Goodbye, Assholes

Goodbye, Assholes

Texas is officially the worst place in America to live. It’s a sinking ship that this little rat is abandoning.
Stewie Has a Gun in his Mouth

I love Texas with all my heart. I was born in Houston. I’ve lived practically my whole life in Texas.

I’ve realized the love I felt for Texas was the love a child feels for an abusive parent. Love tinged with resentment… love tinged with apprehension… love tinged with shame and guilt.

So, fuck Texas. I’m moving. I’ve moved to New Mexico and I feel infinitely better. A huge weight has lifted off my shoulders. Ignorant, redneck dumbasses who chew tobacco are the minority here, not the ‘base constituency’.

New Mexico has medical marijuana and legal poker rooms.

Do you think I’m some kind of bitter jerk with some fucked-up subjective chip on my shoulder? No way. This is an objective, statistical truth about the quality of life in Texas.

Education:

– Percentage of Population Graduated
from High School 46th [of 50 states]
– High School Completion Rate 45th
– State Aid per Pupil 41st
– Secondary Teachers with Degrees in the Subjects
they Teach 45th
– Average Teacher Salaries 30th
– Percent of Adults with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree 27th
– Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Scores 47th

Health:

– Percentage of Population without Health Insurance 1st
– Percentage of Poor Covered by Medicaid 44th
– Physicians per Capita 40th
– Dentists per Capita 41st
– Pharmacists per Capita 44th
– Psychiatrists per Capita 36th
– Number of Women Receiving Prenatal Care 45th
– Rate of Disease per 100,000 People 9th
– Risk for Heart Disease 12th
– Percentage of Obese Adults 10th
– Percentage of People with Access to Dental Care 48th
– Rate at which Citizens Receive Treatment for
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Problems 45th
– Overall Health of the State 37th

Environment:

– Amount of Toxic Emissions from Manufacturing Facilities 1st
– Amount of Toxic Release Inventory Chemicals Used by Manufacturing Industries 1st
– Number of Clean Water Permit Violations 1st
– Number of Environmental Civil Rights Complaints 1st
– Number of Hazardous Waste and Spills 1st
– Amount of Ozone Pollution Exposure 2nd
– Park Spending and Acreage 49th
– Per Capita Spending on Water Quality 47th
– Open Space Protection 46th

Poverty:

– Poverty Rate 6th
– Percentage of Population that goes Hungry 2nd
– Percentage of Population that is Malnourished 3rd
– Amount of Welfare and Food Stamp Benefits Paid 47th
– Teenage Birth Rate 2nd
– Per Capita Consumption of Energy 5th

Safety:

– Number of Executions 1st
– Number of Adults in the Criminal Justice System 1st
– Number of Adults Incarcerated 2nd
– Number of Firearm Deaths 2nd
– Number of Registered Machined Guns 1st
– Number of Traffic Fatalities 1st
– Number of Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities 1st
– Number of Road-Rage Traffic Fatalities 2nd
– Highway Expenditures, per Vehicle-Mile Traveled 44th
– Highway Expenditures, per Capita 45th

Taxation

• Middle and low-income Texas families have a higher tax rate than
wealthy families.
• Texas’ tax system is listed as one of the “Terrible Ten” most
regressive states in the nation.
• Texas asks poor families, those in the bottom 20 percent of the
income scale, to pay more than three times as great a share of their
earnings in taxes as the wealthy.
• Middle income families pay more than twice as high a share of their
income in taxes as the wealthiest families.
• Tax regressivity has worsened since 1998. Overall, low and middleincome
taxpayers saw their burden grow, while the top-fifth wealthy
Texans primarily received tax reductions.

Stats taken from Texas on the Brink, an excellent report on a terrible state of affairs compiled by Sen. Elliot Shapleigh.

7 thoughts on “Goodbye, Assholes

  1. Duke

    The Taxation Stats… Clear up the smoke for me. Since, Texas has no State Income Tax, what taxes are you using for your list? Property? Sales?

