A conservative group says Texas is tops in the country in economic activity today, but the American Legislative Exchange Council warns that the state's economic performance in the future will be rocky, largely because state government is spending too much money.
"That wasn't the good budget," ALEC analyst Steven Moore told 1200 WOAI news about the budget approved by the Legislature in 2012. "Not withstanding all of the very good things that are happening in Texas, and with the very big increase in the size of the economy."
ALEC ranks Texas no better than 13th nationally in terms of future economic performance.
In a report entitled 'Rich States, Poor States,' ALEC says Texas has too many state employees per resident, and the state Legislature committed too much future revenue in the two year budget it approved at the end of last year's session.
But ALEC's big concern about Texas is local government debt, especially debt being racked up by cities and school districts. It points out that local debt in Texas is the second largest per capita of any state in the country. Texas ranks third from the bottom of the fifty states in tax money spent on debt service.
Texas also ranks poorly for our immense property tax burden, ranking Texas 35th in the country.
ALEC says while Texas is on top today, the future belongs to states like Utah and Indiana, which have moved aggressively in recent years to cut taxes, pare the size of the state's work force, and, above all, reduce long term debt.