The Garden Spot of the World

An original Tennessee volunteer, Davy Crockett, observed that “Texas… is the garden spot of the world. The best land and the best prospects for health I ever saw, and I do believe it is a fortune to any man to come here.”

Others after him have agreed. Bud Light salutes “Mr. Way Too Proud of Texas Guy” this way: “Men from lesser states may know their state’s capital, but you know your state’s bird, tree and even reptile. You display your pride with your Lone Star tattoo, Native Texan bumper sticker and contempt for any state that doesn’t start with Tex- and end in –as.”

Of course, most Texans would say being too proud of Texas is categorically impossible. Like a mother loving her child too much.

Texans are proud of Texas. And should be. Now more than ever.

Texas’ unemployment rate sits 2 points below the national average. Its gross domestic product sits 3 points above. Its state government is $9.1 billion in the black. More Fortune 500 companies call Texas home than any other state (64).

Texas has substantial human resources. It is the third fastest-growing state in the nation. It has five of the nation’s twenty most populated cities.

Relatively speaking, Texas’ state legislators work together toward common sense solutions. They live within their means like in 2003 when they trimmed $12 billion of spending to avoid raising taxes.

This year, thanks in large part to the leadership of Republican Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio, all 150 members of the Texas House voted in favor of the state’s $182 billion biennial budget.

Even in this economic downturn, Texas is fundamentally healthy because of the lessons it learned in the 1980s.

Its conservative home equity lending laws prevented the residential real estate overheating that left many homeowners across the country underwater. And for the most part, its commercial real estate lenders maintained disciplined underwriting standards that have limited foreclosures.

Once predominately dependent on the oil and gas industry, Texas’ economy has become more diverse. It now includes significant sectors of high technology, telecommunications, wind energy, medical research, banking, aerospace and distribution.

Texas’ business-friendly regulatory environment and no state income tax have prompted such expansion.

While I’m a Union defender in the line of Lincoln, it’s understandable why the Texas secessionist movement is gaining steam. Texas seems to be one of the last bastions of America as it was meant to be. Not without challenges, not without issues, but also not without the determined spirit that derived the Union.

Like Davy Crockett, I was born in Tennessee, but he and I both got to Texas, that garden spot of the world, as fast as we could.

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