Sunday, May 29, 2011

Texas Budget Bill Passes

96 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted for Texas’ 2-year budget last night, making it official that, among other things, the state will decline to support its 4.5 million school children with the public education that will be necessary to compete with the rest of the world in the future.

In fact, it is a bit ironic that one way the Republican plan accomplishes this shortchanging of the next generation is to defer payment for current obligations into the next budget cycle, reminding me of the famous quotation by Popeye’s good friend Wimpy: “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

Another odd thing about this budget is that its passage was based on passage of yet another bill, SB 1811, a bill that further enables “living within our means” by bumping payment of $3.5 billion to schools into the next budget.

How, I ask myself, can this kind of budgeting process in any way be seen as responsible? Be seen as “the right thing for Texas” as stated by Republican State Rep Myra Crownover. Unless by “right” she means rightwing.

But it isn’t even that. When you hear the word “rightwing” the words fiscally conservative come to mind. This bill in no way resembles something that a fiscal conservative would pass. This is one of the most irresponsible budget bills ever.

Republicans felt enabled to pass such a monstrosity because of the elections in 2010. State Rep Jim Pitts, the chef budget writer referred to “results of the Republicans' overwhelming victory in November as a mandate to close the gaping budget hole without imposing new taxes” as the reason they felt they could do this thing.

In other words, elections matter.

No comments: