A Tale of Two States

Chuck DeVore served as a Republican assemblyman in California from 2004 to 2010, but he’s now living in Texas. And he says he made the move because of the differing economic climates in the two big states: Texas is thriving, while California is foundering.

“California is destroying its tax base,” DeVore said on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning. “It has high taxes, high energy costs, high regulations. People who pay taxes are leaving.

“California, with 12 percent of the population of the country, has about 33 percent of the welfare recipients. It’s like the future of the entitlement society that I think Barack Obama wants to have for the whole country.”

DeVore’s appearance on the show came two days after California Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the state’s budget shortfall for the fiscal year starting on July 1 is $16 billion, up from the $9 billion predicted in January.

Brown wants to close the budget gap by raising taxes, just as Obama does with higher taxes on wealthy Americans and with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of the year. The governor is pushing a ballot initiative that would raise California’s sales tax by .25 percent and boost the income-tax rate on high earners from 10.3 percent to 13.3 percent.

Texas does not have an income tax.

“I was an executive in the aerospace business. The company left [California] in 2011, so I looked at which states honor freedom and liberty and hard work and keep government to a minimum,” DeVore said. “I determined that Texas was really the best place to go, so I picked up and moved.”

He is not the only Californian fleeing the state. Of the top 10 fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country by population, none is in California, while 2 of the top 4 are in Texas.

California’s unemployment rate in March was 11 percent, well above the
8.2 percent national average for the month.

The state reportedly leads the nation in home foreclosures, and its credit rating with S&P is the lowest of any state in the country.

Spending on state and local governments accounts for 22.5 percent of the economy in California, compared to just 15.4 percent in Texas. In other words, the Golden State spends 46 percent more than the Lone Star State spends on state and local government, as a share of the total economy, DeVore pointed out.

Yet despite high taxes and massive government spending, California ranks last in educational achievement among the 10 largest states by population, according to DeVore. Texas ranks first.

“What’s happening in California is they’re spending more and more on big government,” DeVore said. “It includes healthcare. It includes education. It includes a lot of money for regulators who regulate every last little detail of the lives of people who are trying to create jobs in California.

“That’s the problem with California. It kind of represents the future of the welfare state, the entitlement state in America. It doesn’t work.”