THE BLOG
09/17/2013 11:47 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2013

True Cost of Business in Texas

Governor Rick Perry left out a few details in his radio-television ad urging Maryland companies to relocate to Texas because of lower taxes.

Maryland businessmen deserve to know the whole story so that they can make an educated decision whether to respond to Perry's appeal. Yes, Texas does have lower taxes and fewer regulations than Maryland, but there are some glaring omissions in Perry's media pitch.

According to the most recent data, Texas is second among the states when it comes to health risks from smog and particulates. Maryland, by contrast, is fifteenth.

In regard to the amount of cancer-producing chemicals released into the air, Texas ranks first, Maryland is twenty-seventh. As for carcinogenic chemicals discharged into waterways, Texas is rated seventh worst, while Maryland is thirty-fifth in the rankings.

One could go on, but you get the idea. Whether because of lax enforcement or a dearth of effective regulation, Texas is a more polluted place than Maryland. The negative health ramifications magnify the drawbacks of Texas being the state with the largest number of people lacking medical insurance. Because of the multitude of the uninsured (some 6.3 million including 1.2 Million children) the cost and delivery of medical services to all Texans is adversely effected. While prospective arrivals from Maryland presumably could afford health insurance, they should be aware that all might not go as smoothly as back East.

Marylanders tempted by Perry's siren song ought to consider they currently reside in a state where public schools are rated the best in the country by Education Week. Awaiting them in Texas would be a school system contemplating putting creationism on a par with evolution, and serving a student body derived from a population in which 34 percent of the children live in poverty.

In the ad, Perry mocks Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley for levying a rain tax. Good thing Texas does not have to depend on a rain tax for its revenue, because the state would go broke. That is because the Lone Star State remains in the throes of a prolonged drought which make life difficult for a great many of its citizens, including certain sectors of the business and agricultural community.

Perry boasts of Texas' profusion of jobs, but what kind of jobs? Governor O'Malley takes a whack at Texas' salary scale by noting that Maryland is first in the nation in median income.

When you link Texas' low taxes to its sorry environmental conditions, you are reminded that in the end, you only get what you pay for. That singular connection is conspicuously absent in Governor Perry's radio-television script.