A few months back, Gov. Gavin Newsom claimed Texas middle-class families “pay more taxes than middle-class families in California,” and he dared anyone to check him on it. We did, and he was wrong. Now he’s claiming that crime in Texas is worse than in California. He’s wrong again.
Appearing Dec. 8 on “The View,” Newsom was asked about the smash-and-grab robberies that now seem as California as earthquakes, drought, and wildfires.
“Property crime has gone up in many, many states, red, not just blue states. Violent crime and property crime, for example is higher in Texas than in California, I don’t see that on Fox News.
Is he right? Once again, his pants were burning as he spoke.
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, there were 441.2 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 inhabitants in California in 2019, Newsom’s first year in office. In Texas, the rate was 418.9 incidents per 100,000.
(California did not participate in the FBI’s 2020 National Incident-Based Reporting System, and since Texas did, comparisons for last year might not be accurate reflections.)
Maybe Newsom was thinking about only property crimes since they’re so prominent in the new cycle, and inadvertently blurted out “violent crime.” So what do the numbers say? California recorded 2,331.2 incidents of property crime per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019. Texas? It was a little busier there: 2,390.7 incidents per 100,000 – roughly 2.6% higher, hardly a difference to brag about.
Could it be that Newsom has not seen the 2019 numbers and was basing his claim on 2018?
Probably not. Violent crime incidents, again per 100,000, were 447.4 in California, 410.9 in Texas. Property crimes were 2,380.4 and 2,367.2, respectively.
Going back to 2017, California had a 449.3 incidents per 100,000 violent crime rate, Texas 438.9. Property crime was slightly less of a factor in California (2,496.7) than in Texas (2,562.6), but the difference was still small.
If we might humbly and respectfully make a suggestion to the governor, we’d advise him to stay in state a bit more rather than vacation in Mexico for Thanksgiving and head off to New York to appear on “The View” and “The Daily Show.” There’s plenty of work to be done at home. If he needs a list of chores, we can provide one.
Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.