Is Texas doing something right that California and other states aren't?
I was sent an article from the national review but as I haven't figured out how to upload I file for you and the National Review requires you to pay to be a subscriber to their magazine, I went searching and found the article reprinted with permission on Rick Perry's website. I encourage you to read it.
It points out that while Texas is feeling the effects of the recession or the slow down of the economy, it's effects are minimal compared to the states that have been hit hardest. It points out that we still have manufacturing thriving while Detroit has been hit hard. It points out that there is a mass migration from California while their government workers are taking IOUs as they attempt to balance the budget. Texas went into this recession with a surplus to the budget which will help ease the pain of the recession.
Texas has no state income tax. We have sales tax. Texas essentially operates as an example of the way the fair tax is meant to, by taxing everyone that makes purchases here. Legal or illegal, resident or visiting. So these people using our programs, whether they should or shouldn't be, are still paying into our system some way shape or form even if they aren't paying their emergency room bills.
This article makes the much hated Rick Perry look like a genius. He's running for reelection in 2010 and if he wins will be the longest serving governor in Texas history. While he is despised, the much despised and loved (depending on who you talk to) Kay Bailey Hutchinson will be challenging him. I'm on the despising side since she voted for the first bailout before Bush left office. I wrote her and told her not to. She won't be getting my vote for governor. I'll likely vote for the libertarian running, though I've heard a 3rd republican has thrown her hat in the race that is supposedly endorsed by Ron Paul. I have yet to check her out. Maybe she will prove worthy of my vote. Rick Perry and Texas is your classic nanny state. They passed a steroid testing bill in 2007 for Texas high schools that cost several million dollars a year or so that has turned up few positive tests. Aren't there physical signs to steroid abuse that could be the trigger to test someone rather than random testing? Anyways there are many other nanny state bills that he hasn't vetoed that make him unpopular. The term country club republican applies to him and Kay Bailey.
That said while there are a economic positives, Texas has a high uninsured rate. Page 5 of this report shows the stats by poverty rate and by citizenship status. One thing that pops out to me is that 60% of non citizens are uninsured compared to 20.4% of natives and 32.9% of naturalized. You can see that 20% of natives is still a larger number than the other two groups. This is obviously a problem. But we have to start some where. I'm guessing there are laws that could be enforced for the 60% of non-citizens if they don't pay their bills when they go to the doctor or emergency room. They should be deported immediately. Maybe an expert out there knows if this is a currently enforceable law or not. If it's not, then this is one place to start.
What those stats don't address is the rates of delinquent health related bills by poverty group or citizenship status. Is one group offending more than another. It's one thing to be uninsured and not utilizing or paying cash for your health care, but it's quite another to be going to the ER once a week with no intention of ever paying your bill. What I do see is a lot of people choosing not to purchase health insurance 2.5 million people are making 200%+ of the poverty level and yet they are still uninsured. "More than 1.7 million uninsured Texans live in families with incomes above $50,000." I've stated before on here, from experience these people have cable or satellite and cell phones among other luxuries.
Some possible solutions to this problem:
-Debtors prison (work your debt off)
-Revoke visas or citizenship to non natives who allow a bill to become delinquent and deport them immediately
-See my previous post from July 12 for a move in the right direction
-Fair Tax - collects taxes from all offenders that spend any money - perhaps states could set up free clinics as a result and attract doctors by paying their medical school bills in exchange for lower salary and a 4 year commitment. That way people have a choice in free health care if they really want it. Or they can pay for it themselves.
Why can't we start with some of these ideas before allowing the government to take more and more of our hard earned money?
So is Texas an example for the rest of the country? Yes but it's not the only state. We just happen to be the 15th largest economy in the world (from the above referenced article from NR). So it stands out more than others. We have 6 of the 25 largest cities in this country, which is more than any other state has. Texas is growing while other states are shrinking. So while our unemployment rate may be increasing as a result of the recession, it's still one of the lowest in the country all while working with a migration from other states.