Friday, October 21, 2016

Are We Really Better Than Texas?

Wyoming is a great state to live, and in many ways that freedom we so often associate with the American Way of Life is still a reality out here. 

In some ways, though, that freedom has gradually become more of an illusion than facts. We may not have an income tax, but in almost every other way imaginable we are a big-government state. The figure below reports one of the many numbers that give a meaning to that notion: state and local government revenue as share of the Wyoming GDP. With total state and local government revenue at $10.4 billion (including all federal funds), our state and local governments are almost 25 percent of the state's GDP. 

A question for all you Wyomingites out there: what do we get in our state that the average American does not (average state-local government revenue share of GDP is 20.7 percent), and even more so, what do they sacrifice in Texas - if anything - where the same number is only 15 percent?

Sources: Census Bureau; Bureau of Economic Analysis. Numbers are from 2013.

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