Susan Combs, Texas’s comptroller, dropped an interesting piece of news in an interview today: The state’s sales-tax collections this year will exceed $24 billion — an all-time high. Revenues have been up for 30 months in a row now. I have had many tussles with conservatives who in my view take too simplistic a view of the relationship between tax rates and economic growth, but here is a very good example of adding to revenue without raising taxes. Strong growth makes all of the fiscal math a great deal easier.
Oil production in TX had averaged just over 1 million bpd for 2004 thru 2008. The first horizontal oil well with hydraulic fracturing was in late 2008. Growth has been exponential and should pass 2 million bpd by when the numbers are reported for Sept.
With the development of oil has come pipelines, separations facilities, modification of refineries to capitalize on the light sweet crude, and port and rail facilities to move oil or minimally refine crude to full scale refineries inside and outside the country. The really big boom is coming as chemical and plastic companies build world scale plants to use the low cost raw material and energy.
Texas was founded in its independence, by lawyers. Crony capitalism, crony everything-ism existed for the first 40 yrs of statehood, and when the carpetbaggers were run out in 1876, Texas wrote an impossibly unworkable constitution, one so complex that nobody can , as of this date , claim to understand its mysteries. But crooks of all forms are removed of any apprehensions they may have.The citizens decide and that is that. The Legislature meets once every two yrs,....the constitution is so complex it keeps the lawyers busy....and we all live in the heat together, and it's a fine place to live. We still have lots of lawyers....and loser pay lawsuit laws keep things even.
Plus, #4, we have tort reform laws that have put a lid on damage awards.
Yes, oil production has a new life with fracking, but don't forget our ongoing natural gas industry. Those wells keep pumping, too. One of the wells on our ranch is more than 20 years old, still producing.
About $20 billion of that was generated from liquor sales...watching this election cycle has driven a lot of Texans to drink and now we're all "Greeks" at the frat house in the Electoral College of 2012 down here.
Not one national candidate has crossed the Red River all year, so we've been able to skip the lectures of political gasbags like Joe Biden and we just party on! And we are chillin' the bubbly for Nov. 6!
SHAME SHAME on Kevin Williamson of NRO for not understanding the relationship between growth and revenues and tax rates. What is he doing writing for NRO if he doesn't get that. Oh, wait...it is NRO...
I didn't find the article "snotty", "snarky" or inviting an accusation of "shame" on Williamson. Texas has made choices. Yes, everyone might not think sales taxes are the best way, but at least EVERYONE PAYS THEM. There are states with both a state income tax and heavy sales taxes, but Texas is not one of them.
#9 - Sales taxes are the only 'fair' taxes. As Stormy says - Everyone pays - repeat, everyone. Income taxes and the reporting of one's income is heinous...and a waste of time. Schedule this, deduction that, credit if you do this but not that. Get rid of income taxes. Tax us when we spend, not when we earn.
Just to point out that there is fairness in a sales tax, Texas does not tax essential items: food, rent, medical, prescriptions and a few other items. There is a sales tax holiday during the year when you can buy clothes and school supplies that cost less than $100 (I think that is the limit) without any sales tax. So all the illegals in Texas pay some tax. And the legal citizens engaged in illegal activities also pay tax when they buy things.
The Advocate reports that the Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal´s office will cancel food stamp benefits for anyone who participated in a fraud and shopping spree catalyzed by an EBT malfunction. More than 12,000 people were sent an insufficient funds notice when the problem with the EBT cards was fixed on Oct. 12; those who transgressed may lose their EBT cards for a year. Suzy Sonnier, the secretary of state at the Department of Children and Family Services, released a statement saying: "We must protect the program for those who receive and use their benefits appropriately according to the law. We
Senator Marco Rubio began this year amid buzz that he was the logical choice to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. He is likely to finish it on a decidedly lower note, partly removed from the national spotlight, eclipsed by the rising star from Texas, Ted Cruz. Last week, attendees at the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., overwhelmingly chose Cruz as their preferred GOP candidate for 2016. The freshman senator blew away the competition with 42 percent of the vote. Rubio, meanwhile, placed fifth, behind Senator Rand Paul, political novice Dr. Ben Carson, and unsuccessful 2012 candidate
A billboard showing a tattooed Jesus Christ has stirred up quite a bit of buzz in the heart of the Bible Belt. The ad, which is the work of the website Jesustattoo.org, popped up along a West Lubbock, Texas, highway, and it’s got people talking. It shows a man, ostensibly Jesus Christ, with outstretched arms tattooed with such words as “Outcast,” “Addicted, “Jealous.” “I don’t like the picture. I think it’s very derogatory,” a local-area resident told the CBS affiliate KEYE-TV. On the website, a video casts Jesus as a tattoo artist and shows several tattooed individuals approaching him to
