Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Texas Debt

When I write "Texas Debt", I don't mean king-sized arrears. The subject matter is what the state owes the Big Bad Federal Government. Via Growthology, the geography of unemployment taxes tells a fascinating tale:

Texas is one of the hard-hit states. Though its unemployment rate is a relatively low 8.3%, jobless claims have soared. In December, Texas paid 330,000 residents a total of $325.7 million, up from 228,000 people claiming $216.8 million a year earlier.

The state began borrowing from the feds in July to pay unemployment benefits and now owes Washington $1.6 billion, said Ann Hatchitt, spokeswoman for the Texas Workforce Commission.

So employers in the Lone Star State will have to pay at least $64.80 in tax per worker this year, up from $23.40 a year ago. This is the highest rate in 20 years.

Even the Texas Boom needs public support. My money must underwrite Lone Star State excesses. Call it a sprawl subsidy.

I kid. I haven't crunched the numbers. The unemployment tax problem looks like a bet on in-migration. There is also some shell game economics at work. Texas politicians are begging the Socialists in DC for money to save their jobs.

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