July 30, 2011

#RickPerry budget smoke & mirrors hits poor elderly

Long before Tricky Ricky Perry and the GOP supermajority that couldn't shoot straight in the state House got around to their draconian budget cuts, I knew smoke and mirrors would be part of the mix.

Unfortunately, that smoke and mirrors is endangering elderly poor and making them suffer:
During one of worst heat waves in state history, Texas is holding onto millions of dollars intended to help hundreds of thousands of elderly and low-income residents pay their electric bills.

The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday the state has collected $130 million this fiscal year to help financially strapped Texas residents pay for the cost of electricity used for cooling, but has provided only $28 million so far to those who need it.

The reason: State lawmakers have locked away the money to deal with the budget shortfall. The state is now spending only half as much as it did to help the poor and elderly get through the summer a decade ago.
So, let's hear more about that Texas miracle, Tricky?

Meanwhile, time for your hypocrisy alert:
Texas leaders have said that until the economy recovers and lawmakers overhaul the state tax code, they have no choice but to amass the dedicated-fee money for use elsewhere.
Would that be the same Perry/House GOP gang that "overhauled" the business franchise tax and partially contributed to this mess?

Of course it would, as the hypocrisy continues:
Gov. Rick Perry proposed ending the assessment four years ago because the money was largely being diverted from its stated purpose.

The governor "continues to promote truth in taxation so Texans can be assured their tax dollars are being spent on their intended purpose," spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the Morning News.

In 2004, the state made changes eligibility requirements, causing more than half of the almost 800,000 customers who had enrolled for assistance to be cut off. The state continued to collect the fee, but kept more of the money to balance the budget.
See, "overhauling the tax code" is code for screw the poor.

Truth in taxation? This is only the latest in a long string of lies. How about hunting licenses and other fees that go to the general fund, not TP&W?

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