Category Archives: Free Market

Rep. Christian Files HJR to Prevent Enforcement of Obamacare in Texas

Today State Representative Wayne Christian filed his first bill of the 82nd legislative session, HJR 51, that will protect Texans from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

If HJR 51 is passed by the Texas House and Senate and approved by the Governor it will then go to the voters of Texas for approval in the November 2011 general election as an amendment to the Texas Constitution.

Rep. Christian Files HJR to Prevent Enforcement of Obamacare in Texas

Austin, TX- Today, State Representative Wayne Christian filed a House Joint Resolution (HJR) to protect Texans from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.  The federal court recognized serious issues with the health care law, and further stated all States have the right to challenge the health care law.   If passed HJR 51 will then go to the voters of Texas for approval in the November 2011 general election to amend the Texas Constitution and effectively prevent Texans from  having to purchase government-approved health insurance under the threat of penalty.

Constituents have repeatedly expressed their concerns and Rep. Christian has worked tirelessly to ensure that health care rights of Texans are protected.   “I have made this resolution my top legislative priority.  It is unconstitutional for the federal government to impose a federal health care law which forces Americans to buy a specific health care plan,” stated Rep. Christian.

Obamacare infringes upon individual rights and patient choice, reduces medical research, and will further lead our country into more debt.  A law or rule must not compel- directly or indirectly- any person, employer, or heath care provider to purchase a service under the threat of penalty or sanction by the federal government.  Obamacare undermines the people’s rights and the foundation upon which America was built.

Rep. Christian’s resolution addresses health care freedom in numerous ways.  Texans’ right to choose a health care system and to control their health care plan will be protected.   Additionally, residents will be able to pay directly for health care services.  This will prevent any penalties or fines from being imposed, which will further protect the right of citizens to spend their money as they please.

Rep. Christian stated, “If passed HJR 51 will support Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s lawsuit against Obamacare on behalf of Texas.  As the legislative session begins, it is crucial we continue working together to terminate this unconstitutional mandate of the federal government.”

Please call your State Representative and Senator today and ask them to support the bill!  You can track the progress of this bill with the Texas Legislature Online website.

Find your State Representative here.

* Full Disclosure, I work for Rep. Christian.

The Texas Economy: Growing Jobs

Early voting has arrived!  What is the number one thing on voters minds this election?  The economy stupid.  Governor Perry’s campaign released the information below highlighting how the Texas economy is growing jobs and leading the country out of the recession.

No doubt, the recession has reached every state in America, and Texas is not immune, but did you know that Texas is where 4 out of 5 new private sector jobs have been created since 2005? For more info, check out the “Right Track video on Governor Perry’s YouTube page.”

Rich Lowry, in the National Review, adds:

Texas already looms large in its own imagination. Its elevated self-image didn’t need this: More than half of the net new jobs in the U.S. during the past 12 months were created in the Lone Star State.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 214,000 net new jobs were created in the United States from August 2009 to August 2010. Texas created 119,000 jobs during the same period. If every state in the country had performed as well, we’d have created about 1.5 million jobs nationally during the past year, and maybe “stimulus” wouldn’t be such a dirty word.

What does Austin know that Washington doesn’t? At its simplest: Don’t overtax and -spend, keep regulations to a minimum, avoid letting unions and trial lawyers run riot, and display an enormous neon sign saying, “Open for Business.”

Investor’s Business Daily explains that Texas is leaving California in the dust, when it comes to recovering from the recession:

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Texas: Still Open for Business

Texas Governor Rick Perry declared Texas is open for business in his first 30 second TV commercial of the general election.  Building off of the “Open for Business” theme I present to you “Texas is Succeeding.”  This video was used during the primary, hopefully we will see an updated version used in the general election!

Happy Meal Economics

Holly Hansen over at Williamson County Conservative has a great post on “Happy Meal Economics.”  A proponent of raising city taxes in Round Rock exclaimed that the proposed tax increase would come out to ONLY the equivalent of one McDonald’s Happy Meal per month.  Who in their right mind could not spare that from their monthly budget, right…..?

Holly explains how many “Happy Meals” are all ready being taken out of peoples budgets due to local, state and federal taxes.

