From EmpowerTexans.com, by Michael Quinn Sullivan, December 19, 2012 –
QUOTING… “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” — Winston Churchill
Before we let our thoughts turn fully to mistletoe, candy canes and stockings, Texans must prepare for the start of the legislative session – just 20 days from now!Fortunately, some of our legislators have hit the ground running by filing important reform-minded legislation. But will taxpayers be ready to apply the push needed to see them through? Will we commit to holding accountable those legislators obstructing pro-Texas reforms?
Legislation filed in advance of the 2013 session would strictly limit spending to the sum of population growth and inflation. Voters and taxpayers across the political spectrum have long supported this stronger limit on government.
Current law lets legislators set their own limit, and predictably they go with a non-limit: the projected growth in personal income. Just last month the Legislative Budget Board adopted the spending limit for the new budget — again exceeding the sum of population and inflation.
State Rep. Phil King of Weatherford, one of our Taxpayer Champions from 2011, has proposed legislation to fix that. He says that “it is very important that we implement a conservative spending cap to ensure that even in the good times, Texas does not become irresponsible with its taxpayers’ dollars.”
Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are on record supporting a stronger state spending limit; Speaker Joe Straus is not.
Pushing For Transparency
Meanwhile, State Rep. Bill Zedler continues to fight for more transparency in local school budgets. Despite roadblocks set up in front of his legislation last session, he’s back again the same bill designed to shine a light on how your ISD is spending your money.
He wants school districts to put their check registers, credit card transactions, and fund balances on their websites for public view. Such protections are essential to keeping local school districts efficient in their spending and accountable to their local taxpayers.
Very often government rules and regulations are sold as a way to protect the public, but are too often imposed at the behest of special interests trying to thwart competition. This is seen most clearly occupational licensing.
State Rep. Bill Callegari wants to fix that; he’s on a mission to reduce what has become one of the most burdensome areas of government regulation by introducing two pieces of legislation that would both limit new licensing and provide a way to begin scaling back those which are “burdensome and unnecessary.”
“When you think about it,” says Rep. Callegari, “we have all these governmental processes for creating more regulations and licensing programs, but we have very few mechanisms for formally evaluating whether they’re still needed.”
The biggest drain on Texas’ economy is Washington, DC. They haven’t passed a budget in three years, instead pushing the national debt past the gross domestic product. Speaker John Boehner sold out and offered to hike taxes yesterday, only for his plan to be rejected by President Obama as not taxing enough. Obama wants new revenues flowing into government, remember.
(Lesson: you can’t out-tax a liberal.)
Just recently the House Republican leadership booted 14 conservatives (not a one from Texas) from their committee assignments. Why? They wanted to stand against the reckless tax-and-spend policies of the president.
We don’t elect legislators — state or federal — to “get along” with the leadership. We expect them to stand true to the principles upon which they campaigned.
The outpouring of support for the 1836 Campaign has been amazing – and we’re close to meeting our goal! Lots of new supporters are signing on every day to help keep their fellow Texans informed about, and engaged in, their government. Will you contribute? We’re counting on you to come on as an 1836 Champion!
Taxpayers need to make a list, and check it twice. They need to know throughout the legislative session who’s being naughty and who’s being nice. That’s what the 1836 Campaign is all about.