HOUSTON — Morgan Weber grew up eating poppy-seed kolaches baked by his Czech grandmother, who honed her technique on a wood stove. Kolaches, soft pastries of yeasted dough with a divot in the center, traditionally filled with sweetened cheese or fruit, are a humble link to the Old World. But in the Revival Market in this city’s Heights neighborhood, Mr. Weber and his business partner, Ryan Pera, the market’s chef, serve sweet and savory pastries that are decidedly American: kolaches laden with satsuma oranges or filled with strawberries and ricotta cheese, and savory versions girded with house-made sausages poached in
This week, the McDonald’s location at Main and Gray got some extra special attention for a sign at its side entrance imploring those sliding in for burgers and fries to pull their pants up. It’s been there for weeks but the right person must have just seen since it’s right up there next to the government shutdown in everyone’s mind. The same sign is up at the McDonald’s at Westheimer and Kirkwood too. And hey, it looks like Happy Meals are $1.99 on Tuesdays now. I know where I’m going after happy hour. “No one wants to see your underwear,”
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church´s moral structure might "fall like a house of cards" if it doesn´t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all. Six months into his papacy, Francis set out his vision for the church and his priorities as pope in a remarkably lengthy and self-critical interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit magazine. It was published simultaneously Thursday in Jesuit journals in 16 countries, including America magazine in the U.S. In the
On the eve of the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Barack Obama made the strongest possible case for the use of force against Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime. But it wasn’t a very strong case. Indeed, it was built on a false premise: “We can stop children from being gassed to death,” he said, after he summoned grisly images of kids writhing and foaming at the mouth and then dying on hospital floors. Does he really think we can do that with a limited military strike—or the rather tenuous course of diplomacy now being pursued? We might not be
Wadi Gaitan, a 24-year-old House Republican staffer who serves as a Spanish-speaking spokesman, TV booker and occasional tutor, was stumped. He was trying to teach a Republican lawmaker how to say “sequester” in Spanish, but the literal translation was proving to be problematic. “That one was tricky at first. I couldn’t figure it out, because in Spanish, ‘secuestrar’ literally means to kidnap someone,” Gaitan said. “I said, let’s not use the literal translation, because we don’t want to say that we’re kidnapping people, or that President Obama is kidnapping people.” Probably a good call. Now Republicans say “recortes automáticos” —
In a pair of columns released Monday and Tuesday, Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock voiced his belief that rap music and its widespread use of the N-word were major factors in Trayvon Martin’s death. Whitlock, an African-American, certainly doesn’t believe that rap and N-word use were the only things to blame. “Although I believe the jury reached the only logical conclusion based on the trial, I’m highly disappointed Zimmerman was not held criminally responsible for following Martin, ignoring police instructions and shooting a 17-year-old kid after losing a fight his pursuit instigated,” he wrote.
As far as the Trayvon Martin situation goes, acquittal or no acquittal, the whole event and subsequent trial is a tragedy. And Skittles and iced tea or not, 17-year-old Trayvon should never have been lurking about in a hoodie between buildings on a dark rainy night in a townhouse complex. Now, regardless of how or why this boy died, a child is dead and will never have an opportunity to grow out of the typical youthful foolishness which ultimately cost him his life. And for every hoodie-wearing thug out there who´s now blaming George Zimmerman for Trayvon´s death,
Profiting from the death of a child is sick and disgusting. Unfortunately, this describes the circle of exploiters promoting the Trayvon Martin traveling show after his death in February 2012. And if you´re Trayvon´s parents, there´s nothing like having the president, the attorney general, the state attorney general, several civil rights lawyers, and invested others to help you in your campaign. Shame on Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, the State of Florida, the lawyers, and all the vultures picking a dead kid´s bones clean for a lousy buck and political points.
WASHINGTON — Say what you want about President Obama but you got to give the guy credit. He finally discovered the holy grail for dislodging the bloated ranks of federal workers from their jobs. Force them into Obamacare! According to a report in Politico Thursday, lawmakers and their staff all over Capitol Hill are heading for the exits. Turns out, they can endure the toxic air of politics, slavishly long hours, dinky offices and lecherous lawmakers creeping up and down the halls. But one thing they simply will not abide?
