Houston haircare billionaire Farouk Shami is focusing on one issue at this early point in his Democrat gubernatorial bid; jobs. This focus is fine, Texas does need more jobs, but the path Shami wants to take will not lead to job creation but job destruction.

When asked about property taxes, Shami talks jobs. How about a balanced budget, jobs. Shami’s remarks captured on video by the Texas Tribune’s Elise Hu begin with the candidate discussing property taxes. The answer to our high (in his words “not fair”) property tax is more jobs. That is a novel idea.

If we have more jobs we will have more money in the form of a larger taxing base. When folks have work and more disposable income there will be an increase in consumption taxes. If that money is not spent it will be saved creating investment capitol leading to more business opportunity in the state.

This is precisely what needs to be done to end the property tax but the path to more jobs can not be paved with taxpayer dollars it has to be driven by industrious citizens seeking to improve their lot, and in the process the lot of others.

How do we get more business to Texas? This is where Farouk’s message of jobs gets frizzy and diverges from sound policy and into fairytale.

Incentives are Shami’s tool of choice taking the form of tax breaks and interest free loans. Texas already uses incentives to draw more business. Shami would up that with subsidies provide free money to businesses creating jobs. Such a plan would surely cost money and that money would come from…you.

There is a proper incentive structure that could be put into place that does not require giving businesses money or giving one business a leg up on competition. (See this post for some of those measures.)

Lastly, if you work in an industry at which the left has raised its collective nose, like coal or other natural resources, you are not invited to Shami’s statewide job fair.

Natural resources are plentiful in Texas, and they require hard working men and women to collect and facilitate use. Shami does not believe in these jobs, and would work to destroy them by hamstringing these industries. That will mean fewer jobs, a higher cost of living, lower revenue for the state and higher taxes on the population.

All of this job talk should sound familiar because these are the same arguments our current president used to gain popularity. If this model of “job growth” is applied to Texas the consequences would be similar to what Obamanomics has given the U.S.: nothing.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.


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