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….”

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.”