In the recent debate over adopting the effective tax rate raising taxes in Williamson County, one proponent of distributing more taxpayer income to county employees sniffed that the estimated increase was roughly equal to the price of one McDonald’s Happy Meal per month ($3.43).

Oh! Well, if you put it that way. Just a Happy Meal, okay, well, go ahead then.

Wait a minute, just how many Happy Meals are Williamson County residents already providing? If the median home value is $188,860, and the county rate is $0.468324 per $100 valuation, then the median tax bill is about $884.48; roughly 257 Happy Meals. You also pay property taxes on a median priced home to:

  • Your City-in Round Rock @ $.39661, annually $749.04, or 218 Happy Meals
  • Your ISD-in Round Rock ISD @ $1.3324, annually $2,516.37,  or 733 Happy Meals
  • Austin Community College @ $.0946, annually $178.6, or 52 Happy Meals

This brings your total property tax bill to 1,260 Happy Meals each year!

But wait, we also provide Happy Meals pay income taxes to the Federal Government. According to 2008 Census estimates, the average household income is $69,745. If you are married, filing jointly, with two dependents, and you take deductions for state sales tax, your income tax bill would be only $3,499, but since the Bush tax cuts expire this year, the bill will increase to $5,637, or 1,643 Happy Meals.

Other discernable direct taxes include those in your Electricity, water and gas bills, about $16 a month on mine, about $5 each month on our basic cable/internet service, and taxes, fees, and surcharges make up about 45% of our phone bill at $21 each month. These various taxes equal $42 a month, $504 a year, or another 147 Happy Meals.

More difficult to decipher are gas taxes; in Texas we pay $0.384 per gallon. According to the EPA, the average vehicle travels 11,720 miles each year and gets 20.4 miles per gallon, so if our family of 4 uses two vehicles, they likely purchase 1,149 gallons of gas each year and pay $441.22 in taxes, or another 129 Happy Meals.

So far we are up to 3,179 Happy Meals per year.  But wait, there’s more…

These are only the direct taxes; we all pay indirect taxes on just about everything we purchase or use since the U.S. corporate tax rate of 38% is one of the world’s highest. Next year indirect taxes will dramatically increase via new federal laws on health care, the banking industry, and possibly cap and trade, and analysts are predicting a 2011 Tax Tsunami. Those taxes are passed on to us as increased cost for the goods and services we purchase, and will amount to thousands more Happy Meals each year.

Rather than adding more, we need to find ways to give fewer Happy Meals to our ever-growing government.  As noted economist Arthur Laffer demonstrates, lower taxes and less government spending make for a strong economy.  Budget planners for both Williamson County and cities like Round Rock need to do what most American families are doing, cutting their respective budgets to cope with reduced income.  No new projects or spending should be added this year.

That would make taxpayers happy…

How Texas Is Dominating the Recession

The Atlantic has a great story about the economic success story of Texas.  This is just one more national publication that is picking up on the fact that Texas is doing something right, well actually alot of things right, and that the rest of the states need to take notice!

The introduction to the story is the best part, it is short and sweet and to the point, Texas is Succeeding.

SAN ANTONIO, TX — No state is thriving in the wake of the Great Recession. But compared to the rest of the country, Texas is experiencing something like an economic boom.

Pick your category, and Texas dominates. Three of the top five most resilient major metro areas for employment are in Texas: McAllen at one, Austin at three, and San Antonio at five. El Paso and Houston make the top 15. How about state debt? Texas ranks fourth in the country. Texas cities claimed four of the top five spots in the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities Index, four of the top ten of Forbes’ “Cities Where the Recession is Easing,” and another four spots in last year’s Top Ten in Homebuilding (admittedly, a bit like winning a Warmest Ice Cube contest).

Talk to folks in Texas about their state’s good fortune, and they’ll also point out that the Lone Star State would be the 15th largest economy in the world if it were really alone, and that 64 Fortune 500 companies call Texas home, more than any other state. For relish: more Americans are moving into Texas than any other state, and CNBC recently named it Top State for Business for the second time in three years.

