Sunday, March 7, 2021
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Tag: Texas budget deficit

The Phony Texas ‘Miracle”

So, Rick Perry wants to tout his record as governor of Texas, does he? He wants to ride his record there all the way to the White House? He might want to re-think that position. He's the guy who hates the federal government so much that he grabbed $16 billion of the Obama stimulus money and still couldn't balance the books. At last check, Texas had a budget deficit of $26 billion and a government that is trapped in the "no tax increases" absurdity.

At the same time that Rick Perry complained that the federal government wasn't doing enough to help Texas with its wildfires, he failed to mention that the Texas legislature had cut state money for fighting fires by 30 percent at the same time that Texas received more federal fire grant money than any other state.

The public education system in Texas has seen budget cuts so draconian that they sparked protests by thousands of citizens in Austin. Perry's proposed solution to his budget mess could mean the layoff of up to one-third of all Texas teachers.

Statistics from the recent census won't be something we will hear Perry brag about in a debate. Over 26% of Texans live in poverty. The same percentage of workers in the state have no health insurance. Texas, the birthplace of No Child Left Behind, has more people over the age of 25 without a high school diploma than any other state. While Perry brags about the "Texas miracle," he doesn't want us to know that his state ranks 47th in median household wealth. Or, that it is the worst of the 50 states in prenatal care.

That's the record of the leading contender for the Republican nomination. If I were an official in the Obama campaign, I would be loving the thought of running against the shameful record Rick Perry has compiled in Texas. Bring it on!

Oh, No…Deja Vu All Over Again

So, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has thrown his hat into the whacked-out GOP presidential multi-ring circus. Get ready to hear a lot of hot air and false information, especially on Faux News and other corporate media outlets, about the "Texas economic miracle." The only problem is that that "miracle" is phony. Texas is in very serious financial trouble, to the tune of a $27 billion deficit. As is typical of ideologically poisoned Republicans, the legislature first pledged to close the budget gap by cutting services alone.

The immediate cut to services would have been so draconian - end all Medicaid payments, immediately cut payments to school districts by 25%, and lay off tens of thousands of state employees - that Rick Perry, who had emphatically stated that the state would not dip into its $9.2 billion rainy day fund to help balance the budget, finally agreed to use a $3.2 billion fund withdrawal to temporarily close the budget gap. How temporary? Until August 31, when the state will have to figure out how to plug a remaining $23 billion shortfall in its next two-year budget. Even so, Perry was touting the Texas "miracle" only weeks ago while fully knowledgeable about the horrible fiscal mess.

I don't think Rick Perry wants anyone to publicize some other facts about conditions in the state of Texas today. Let's just say it's a great place to live if you are loaded with money, but woe to you if you are not.