Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Report: 'American dream is distant' in Texas

Posted By on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 3:21 PM

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By Michael Barajas

mbarajas@sacurrent.com

A biennial study released today compares Texas’ performance with the rest of the country, and the results aren’t flattering.

Texas has some of the worst superlatives, according to a report from the Texas Legislative Study Group, a left-leaning research caucus within the Texas House. Lawmakers who authored the report cited Texas’ failing performance when compared to other states, writing that Texas the highest percentage of uninsured children in the nation, and that the state ranks dead last in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma.

The authors point out that Texas already ranks near the bottom in terms of taxing and spending per capita, and state, “Those who value tax cuts over children and budget cuts over college have put Texas at risk in her ability to compete and succeed.”

While Texas has the highest birthrate of any state, it ranks fourth in percentage of its children living in poverty. The percentage of Texans without health insurance is higher than any other state, though it ranks 49th in per-capita spending on Medicaid and dead last in mental health spending per capita.

"In Texas today, the American dream is distant," the report states.

The report also says Texas fares poorly in almost every environmental category: Texas ranks number one in carbon dioxide emissions, “volatile organic compounds released into the air,” and has the highest amount of toxic chemicals released into its water. Texas also generates the highest amount of hazardous waste and ranks first in the amount of recognized cancer-causing carcinogens released into the air, according to the report.

Go here to view the full report.

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