September 25, 2012

Rick Perry calls to keep Texas schools underfunded

That’s Truth No. 1 behind lies and misstatements in this press release cosigned with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and State Sen. Dan Patrick:
HOUSTON – Gov. Rick Perry today renewed his call for a stricter Constitutional spending limit for Texas’ state budget ahead of the upcoming legislative session. The governor was joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick to reiterate their commitment to the sound conservative policies that have made our state prosperous.

“Government growth, if any, should be kept to the bare minimum and should be limited by constitutional amendment to the rate of our population growth combined with the rate of inflation,” Gov. Perry said. “An amendment to the Texas Constitution would cast a spending limit in clear terms, ensuring we never get in a situation where state spending spirals out of control the way it has in Washington, D.C.”

“Texas is the national model when it comes to keeping state spending to a minimum,” Lt. Gov. Dewhurst said. “We take pride in the fact that Texas ranks 47th out of 50th per capita in state spending. A constitutional spending limit based on population and inflation growth will provide Texas greater stability when it comes to budgeting, ensure that the Lone Star State is prosperous for future generations and provide an example for Washington and the rest of the nation on how to govern responsibly.

“I have long believed that state government must live within its means, just like all Texans do every day,” Sen. Patrick said. “Fiscal conservatism will continue to be a top priority for me this coming session.”

In order to protect against excessive government growth and over-taxation in the future, the Texas Budget Compact proposes replacing the current Constitutional spending limit, which is based on personal income, with a firmer cap based on the combined rate of inflation and Texas population growth.

Gov. Perry has called on lawmakers to commit to the five key principles of the Texas Budget Compact to ensure Texas remains strong and competitive in the future. He also urged the ongoing need for careful stewardship of Texas taxpayer dollars, especially as Medicaid puts increasing pressure on our state budget. The principles of the compact are:

•Practice Truth in Budgeting
•Support a Constitutional limit of spending to the growth of population and inflation
•Oppose any new taxes or tax increases, and make the small business tax exemption permanent
•Preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund
•Cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies.
In reality, this means that the out-of-whack business/franchise tax, which was and is a key component to school funding, will remain out of whack unless the various school districts suing the state win. That said, remember that the business/franchise tax in its current form was created in response to the last such suit. The Three Stooges and other wingnuts could make things even worse if the state loses another suit.

Also unmentioned is the state’s continuing hikes in various fees, including courtesy fees to pay such fees online. The GOP will never call these things taxes, but they are, whether at the state level, or the county level for such things like driver’s license and car registration renewals.

The only reason Texas has four new U.S. Representatives, and half the reason or more that Tricky Ricky can boast about “Rick Perry’s economic miracle,” is Hispanic growth in the state.

The Three Stooges want to shoot Texas in the foot for the future by insuring underfunded schools, which are likely to hurt bilingual Hispanic children a lot, and by rejecting Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, which could leave them and their parents hurt a lot, literally.

Beyond that, look at the other bullet points.

A Constitutional limit on spending? Why is it that it’s always Republicans who clamor for this horseshit, after accusing Democrats of “spend, spend, spend”? The GOP, again, wants to be rescued from its own rhetoric.

The small business exemption? Touched above under business/franchise tax.

Rainy Day fund? There’s a difference between prudence and hoarding.

Cut “unnecessary” government programs? The same type of GOP horseshit as in the first bullet point. The Three Stooges have controlled the governor’s mansion and both houses of the Legislature for approaching a decade now. And they still claim there’s “unnecessary” programs and agencies to be cut? This also ignores that most such agencies face mandatory sunset review on a regular basis.

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