With the term “tejana” being thrown around this election as a pejorative and Diane Denish saying that “Texas policy is bad for New Mexico,” it would seem that some analysis of Texas’s economic policies relative to New Mexico’s (and the rest of the nation for that matter) might be in order.
First and foremost, it is worth noting that the two main traits of the Texas economy that differ from New Mexico are 1) lack of an income tax; 2) less onerous labor union laws in Texas.
Recently, Investors Business Daily compared the Texas economy (very favorably) with California. According to the article:
By August, the job count in Texas had rebounded to where it was when the recession officially began in December 2007. California’s payroll was still 1.46 million below the pre-recession level. The nation as a whole was down by 6.42 million jobs. In other words, California, with one-eighth the nation’s population, accounts for more than a fifth of its job deficit left over from the downturn.
This chart is particularly interesting:
Another article extolling Texas as an economic model comes from Rich Lowry over at National Review.
Simply put, the BEST thing the Richardson/Denish Administration has done is to move New Mexico slightly closer to the Texas model by reducing our top income tax rate from 8.2 to 4.9 percent. It seems hard to believe that Denish really believes that what has worked in Texas won’t work here. While time is tight, perhaps Martinez should campaign on the possibility that she can bring some of Texas’s economic prosperity to the “Land of Enchantment?”