“I want to take a moment to say thank you to Jared, the chairman of the largest county in this great state of ours. He has been an effective leader. I’ve endorsed him for his re-election and I’ve done it because of his record. I mean, he’s the kind of person who I’m proud to stand with. Now you see what has happened in this county, over the course of the last few years. We had some bumps back in the mid-2000s, if you’ll recall, and then to see that being built back, and it’s been because of your leadership, Jared, and I’m really proud to have you as a friend and as a leader of our biggest county, so thank you for what you’ve done!”
“The new regime”—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California’s government—”wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles.”
Housing is merely one front of what he calls the “progressive war on the middle class.” Another is the cap-and-trade law AB32, which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state’s energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020. California’s electricity prices are already 50% higher than the national average.
Oh, and don’t forget the $100 billion bullet train. Mr. Kotkin calls the runaway-cost train “classic California.” “Where [Brown] with the state going bankrupt is even thinking about an expenditure like this is beyond comprehension. When the schools are falling apart, when the roads are falling apart, the bridges are unsafe, the state economy is in free fall. We’re still doing much worse than the rest of the country, we’ve got this growing permanent welfare class, and high-speed rail is going to solve this?”
The out-migration is not so much an Exodus, as there is no Moses leading his people or their business enterprises out of California. But there are many shepherds, mostly in the southern states, eager to increase the size of their flocks. None has been more successful in attracting business to his fertile fields than Texas Governor Rick Perry. While presidential debates may not be his forte, Perry has proven to be an effective salesman for his state. The Lone Star State has added 730,000 jobs in the past decade, while California has lost 600,000 jobs during the same period. In 2008 alone, Texas accounted for no less than 70 percent of all new jobs created in America.
Crunch the numbers, and it’s easy to understand why. Texas has no personal state income tax, wile Californian taxes its residents at an average marginal rate of 9.55 per cent. California’s marginal corporate income tax rate is 8.84 percent, compared to the Texas franchise tax rate (the tax on gross receipts) of just 1 percent. Texas also has a lower state sales tax rate (6.25%) than California (8.25%). The median sales price for a home in California is $452,000, more than three times that of Texas, where houses average only $145,000.
As California’s politicians continue to look for ways to spend Other People’s Money (OPM), many of those Other People are finding that they can afford Stetson hats and custom handmade cowboy boots by Austin’s Lee Miller as they become newly minted Texans. With a shrinking tax base, one is left to ponder how California will be able to afford bullet trains when there are fewer commuters left to ride them.