(Picture courtesy of flickr.com.)
Hearing all about the tremendous appeal of TX governor Rick Perry’s appeal because his state is such a shining example of jobs and prosperity makes me shake my head in disbelief. What the country should be looking at is the Houdini/voodoo nature of plugging budget gaps with the stimulus funds that Perry swore he wouldn’t touch.
Rick Perry couldn’t have pulled off the state’s fiscal year this time around without the funding he seriously tried to kill. Doesn’t that sound like another recent governor of Texas’ methods? If it’s kept off the books, he can pretend it doesn’t exist.
At the moment, is anyone aware that TX legislature is involved in another mangled attempt to cut more from education than U.S. law allows? The rest of the budget is being patched together with spit and baling wire.
Instead of revamping the business tax structure or taking aim at tax exemptions, lawmakers cut billions of dollars in spending and cobbled together accounting maneuvers and spending delays to meet a massive shortfall and tide them over until 2013. They took a limited amount of money from the state’s rainy day fund, but leaders expect to dip into it again in a big way when they return in regular session in 2013.
Legislators also pushed back a looming gap in transportation funding by allowing issuance of the last of voter-approved bonds. They made some cost-saving changes in Medicaid, but will need federal approval to realize more savings.
On school finance, they are working in a special session to pass a bill to allow $4 billion less through the next two years than required under current funding formulas.(snip)Gov. Rick Perry, discussed as a possible presidential contender, stood firmly against anything that could be construed as new taxes, as he did when the state last confronted a big shortfall in 2003.
House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, said similarly, “I think the message from the November elections was, ‘Don’t raise taxes in a recession and do what you can to make appropriate cuts in the budget.’ ”
Straus indicated the House will take a close look at state revenue and taxes before lawmakers reconvene in 2013.
He also wants lawmakers to see results from the state comptroller’s audits of the largest payers under the business tax. The 2006 tax change was intended as a net reduction, but the business tax is bringing in about $2 billion less a year than initially forecast.
That makes the tax reduction bigger and adds to what some call a “structural deficit” – a recurring gap between the state assuming a bigger share of school funding and the taxes meant to help support that obligation.
The state being held up as an example for the rest of the nation is an unmitigated disaster.
The methods of Gov. Perry are those that failed the country continually since the Clinton surplus, which was the reason originally given for cutting taxes. Of course, the surplus disappeared, but the method of cutting more taxes stayed in despite its justification having taken a deep dive.
The economy has never recovered from the profligacy of the corporate welfare crowd, and it won’t recover until balance that assigns responsibility to business interests as well as to consumers finally rears its fiscally responsible hear. Calling tax cuts, and deregulation, ‘fiscally responsible’ doesn’t change the facts, these are sure death to the economy, and have proved to be that sure death for over a decade. Read the rest of this entry →