Posts for Michele Samuelson

Getting the Whole Truth About Taxation

In 1978, Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment to create truth-in-taxation and transparency in the calculation and process by which the governing body of a local government sets the annual property tax rate.  Since 1978, the truth in taxation laws have become more complicated as local governments calculate effective tax rates, rollback tax rates, and […]

By |September 12, 2012
Making College Affordable - For Real This Time

At the DNC Convention tonight (hey, I watch so you don’t have to), a good number of the speakers talked about the joy of Pell grants and affordable college tuition.  It’s a real shame not one of them talked about how college tuition increased 15% between 2008 and 2010. There are a lot of cost […]

By |September 4, 2012
Finding a Practical Way to Cut Spending Now

Today, the Texas Senate Finance Committee will meet to discuss whether changes need to be made to the existing state spending limitation to restrain the growth of future government spending to population growth plus inflation.  Tax and expenditure limitation legislation is widely popular among the people in Texas and it isn’t difficult to understand why: […]

By |August 29, 2012
Stealth Tax Elections - in September

Thanks to a quirk of the Texas Tax Code, there are some tax hikes on the ballot – in September!  We have quite a few tax and bond elections happening down ballot in November, but I caught wind today of two specific tax elections happening on September 1 and September 8 (thanks to WilCo Conservative). […]

By |August 25, 2012
Sticking College Kids with Yet Another Mandate

I believe in vaccinations.  I think it’s a good idea to take precautionary measures against potentially devastating diseases, particularly those that pass easily from person to person. But I squirm about government inserting itself and mandating vaccines, and I especially don’t believe that vaccines for exceedingly rare diseases should be made mandatory for specific groups […]

By |August 23, 2012
Texas Red Tape Challenge Cuts to the Chase

It is not difficult to frame oneself as a cost-cutting conservative using a few budget tricks.  Move money from one agency to the next, keep budget line-items at smaller amounts than requested, use accounting gimmicks.  But to actually be a cost-cutting conservative, fighting the waste in government by aiming at regulations, mandates, and hidden, passed-on-Local-and-Consent programs? […]

By |August 23, 2012
Medicaid Fraud Worse than Common Toothache

Even laughing gas wouldn’t make this funny.  The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) this week picked up a story about Medicaid fraud perpetrated by at least 26 dentist and orthodontists across Texas (originally brought to light by WFAA’s Byron Harris in Dallas).  Our state’s Department of Health and Human Services has denied $8.2 million in Medicaid claims […]

By |August 21, 2012