Yay! We’re #1 (for executions)!

A few weeks ago, I compiled some numbers for us to consider as we looked at this scary new budget our state legislature is contemplating.

Yesterday, the Texas Tribune published a story detailing the results of a study by the Texas Legislative Study Group that shows exactly how light our tax burden really is, how bad our schools really are, how lightly most industry is regulated and how poorly we treat people who have no voice in the process.

The saying used to be that Texas is just Mississippi with better roads. Considering how little money there will be available for roads over the next few years, I wonder how long that will hold true …

Texas at the bottom:
— Tax expenditures per capita (47th)
— Percent of population 25 and older with a high school diploma (50th)
— Percent of poor people covered by Medicaid (49th)
— Percent of population with employer-based health insurance (48th)
— Per capita spending on mental health (50th)
— Per capita spending on Medicaid (49th)
— Percent of non-elderly women with health insurance (50th)
— Percent of women receiving prenatal care in first trimester (50th)
— Average credit score (49th)
— Workers’ compensation coverage (50th)

Texas near the top:
— Number of executions (1st)
— Public school enrollment (2nd)
— Percent of uninsured children (1st)
— Percent of children living in poverty (4th)
— Percent of population uninsured (1st)
— Percent of population living below poverty (4th)
— Percent of population with food insecurity (2nd)
— Overall birth rate (2nd)
— Amount of carbon dioxide emissions (1st)
— Amount of toxic chemicals released into water (1st)
— Amount of hazardous waste generated (1st)

Based on this, I wonder how anyone can say we have room to cut anything, much less our education funding or help for the needy … but followers of the Tea Party have been hoodwinked into believing that our tax burden is onerous and that all those “poor people” just a bunch of lazy good-fer-nuthins and, therefore, deserve whatever they get.


About Richard Stone

... is a husband, a father, a writer, a journalist, an activist, an avid reader of trash science fiction and an occasional folk/bluegrass guitar player. He loves to travel, UT sports, community theater and sharing a good bottle of wine with good friends.
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