A Republican strategist is reminding his party that President Reagan is dead. Ford O´Connell, who worked on Sen. John McCain´s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, says if Republicans want to win the White House in 2016, they need to break free of the "obsessive Reagan disorder." Rule #1 of the political analyst´s newly released book, "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," is: "Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it." Such a sentiment is sure to be tough to digest for a party insistent on using the 40th president´s legacy as a GOP litmus test to prove conservative credentials. "The Reagan fixation is a drag
The hits to President Obama´s popularity, prompted by the botched HealthCare.gov rollout, are simply a natural fluctuation every commander-in-chief faces, Obama told interviewer Barbara Walters in an interview aired Friday. "If you remember, I´ve gone up and down pretty consistently throughout," Obama said in the ABC interview on Friday. "But the good thing about when you´re down is that usually you´ve got nowhere to go but up." "I got re-elected in part because people did think I was trustworthy and they knew I was working on their behalf," Obama said in the network´s exclusive. A CNN Poll of Polls complied
The human species began as the hybrid offspring of a male pig and a female chimpanzee, a leading geneticist has suggested. The startling claim has been made by Eugene McCarthy, of the University of Georgia, who is also one of the worlds leading authorities on hybridisation in animals. He points out that while humans have many features in common with chimps, we also have a large number of distinguishing characteristics not found in any other primates. Dr McCarthy says these divergent characteristics are most likely the result of a hybrid origin at some point far back in human evolutionary history. What´s more, he suggests,
WASHINGTON — As a small coterie of grim-faced advisers shuffled into the Oval Office on the evening of Oct. 15, President Obama’s chief domestic accomplishment was falling apart 24 miles away, at a bustling high-tech data center in suburban Virginia. HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live on Oct. 1, with a roster of engineering repairs that would eventually swell to more than 600 items. The private contractors who built it were pointing fingers at one another. And inside the White House, after initially saying too much traffic was to blame, Mr. Obama’s
The Washington Examiner recently reported on an academic study on the 2008 presidential election entitled "The Palin Effect" that examined the effect of then Gov. Palin on the John McCain campaign. Its conclusions run counter to conventional wisdom. The cliché, advanced by the media and the now infamous HBO TV show "Game Change," was that Palin helped to cost McCain the election because of her "controversial" personality. In fact, typical of most vice presidential running mates, Palin had a marginal but largely positive effect on McCain´s standing with the voters. She certainly did not drive away independents and moderates, who along
An education official at a Texas high school is under fire after telling some female students they have been dressing like ‘hoes.’ According to KRIV Fox 26, School Support Officer Dr. Tameca Richardson made the remark to female students at Jack Yates High School in Houston during an assembly on campus. A spokesperson for the Houston Independent School District confirmed the language used by Richardson, the station reported. Some parents expressed anger over Richardson’s terminology, saying the Ph.D.-level educator should have used language that was less offensive. "That was out of line and she should be disciplined for that,"
AUBURN, Ala. — In a season of miracles for Auburn, all it has taken is one mistake to give the Tigers life. No. 1 Alabama made just enough of them Saturday to change the course of history. With no time left on the clock, Auburn cornerback Chris Davis caught a 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama in the back of the end zone, ran it out down the left sideline and went 109 yards untouched to beat the Crimson Tide, 34-28.
He´s a proud family man already, but President Barack Obama will turn to his children when it comes to life after the White House. Sasha Obama could be the deciding factor in whether the first family stay in Washington once he leaves office in three years. In a taped interview with ABC News, the President said his now 12-year-old daughter ´will have a big vote in where we are´ because she will be a sophomore in high school. When Obama leaves office in January 2017 after two terms, eldest daughter Malia could be off in college. Both girls attend the exclusive Sidwell Friends School
Sen. John McCain is starting to sound like a Tea Party “wacko bird.” In a new fundraising letter for the Republican National Committee released Friday, McCain lashed out at “Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Washington liberals,” who he claimed are destroying the United States. Liberals, he warned, “have taken us down a dark and dangerous path defined by record levels of debt, ever-expanding government, and a lead-from-behind defense strategy. There´s not much time left to turn things around.” McCain’s name carries a lot of weight in fundraising because he was the 2008 GOP nominee and is a leading voice of
President Obama took part in Small Business Saturday by heading over to Politics and Prose, a locally-owned bookstore in Washington, D.C. Wearing a brown leather coat and tan sweater, the president mingled with customers and wished them happy holidays. He brought daughters Malia and Sasha, who occasionally left his side to shop as he chatted with others. At the register, when asked what books he purchased, Obama said, “it is a long list ... books for every age group, from 5 to 52.” In all, Obama purchased 21 titles, including, “All That Is” by James Salter; “Collision Low Crossers:
The time has come to end presidential term limits, because continuing the restrictions on how long one can serve in the country´s highest office is bad for the United States, a university professor argued this week. In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Jonathan Zimmerman, a history and education professor at New York University, says deciding whether a president deserves a third, fourth or more terms should be left to the American people, not the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which placed a two-term limit on the position. As background, here´s an excerpt from the amendment, ratified in
Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning and predicted that President Barack Obama’s approval rating would rise over the next few months, following the increasing functionality of the Affordable Care Act. “This has been a tough task,” Plouffe said. “It’s not just health care. The shutdown affected everybody’s confidence in government. But let’s fast-forward to the State of the Union and the months after that. Health care working better, a lot of people signing up. The economy continuing to strengthen. Hopefully no Washington shutdowns.