I wonder if the basket-case that is Houston is removed from the equation, what the difference would be? The sales-tax only State of Texas has it right. Texas citizens are not taxed on their productivity, only their consumption. So by being frugal, they preserve income from the State government and can feather their own nests through savings as well as being able to handle the vagaries of life...new kids, college, house repair, new car, etc., and the money needed to pay and sustain for those things. The Texas economy continues to grow, so the ability to reduce or eliminate the debt assigned to individual citizens is within reach, provided there is no further State gov't overreach.