Friday, January 7, 2011
No one is supposed to know
Paul Krugman, columnist for the New York Times is reminding everyone that conservatism is not a truth certain. Texas likes to brag about its conservative fiscal policies, but we now have a $25 billion deficit. How can that be in a state that's the most conservative of all the red states? Our budget deficit is not something right wing pundits are talking about these days. They are too busy salivating because most states are blaming the lucrative public employee unions’ contracts, as the biggest contributor to their fiscal woes, even though some states haven't fully funded them for years.
Governor Rick Perry campaigned as a fiscal conservative whose leadership led the way to make Texas a model for all states to follow. True, Texas has low taxes, business friendly policies such as grand fathered pollution laws, and no corporate tax, but we still have a $25 billion budget gap that is worse than New York’s, about the same as California but not nearly as bad as New Jersey. The Texas legislators cannot blame the GOP's natural enemy (public unions) because only 20% of public sector workers are covered by union contracts. It is true that our job losses are not as severe as those in the nation, but we have a rapidly growing population to satisfy.
Governor Perry did not have to address this issue because he didn't have the gumption to debate his opponent, Bill White, who was prepared to talk about this issue. Our legislature meets every two years, so it's easy to hide a budget deficit.The guv keeps bragging about the 2007 budget surplus.
Raising taxes is like exposing Superman to kryptonite, for republicans, so our deficit will be met with spending cuts. We already rank near the bottom in education, and at the top in percentage of residents without Health Insurance, but I wouldn't be surprised if the budget's cuts start with those two budgeted items. We have the lottery but our social conservatives will always vote to keep out the casinos. This morning I heard that 38 states have casinos; that amazed me. Most are located in poverty ridden areas, making it easy for them to addict their prey.
I hope our one party rule. Super-majority, republican lawmakers will make the right decisions without hurting the most vulnerable, or making drastic cuts in education. Our children are our future; a subpar education will make us like Mississippi, only larger. Do we want that?
Posted by Mike at 11:53 AM