national rate of [9.7] percent."

Perhaps even better than its economic prospects, Texas' conservative value system is a major draw for many as well.  Unlike many of our leaders in Washington, those that call the shots in this great state actually share the same values and principles with their constituents.  Politicians in Texas seem to hear their voters more.

Take, Ron Paul.  Consider Paul's message to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 7, 2008: "If you follow the Constitution, you will defend freedom. Freedom brings people together. It allows people to run their lives as they choose, it allows them to practice religion as they choose, it is not confrontational & not antagonistic. The welfare state, the warfare state, & the socialist state, is exactly the opposite. It divides us, because they take away our wealth, they control it in Washington. What is happening today? Millions of dollars of campaign funds & PAC money, and lobbying efforts to control the money that gravitates to Washington, DC. The pie is shrinking, and the people are getting angry, and we have forgotten what a free country is all about. We’ve lost our confidence, because we have to have safety nets here and safety nets here and do all of these things. It’s coming to an end and there’s a wonderful, beautiful answer. It comes in our traditions and it comes in the principles of liberty. If you promote liberty, liberty promotes peace. And peace promotes prosperity."

Oh, and did I mention the housing?  You truly can live like a king (or queen) in Texas -- especially in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Picture this: 2,250 to 3,250 square feet, 3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, community pool, community golf, and community tennis courts -- all for less than $210,000.  Yes, it's true. And if you have a larger budget, say in the $500,000 to $700,000 range, you can live like a millionaire for three-quarters or even half the price in the Northeast.

Texas truly is the place to be, in The Refounding Father's opinion.  Conservative values, great housing, cheap land, a growing economy, and, not to mention, the chance the state will always secede!

That's why yours truly has considered relocating...

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