Monday, February 11, 2013

Rick Perry Prick Nerves In California

And lives rent-free in Jerry Brown's head.
“Perry’s getting exactly what he wanted,” Gavin Newsom, the former Democratic mayor of San Francisco and now the state’s lieutenant governor, told radio station KQED. “He’s getting all kinds of press up and down the state, and why? Well, because he’s leaning in. He’s in the game. He’s getting in our heads.” Newsom ought to know. In 2011, he accompanied a group of state legislators on a fact-finding trip to Texas to interview former California business owners about their reasons for moving. Newsom told me at the time: “I am impressed with the focus on job creation I’ve seen here. We need to have a more balanced business climate in California.”

Indeed, in the last five years Texas has gained 400,000 new jobs while California has lost 640,000. The Lone Star State’s rate of job growth was 33 percent higher than California’s last year, even as the Golden State finally pulled out of the recession.

Joseph Vranich, a California business-relocation expert, agrees that California has a systemic job-creation problem and says it needs to worry about more than just Texas. He says that 15 states are sending delegations to California and seeking to convince firms to relocate or, if they stay in California, to expand their operations out of state. Wealthy individuals such as golfer Phil Mickelson are  openly talking about following Tiger Woods and moving to low-tax states such as Florida. EBay, Facebook, and Visa, among others, have recently made major expansions in Texas. “That kind of talk will only intensify now that top earners in California face a 13.3 percent income-tax hit on earnings over $1 million,” says Jon Fleischman, editor of the political blog “That’s not only the highest rate in the U.S. It’s the highest rate any state has had since World War II.”


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