Yeah, but if that was all there was to it, people would have been leaving CA in droves decades ago. That 10-year bust cycle you have in real estate there doesn't happen everywhere else - which made it happening on a national scale a major shock to a whole lot of people. Every time the defense contracts get blown out, a whole lot of people who had been playing the real estate pyramid game there get blown out with it - and it involves enough people to give whole housing market big kick in the shins.
You say TX is 'cheaper' - and that is true in general, but it's always been true (in general) . The parts of CA nobody wants to live in are just about exactly like the parts of TX nobody wants to live in - desert. And a whole lot of it in CA was just desert, too, until it was irrigated and built out. As a kid, we could hang out in the orange groves on ou way home from school. Groves? Gone. On the weekends, you could maybe go out to the river. The amount of time it takes you to leave the populated areas is way, wayyyy longer than it was back then. Fontana was still bikers (and Frank Zappa), Moreno Valley was barely a place at all, Mission Viejo and Laguna Near Hell didn't even exist - they were still part of those old rancho lands. If you told somebody Sonny Bono was gonna be mayor of Palm Springs some day, they'd have fallen over laughing. So - no. That argument doesn't wash over the long haul.
I suspect that like many who live in CA (and I was the same, for a long time) feel like they're at the center of the freakin' universe, and everywhere else is some kind of lesser existence. It's just not so. That illusion is firmly planted in CA. TX is different - yes. But there are people there who have that same illusion about where they are.
TX doesn't need a fat income tax, because it taxes the oil business instead. FLuh doesn't need one, because they'll charge you a fee just for breathing near any county or state office. GA does - but then, property taxes are often less than you'd spend on your car registration this year in CA.
In the end? It's all relatively...relative, and so's the data.