By Glenn Stehle
Texas is the De Civitate Dei, the new holy city of free market fundamentalism, and Ted Cruz, the upstart Tea Party senator from Texas, has been quick to canonize himself as its patron saint. In case you haven’t heard it yet, Texas is now “the light and the way,” and if you don’t believe it, just ask Ted Cruz or Rick Perry, or better yet ALEC:
The Texas growth narrative is well-known by now. Texas’ population grew by 11 million people (79 percent) between 1980 and 2011, more than double the rate of growth of the nation as a whole. With that population growth came job growth. Since the 1990s, the rate of Texas job growth has been a full percentage point or more above the national average most years.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, among others, has suggested that other states should adopt policies that will make them more like Texas in order to grow their economies. One example from the introduction to ALEC’s recent Rich States, Poor States report: “[M]any governors are looking at Texas, which has led the nation in job growth over the past three years, as the state with the best policy to emulate.” In particular, ALEC notes the state’s tax policy as a plus.