Texas Continuing the Conservative Calamity of the 2000s

source: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/01/19/whats-the-matter-with-texas?hp


Texas legislators proposed…a plan to slash $31 billion in state spending that includes cuts in education, Medicaid and the prison system. New taxes weren’t an option for the Republican-controlled state government. Texas has among the lowest tax burdens in the country, with no income tax.

But how did a state which touts its fiscal tightfistedness find itself in a deficit bind in the first place? Its oil and gas industries hummed along during the recession, and it had no housing meltdown. Unions are not an issue, and it has the lowest state spending in the nation per person.

But there is not even unity on the amount of its budget shortfall: is it $12 billion to $15 billion, as the Republicans say, or up to $27 billion, a figure used by liberal groups like the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities? Many fiscal conservatives say that the gap is not a problem.


* That budget gap of at least $12 billion is not a problem for the fiscal conservatives? Think about that for a moment. Either the words “fiscal” and “conservative” don’t mean what they used to mean…or that missing pallet of $12 billion from Iraq ended up in Texas?

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