Somewhere near Malibu, CA -– Michael “Mike” Zeller, a working white guy from Southern California, has regaled his co-workers and family with his dream of moving from “high-tax” California to Texas for over 13 years.

“I’m being taxed out of existence,” he said as we sat in an outdoor café with a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean sipping on a small peppermint latte (myself) and a large caramel macchiato with two shots (him). “As a white guy with a good-paying job, more of my money is going to pay for all this stuff for illegals and minorities. I haven’t seen any of my money go for anything that benefits me. I tell my wife and co-workers this every day.”

“As far as I’m concerned, every red cent I pay in taxes is wasted,” he continued as a soft ocean breeze played like a lover’s touch across our faces. “There isn’t a dime of mine that some bureaucrat in Sacramento doesn’t vacuum up to help support Mexicans having bunches of kids… where is the fairness in that?” When I asked about his own six children who attend private religious schools, he said, “That’s another thing. I pay for my kids’ schools. We need vouchers so I can pay without breaking the bank every month. Others should step up and do the same. We can’t be responsible for everyone else’s bills.”

Taxed Until Bleeding

As five buffed-out surfers in tight wetsuits ran past with their boards to hit the curling waves, he opined, “I’m a white male in a state which thinks my success should be taxed until I bleed. I want to move to Texas, where I won’t be taxed, and there aren’t so many wacko politicians sucking up my money for their pet projects. You can hear the money being slurped up in Sacramento… slurp, slurp, slllurrrpp….”

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What about shared services like police and fire services, I asked, or the roads we travel? His gaze wandered toward the Pacific Coast Highway, a silvery band sweeping below the steep mountains to the north of where we sat. “All the police are good for is writing me tickets when I speed a little too much. It’s a waste and impinges on my freedoms.”

As we watched the shorebirds run and seagulls fly low along the glistening waves, I asked Mr. Zeller if he had ever been to Texas. “Not yet,” was his reply. Then, after a few moments, he added quietly, “The wife always wants to go somewhere else on vacation.”

“Exactly how much are you taxed?” I asked, taking a final sip of my latte and shifting my chair to a strip of shade under the café’s lone palm tree surrounded by bougainvilleas awash with magenta blooms. “Well, no, I don’t know the exact amount. But I can tell you it’s too much,” he said.

When I asked him why he had chosen to remain in California all these years, he said, “Because of stuff.”

As I bade farewell to Mike, he climbed into his brand new two-tone Platinum Ford F-250 with gleaming chrome which perfectly reflected the calm blue ocean and sky above us. He said, “If I could just move to Texas, life would be so much better for me.”