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Willisms

« Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 690 -- Obama, Albatross. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 692 -- Obama's Decline. »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 691 -- Texas Versus California.

Two Models, Tested. Now The Results-

The government of California spends a lot more per capita than the government of Texas:

californiaversustexasspending.gif
Americans paid an average of $4,001 per person in state and local taxes. But Californians paid $4,517 per person, well above that national average, while Texans paid $3,235.

....

California had total revenues of $11,160 per capita, more than every state but Alaska, Wyoming, and New York, while Texas placed a distant 44th on this scale, with revenues of all governmental entities totaling $7,558 per person.

What might interest Tiebout is that while California and Texas are comparable in terms of sheer numbers, their demographic paths are diverging. Before 1990, both states grew much faster than the rest of the country. Since then, only Texas has continued to do so. While its share of the nation’s population has steadily increased, from 6.8 percent in 1990 to 7.9 percent in 2007, California’s has barely budged, from 12 percent to 12.1 percent.

....

State and local government expenditures as a whole were 46.8 percent higher in California than in Texas in 2005–06—$10,070 per person compared with $6,858. And Texas not only spends its citizens’ dollars more effectively; it emphasizes priorities that are more broadly beneficial. In 2005–06, per-capita spending on transportation was 5.9 percent lower in California than in Texas, and highway expenditures in particular were 9.5 percent lower, a discovery both plausible and infuriating to any Los Angeles commuter losing the will to live while sitting in yet another freeway traffic jam. With tax revenues scarce and voters strongly opposed to surrendering more of their income, Texas officials devote a large share of their expenditures to basic services that benefit the most people. In California, by contrast, more and more spending consists of either transfer payments to government dependents (as in welfare, health, housing, and community development programs) or generous payments to government employees and contractors (reflected in administrative costs, pensions, and general expenditures).

It is noteworthy that the dire predictions about Texas falling into the ocean for lack of government funding on various programs are not coming true. Not even close. Texas flourishes, while California struggles. These were the choices the states made. They are reaping the fruits of their efforts.

While no state in America is perfect, competition makes us all better, and Texas is winning the battle of ideas over California.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama, Albatross.

Posted by Will Franklin · 5 November 2009 10:17 AM

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