The Texas economic model has led to the best business and job growth in America. I have a plan to make it even better.
There are two competing economic models in the United States today, and their comparative success can be measured by a 14-foot moving truck. The cost for a one-way rental from Detroit to Austin is almost twice that of the opposite route from Austin to Detroit.
Why? Because higher relative demand for a limited commodity, in this case moving trucks, drives higher market prices.
In other words, more people are heading to Texas.
We need only look to Detroit, to California, to the nation’s capital to see that Big Government economic policies cannot succeed.
Detroit was once described in terms that sound like Texas cities today: “A City on the Move.” It was one of the fastest growing and most prosperous cities in America. The center of industry and innovation, Detroit attracted investments and workers from around the country. But after decades of Big Government policies and increased spending, businesses fled, and Detroit hit a downward spiral that led to bankruptcy.
In contrast, Texas is booming. Jobs are growing here – in our big cities and small towns. In fact, half of Forbes top ten cities for future job growth are in Texas, including Austin, McAllen, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
The Texas model is proof that limited government encourages unlimited opportunity for all.
Texas is the best state for doing business as rated by CEOs around the nation for the tenth year in a row.
Texas is No. 1 in job creation. Businesses here created over 1.9 million jobs in the last 10 years. That’s more than California, New York and Florida combined. And that job growth crosses multiple industry sectors and all pay levels, with the most growth in the two top wage quartiles.
Texas is also No. 1 in oil and natural gas production, continuing a nearly five-year growth trend fueled by advances in technology.
And, Texas is No. 1 in exports for the 12th year in a row.
Less government, low taxes, smarter regulations and right-to-work laws – not government mandates – these are the pro-growth economic policies that help free enterprise flourish and attract more major employers to Texas every day from states that over-tax and over-regulate.
One CEO shared with me his reasons for relocating his business to the Dallas area. He told me regulations in California were out of control, taxes there were too high and unions had “virtually hijacked the state.” He looked at every state and, in looking at bottom line, he chose Texas. But what he did not realize until he got here is that there is something far more valuable about Texas, something he and his family had never experienced: the true sense of freedom that Texans enjoy.
That freedom also means more Texas entrepreneurs are willing to risk their capital to invest in themselves and others by opening businesses large and small, especially women entrepreneurs.
Texas has more than 737,000 women-owned businesses – the second highest in the nation – and they are growing at the second fastest rate. Texas also has the second highest number of businesses owned by Latinas. In fact, Latinas make up a greater percentage of women business owners in Texas than in California, Florida or New York.
Texas is exceptional, but there is more we can do.
There is more I will do as Governor to build a Texas that is better, brighter and stronger.
I have crafted a blueprint for a new era of economic expansion in Texas. My plan invests in the tools of self-sufficiency – quality schools, more roads and abundant water – and empowers both businesses and individuals by focusing on reducing taxes and regulations. My plan controls the growth of government in order to stimulate the private sector, so Texans continue to grow jobs, so CEOs continue to relocate businesses here and so wages continue to rise for even higher standards of living across the state.
Reforming the Business Franchise Tax
Tax reform and reduction is the best economic development program. The Tax Foundation currently ranks Texas’ corporate tax environment as the 38th least friendly in the U.S., and our property tax rank is 32nd. Changes are needed to property taxes and the business franchise tax.
As Governor, I will fight for smarter tax policies that energize the Texas economy by driving down a primary cost of doing business. These business tax savings will then be passed on to consumers in the form of lower costs, to employees in new jobs and higher wages and to investors in higher returns.
Removing Licensing Barriers
Over-regulation by licensure results in less competition and higher costs for consumers; it also discourages the growth of new businesses. There are 150 business activities that currently require a state-issued license before they can be legally performed in Texas. Licensing medical doctors makes sense from a public safety perspective, but requiring a license to be a junk dealer, as one example, does not.
As Governor, I will work with the Texas Legislature to remove senseless licensing barriers that slow job growth and to waive licensing exams and fees for military veterans who have the required education, training and experience gained during their years of service.
Our water supply is critical to our economy, to our farms and ranches, to our way of life. We need to build the next generation of water projects so Texas is water secure for the next 50 years. I will ensure the state water fund is focused on the right priorities.
Speeding the regulatory permitting process is also critical for manufacturing and infrastructure projects. I will call on the Legislature to remove antiquated and confusing provisions in our water permitting and speed up the permitting and hearings process to keep Texas and Texas jobs growing.
Investing in Transportation
As Governor, I will also prioritize transportation and ensure money raised for roads is spent on roads.
I have proposed allocating $4 billion annually to transportation projects without creating new debt, taxes or fees. I also believe it is time to dedicate a substantial portion of the existing motor vehicle sales tax to road construction and maintenance. And we need legitimate commercial traffic and trade prioritized at border checkpoints that have become economic chokepoints. Commercial delays are impacting local economies, especially in the Rio Grande Valley. These changes will help keep commerce moving on Texas roads.
Educating the Future Workforce
For Texas to remain No. 1 in job creation, Texas must also strive to be No. 1 in education. Today’s students are the future workforce of Texas. They must be equipped with both the technical skills and the critical thinking skills needed to compete in Texas’ explosive job market.
My plan will help more of our high school students advance up the ladder of success, whether the next step is a career and technical training program, a community college, the military or an academic degree program at a four-year university. And my plan will elevate the national research standings of our public colleges and universities, making Texas a top research state so we continue to retain the best teachers and students to attract more investments, more businesses and more jobs.
Securing Energy Independence
As Attorney General, I have fought against the EPA’s war on energy. On my watch as Governor, we will continue to lead the nation in the development of energy and stand for common sense policies that create jobs.
We can, and will, protect our air, land and water, while leveraging Texans’ ingenuity to grow our economy. Technical advances in fracking, for example, have increased natural gas production and helped to cut carbon dioxide emissions.Continued careful development of our oil and gas resources creates good jobs, fuels public and higher education and decouples America from risky dependence on the Middle East.
Envisioning the Future
As Texas goes, so goes America. And as America goes, so goes the world. We need vigorous, visionary leadership to keep Texas’ economy, the 13th largest in the world, strong. And I have a plan do it.
Limiting the size and scope of government, controlling spending, reducing debt and removing barriers to business growth will unleash the power of entrepreneurs and innovators and secure Texans’ freedom to aspire – that is the model of success for Texas, for the nation.
Texas is a job-creating machine and Texans are the force that powers it. I will be the Governor who keeps it that way.
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