Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Keeping Texas Competitive 2013

Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation released their Keeping Texas Competitive 2013 agenda for the 83rd Texas Legislature.  I couldn't make it to the press conference, but I like the proposals and would anticipate supporting most (if not all) of them during session next year.  Before getting into specifics of policy, however, I want to touch on an aspect of Texas' intra-state economic position that hasn't gotten a lot of press.

In 2010, voters in other states elected a slew of conservative Governors.  From John Kasich in Ohio, to Rick Scott in Florida, to Susana Martinez in New Mexico, to (my hero) Scott Walker in Wisconsin, to several others, Republican governors around America are deliberately copying Texas.  While that's flattering, it also means that Texas cannot rest on its laurels if Texas wants to take care of itself.

As the TPPF executive director Arlene Wohlgemuth said in their press release:
Texas' economy has dominated the last decade because of wise decisions by our state's policymakers, but other states are starting to catch up by following our example.
Texas' competitive position among the 50 states, while still pretty good, isn't quite what it was a few years ago.  For example, Texas now ranks ninth nationally in tax competitiveness.  That's barely in the top twenty percent!!!

Heading into the 83rd Legislature, Texas must face sobering realities.  Other states are copying us.  As a result, Texas competitive position isn't what it was even two or three years ago.  Texas cannot get complacent lingering on past glories.  To maintain Texas' economic position, our legislature must continue to do what got us here in the first place.

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