FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
April 29, 2014
CC by: Texas State Library

In lots of ways, Texas has been a huge success story under the watch of Gov. Rick Perry (R). Perry has gotten some sharp elbows for his job-poaching tours of other states, but on Monday Toyota announced it is moving its U.S. headquarters to Plano, outside Dallas, from the Los Angeles suburbs. It isn't the first company to leave California, or another state, for Texas. The Lone Star State added 1.3 million residents from 2010 to 2013, according to U.S. Census data. That's more than any other state.

Perry, the state's Republican-dominated legislature, and many analysts attribute this growth and low unemployment rate to the combination of low taxes, lax regulation, few public services, and tracking-related gas boom. What's indisputable is that most of the people are headed to Texas' already sizable cities: Houston (pop. 2.2 million) added 34,625 people from July 2011 to July 2012, while Austin (pop. 843,000) expanded by 25,395 residents. Austin, which still thinks of itself as a funky college town, is now the 11th largest city in the U.S., adding about 100 new people each day. Here's what Texas' growth looks like in graph form, via The Wall Street Journal:

But the Texas system, like every other governing philosophy in the world, has weak points, and the two big ones in the Lone Star State are water and transportation infrastructure. Texas is in a multi-year drought, and the population growth is putting a further strain on water resources. And then there's the aging and inadequate roads and public transportation: Texans, like many Americans, really like their cars and don't particularly like traffic. Austin has the fourth worst traffic in the U.S.

There are other growing pains, too. "We are already straining our systems for water, power, schools, and roads," Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter, a Perry appointee, tells The Wall Street Journal. "And they'll continue to be stressed unless we invest more heavily."

Most of the problems are fixable with money, but Texans — most lawmakers and residents — don't want to raise the money to fix them. There's no state income tax in Texas, so all those poached jobs add money to the state coffers only indirectly, through things like sales and property taxes and service fees. Instead of raising taxes to build new roads, Texas lawmakers prefer to let private companies build an incompatible array of toll highways.

The problems aren't going away. By 2040, demographers predict that Texas will have 40 million residents, from more than 26 million today. If the water becomes scarce and roads semi-permanent parking lots, that prediction probably won't come to fruition. Peter Weber

10:57 p.m. ET

When Thursday night's Democratic debate in Milwaukee turned to foreign policy, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) did not waste much time bringing up Hillary Clinton's 2002 vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq. As he had brought this up before, Clinton was ready. "I do not believe a vote in 2002 is a plan to defeat ISIS in 2016," she said. "It's very important we focus on the threats we face today, and that we understand the dangerous and complicated world we're in."

Then she repeated her Obama-trusted-me line: "As we all remember, Sen. Obama, when he ran against me, was against the war in Iraq. And yet, when he won, he turned to me, trusting my judgment, my experience, to become secretary of state."

Sanders said that Clinton clearly has a wealth of experience in foreign policy, but repeated his line that experience isn't the only thing that matters and voters should look at judgment, too, and his judgment on the Iraq War vote was better than Clinton's. Peter Weber

10:53 p.m. ET
YouTube.com/PBSNewsHour

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pounced on Hillary Clinton and her ties to Henry Kissinger during Thursday's Democratic debate, but Clinton was prepared with a jab at his foreign policy ideas.

Sanders said that Clinton mentioned during the last debate and in her book that she received "the approval or support of Henry Kissinger. I find it rather amazing. I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country. I am proud to say Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger."

At that point, Clinton responded by asking him who he actually does take advice from. "Journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy, and we have yet to know who it is," she said. Clinton explained that she listens to "a wide variety of voices" that "have experience in various areas." There are people she may disagree with on "a number of things," but if they have insight that can "best support the United States," then it's important to pay attention. "We have to be fair and look at the entire world," she said. "It's a big, complicated world out there." Catherine Garcia

10:32 p.m. ET

Judy Woodruff asked Hillary Clinton at Thursday's Democratic debate whether, given that two big financier donors have contributed millions to her super PAC, she can really complain about the Koch brothers and other mega-donors to the Republican candidates? Clinton said you'd have to ask the Republicans about their donations but that the super PAC aiding her is "not my PAC," saying that it was set up to support President Obama then decided to back her presidential campaign. Then she challenged Bernie Sanders' premise that a candidate can't buck Wall Street if his or her super PAC takes Wall Street donations.

In 2008, Obama "was the recipient of the largest number of Wall Street donations of anybody running on the Democratic side ever," Clinton said, but "when it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street," pushing through the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. "So let's not imply in any way here that President Obama or myself would in any way not take on any vested interest," including Wall Street, drug companies, "or frankly, the gun lobby."

Sanders scoffed that Wall Street doesn't give huge sums to candidates out of civic duty. "Let's not insult the intelligence of the American people," he said. "They're not dumb." Big Business gives money to politicians because they want things in return. He again touted his million-plus donors who have given him 3.5 million donations averaging $27, versus Clinton's million-dollar super PAC contributions.

Clinton said that she has 750,000 individual donors, most of whom have given small donations, though she didn't give a number. Peter Weber

10:03 p.m. ET

At Thursday night's Democratic debate, PBS moderator Gwen Ifill asked Hillary Clinton about her frequent reminders that she would be the first female president. Clinton said her gender wasn't her electoral argument, and that she wants to help all Americans. When it was his turn to speak, Sanders had a reminder for PBS and for Clinton. He would be the oldest president ever sworn in and the first Jewish president, but he only alluded to that indirectly. For "a person of my background" and political views, he said, "a Sanders victory would be of some historical accomplishment as well." Peter Weber

9:44 p.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

When asked about Madeleine Albright suggesting over the weekend that women are obligated to support Hillary Clinton — saying "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help women" — Hillary Clinton told the audience at the Democratic debate Thursday night that it was a quote Albright has long been fond of using.

"She's been saying that for as long as I've known her, about 25 years," Clinton said of her husband's former secretary of state. Clinton added that she has always found it important to "unleash the full potential of women and girls in our society," and said she has "no argument with anyone making up her mind about who to support. I just hope by the end of this campaign a lot more are supporting me." Clinton made it clear she is "not asking people to support me because I'm a woman," but to back her "because I think I'm the most qualified, experienced, and ready person to be the president and commander-in-chief."

Clinton also said that she was told out of about 200 presidential primary debates, this debate — with Clinton onstage and moderators Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill asking the questions — was the first time a majority of participants were women. Indeed, of the four people on stage, Bernie Sanders was the only man.

"We'll take our progress wherever we can find it," Clinton said. Catherine Garcia

9:41 p.m. ET

At Thursday's Democratic debate in Milwaukee, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Hillary Clinton started out arguing over how much each candidate's various plans would cost, with Clinton repeating that candidates shouldn't make "promises we can't keep." In one exchange, Clinton said that she has detailed how much each of her proposals would cost and how she would get it enacted, saying that once she is in the White House, she will have enough political capital to get stuff done. Sanders had a line ready: "Well, Secretary Clinton, you're not in the White House yet."

The audience murmured at the one-liner. Sanders said that his programs would be paid for, too, though he didn't elaborate how. Peter Weber

9:10 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are facing off for the first Democratic debate since the New Hampshire primary. Watch the livestream below.

See More Speed Reads