  2. Andrew Suber

    * 911 Emergency Service Fee
    * 911 Equalization Surcharge
    * 911 Prepaid Wireless Emergency Service Fee
    * 911 Wireless Emergency Service Fee
    * Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority (ABTPA) Assessment
    * Automotive Oil Sales Fee
    * Bank Franchise
    * Battery Sales Fee
    * Boat & Boat Motor
    * Cement Production
    * Cigarette
    * Cigar, Tobacco Products
    * Cigarette/Tobacco Advertising Fee
    * Coastal Protection
    * Coin-Operated Machines Tax
    * Controlled Substances
    * Crude Oil
    * Diesel Fuels
    * Fireworks
    * Franchise
    * Gasoline
    * Hotel
    * Inheritance
    * Insurance Maintenance Tax – Workers’ Compensation Research
    * Insurance Maintenance Taxes – Texas Department of Insurance
    * Insurance Maintenance Tax – Division of Workers Compensation/Office of Injured Employees Counsel
    * Insurance Premium Tax – Independently Procured
    * Insurance Premium Tax – Licensed Insurers
    * Insurance Premium Tax – Surplus Lines/Purchasing Groups
    * Insurance Premium Tax – Unauthorized Insurance
    * International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
    * Liquefied Gas

    * Loan Administration Fee
    * Local Property
    * Local Sales & Use
    * Manufactured Housing
    * Miscellaneous Gross Receipts
    * Mixed Beverage Tax
    * Motor Fuels Transporters
    * Motor Vehicle – Gross Rental Receipts
    * Motor Vehicle – Local Sports and Community Venue Sales and Use
    * Motor Vehicle – Sales and Use
    * Motor Vehicle – Seller-Financed Sales
    * Motor Vehicle – Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Registration Surcharge
    * Motor Vehicle – Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Surcharge
    * Natural Gas
    * Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) Assessment
    * Oil & Gas Well Servicing
    * Oyster Sales Fee
    * Pari-Mutuel
    * Petroleum Products Delivery Fee
    * Property Tax
    * Public Utility Gross Receipts Assessment
    * Retail Charge Account Delinquency Fee
    * Retaliatory Tax
    * Sales & Use
    * School Fund Benefit
    * Sexually Oriented Business Fee
    * Sulphur
    * Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) – Off Road Heavy Duty Diesel Equipment Surcharge
    * Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (Repealed)
    * Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Fund Assessment

  3. Andrew Suber

    You’re absolutely right… New Mexico performs poorly in many of the same metrics.

    Here’s the difference: When you ask a Texan what state is number one, they invariably answer Texas. Texans are in a pathological state of denial about how bad things are.

    Also, Texas has more natural resources than New Mexico and more human capital. If Texans fought these problems together in a unified fashion, I am sure we would be in the top five states.

    Texas is getting worse. I feel that New Mexico is getting better. New Mexico regards itself as a poor state. Texas regards itself as a rich state with optimal policies. Even worse, Texas conservatives blame these problems on public spending and want to gut education, health and safety spending.

    Also, Texas is a socially conservative state (something that statistics don’t reflect well). If I could vape a little medical cannabis, pop out for a dozen hands of blackjack or not worry about state schools outlawing the theory of evolution, I might not be so stressed out.

  4. Anonymous

    So where does New Mexico rank on those same statistics?

    Here’s a sampling:

    Percent below poverty level : 3rd (Texas is 8th)
    Median Household Income : 44th (Texas is 31st)
    Births Financed by Medicaid As Percent of State Births : 3rd (Texas is 5th)
    Child Death Rate : 14th (Texas is 16th)

    Source: http://www.statemaster.com/statistics

  5. Duke

    Great list Andrew.
    I agree that one man’s fee can be another man’s tax… but, do you really believe that all those fees in your list should be considered taxes? Some of the fees you listed as taxes can be avoided.
    I think the “pathological state of denial” you refer to is the denial of New Mexico’s state income tax.

  6. Andrew Suber

    You can avoid state income tax by not earning money, or by having legal residence in a state that doesn’t have an income tax (think of all the ultra rich who say they live in Texas) or by hiring a high-powered accountant . Each of these taxes above is a necessary part of doing business in Texas. You cannot give your 911 Emergency Surcharge to a private business at a lower rate.

    I never said that taxes were higher in Texas. This non-partisan study claims that the tax system IS LESS PROGRESSIVE IN TEXAS i.e. poor people pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than rich people.

    A fee instituted by the state in order to raise revenue is a tax; each of these goes in a general fund (either local or statewide). This list of taxes is taken from the State Comptroller’s list of taxes. The state of Texas considers each one of these Taxes.

  7. DeafJeff

    It takes a coward to piss on Texas while living in another state. I pity the fool who thinks he can get away with such. Speaking of assholes,…you’re an asshole that has been fucked. Watch your back. It’s hard to rinse yourself free of Texas, I suggest soap.

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