What’s going on? From conversations with San Antonio business people and economists in and outside of Texas, I’ve settled on four reasons.

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Williamson County Employment Grows By 58.9 %

The Round Rock Chamber of Commerce is promoting a new study that shows that Williamson County posted an impressive 58.9% employment growth between 2000 and 2009.  This is the second highest employment growth nation wide!
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With counties like Williamson no wonder Texas is leading the nation in job growth and was recently named the number one place to do business by CNBC.  These things do not happen by accident, Governor Perry’s fiscally responsible approach in Texas has created an economic climate that is the envy of the nation. Texas is the state where, even in these tough times, more jobs, prosperity, and opportunity have been created than in any other state in America.
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Williamson County tops nat’l job growth list
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 – 04:42 PM

Williamson posted 58.9 percent employment growth between 2000 and 2009, ranking it second in the nation, according to a recent CNNMoney.com report.

The study “Where the Jobs Are” attributed the increase to Dell Inc. in Round Rock and a tech-savvy community that attracts businesses nationwide. The North Austin county also has a growing young population with a robust public school system.

Hays County also made the list, ranking third with 56.4 percent employment growth in the past 10 years. The report attributed most of growth to government hiring and growth at Texas State University—San Marcos. The Prime Outlets of San Marcos and Tanger Factory Outlet Center were also listed as contributors to the rapid increase.

“In a time when most communities are focused on just retaining jobs, San Marcos and other Hays County communities have seen significant job growth,” said Amy Madison, executive director for Economic Development San Marcos.

Texas had the strongest showing in the report with five counties ranked in the top ten, including Williamson and Hays. Fort Bend, Webb and Collin counties were also near the top of the list.

Read more: Hays, Williamson top nat’l job growth list – Austin Business Journal

Texas Ranked #1 for Business By CNBC!

CNBC has named Texas as the number one place for business in the nation!  CNBC says that “Texas powers past the tough times on the strength of its economy—top-ranked in our Economy category four years in a row. The Texas economy is the 15th largest in the world, according to government figures; larger, for example, than all the Scandinavian nations combined.”

CNBC also mentions that Texas is the home to 64 Fortune 500 companies, more than any other state and these companies are in diversified industries, aka not just in oil and gas.  In fact in 2008 when oil was at a record high of $145 a barrel compared to about half that price today, Texas still fared better this year compared to 2008.  That just goes to show how diversified the Texas economy is.

CNBC states that “Texas managed to avoid the worst of the real estate crisis, according to reporter Ashanti Blaize of KXAS-TV. “While in other major cities we’ve seen condo high-rise projects either slowed or come to a screeching halt, in Dallas we’ve seen an influx of some of those projects,” says Blake.”

I am glad that the main stream media and the rest of the nation is taking notice of the Texas success story.  Governor Perry has been saying these same things about Texas’ economy for months now!  Just look at http://www.rickperry.org/texassucceeding.  The CNBC talking points are almost taken word for word from that website!

Governor Perry sums up the reasons behind Texas’ economic success.

“Here’s the Texas blueprint: 1. Don’t spend all the money. 2. Keep taxes low 3. Maintain a fair and predictable regulatory climate. 4. Fund an accountable education system to ensure an educated, skilled workforce. 5. Tort reform to prevent oversuing. Then get out of the way and let the private sector do what the private sector does best– create jobs and wealth.”

Here is the video of Governor Perry’s interview on CNBC explaining why Texas is succeeding.

Governor Perry's interview with CNBC on Why Texas Is the #1 Place to Do Business

In honor of CNBC ranking Texas as the number one place to do business in the nation they are broadcasting live all day today (Wedensday July 14th) from Katz’s Deli in downtown Austin.

Bright and early this morning the local NBC affiliate KXAN held a live broadcast outside of Katz’s Deli.  To the reporter’s surprise they found a group of Perry supporters there fired up that CNBC had crowned Texas as the number one place to do business in the nation!  All before 5:45 AM might I add.  They must of had some great coffee or something this morning!

Here is the video from KXAN.

KXAN Broadcasts Live at Katz's Deli with Perry Supporters Fired Up About Texas Being Ranked #1 Place to Do Business By CNBC