by Susan Combs
I am mighty proud to be a Texan and here are the secrets behind the Lone Star Success story.
We Texans get fired up and proud of our legacy as Texans. I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of a Top Ten list for just about anything. So here are my Top Ten Reasons Why Texas Is So Great. And like the late night talk show hosts, I am going to start with number 10.
Number 10: This one we didn’t have much to do with, but I like it anyway—sometimes you’re just blessed! Texas is the best-shaped state of any of the 50. How could you point with pride to a boring, rectangular shaped state? Texas has it all – we bust out north in the Panhandle, glide East over rolling hills down and through the pine trees, and curve gently along the south and southwest following the wonderful Rio Grande to miles of beautiful coastline. All that natural beauty, and we have a state in great fiscal shape, too!
Number 9: We have lots of wide-open spaces and the stars are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas. Land is relatively cheap here, so you can build a home and you can afford it. Even folks in their twenties are finding they can get a home to call their own, whether on the range or in the city.
Number 8: Your doctor…close by. Texas solved the problem of having obstetricians and other doctors stay and work in Texas by passing legislation to limit their insurance malpractice costs, so you don’t have to drive hours and hours to see a doctor. Following tort reform, Texas has more doctors – and it has been hugely positive for the far-flung rural areas of our big state, too!
Number 7: We plan ahead. We have billions of dollars committed to water projects and potentially billions more coming for roads – if Texans vote in November to use these funds for our state’s transportation projects. We want you to be able to go from point A to point B and have a drink of water along the way.
Number 6: Regulatory certainty. You can count on knowing what the regulations are going to be without having to worry that some new rule will kill your business or prevent your house from being built. Rational regulations are essential for business growth. And that is why our economy is the strongest in the nation.
Number 5: Texas is a great place to do business. Group after group, business publications and trade associations, list Texas in the top two or three states to do business and many of our cities were among the top rankings. But it’s not just our biggest cities that are great for business – look at Brownsville, Lubbock, Midland, McAllen, El Paso, and Tyler. These are wonderful places to do business in…and live! And the best news is that there are too many to even list.
Number 4: We have jobs and plenty of ‘em. From 2000 to 2013, the number of jobs in Texas went up by nearly 25%. How about the rest of the country? A dismal 4.7%. That doesn’t make any parent happy in looking to the future of our kids. After the big recession, Texas got all of the jobs we lost back and then added 900,000 more. Another way to look at it is that from 2002 to 2011, Texas created nearly one third of the nation’s highest-paying positions! Wow. So you not only have a job, but you have a job that puts more cash in your pocket.
Number 3: We have a Rainy Day Fund for unexpected problems. Our leaders voted to create it and we Texans approved it at the ballot box – and it is the envy of other states across the country. Right now it has over $6 billion in it and it has earned over $700 million in interest since its inception. That means we have been conservative and careful with government spending and your money. We got the state covered in stormy weather, so you can focus on building your own future.
Number 2: No state income tax. Let me repeat that because it is pretty astounding. Texas has no…state…income…tax. So what, you might ask? Well, it means you get to keep more of your own money and that’s a good thing.
And Number 1: Texans. We are a state with loads of friendly people who genuinely like to chat, wave, and help strangers, neighbors, and just about anybody else. Texas or Tejas as one of the early variations goes, meant “friends.” It was true a couple of hundred years ago and it still is today.
And all of these reasons I listed above were the result (except of course for the admirable shape of our state and the stars at night) of conservative and fiscally prudent legislation, policies, and leadership. That means a lot to individuals and families trying to secure a bright future. A good paying job, an affordable home, and economic certainty and security to build your future – these are just some of the reasons for the Lone Star Success.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Click here to read more about Texas’ Lone Star Success.