Just When You Thought Gas Prices Couldn’t Be Higher…

…Along comes State Sen. John "Let Them Be Taxed" Carona. The senator from Dallas is, seriously, going to introduce legislation next Session to raise the state’s gasoline tax by 10 cents per gallon. This would take even more of your money and shovel it to the state’s fiscally-inept, policy-wayward transportation agency.

TxDOT ‘Screwed Up’ 1.1 Billion Times

In what may go down as the most incredibly stupid error in state history, transportation officials told lawmakers this week that they counted $1.1 billion in revenue twice — leading them to over-commit to road projects. State Sen. Steve Ogden of Bryan summed the situation well: “This is screwed up.”

Expensive Nothing

Texas taxpayers are paying some $10,000 per acre for… nothing. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission is squandering your cash to spend $400,000 to create 40 acres of "open space" in Guadalupe County, highlighted by a 1.5-mile trail with educational signs. Have they no sense of decency? Apparently not — but why should they, it’s just your money. This is just one of some $5.85 million in pork-purchases the commission made with your money recently.

Money For Nothing, Rings Not Free

Texas taxpayers are a generous lot. Just ask the good folks at Windstream Communications, who state bureaucrats say improperly received more than $6 million from Texans over the last seven years.

So Long, Senator

One piece of bad political news this date: State Senator Kyle Janek is leaving public office. While rumored for some time, it’s a shame to see. Dr. Janek has been a good friend to the conservative movement, a reliable voice of reason in an unreasonable political body, and genuinely pleasant fellow to work around. He’ll be greatly missed, but he is leaving for all the right reasons. Good luck, Dr. Janek!

Illegal Or Unpopular

State Sen. John Carona gets it right in a news story, where he is quoted as saying the state’s transportion agency "may well have crossed a legal threshold" when it enaged in a $9 million program to convince Texans to stop worrying and learn to love the TransTexas Corridor. The senator from Dallas should have stopped there.

A Tax On Bad Math Skills

Remember being told that the Lottery would solve our education finance woes? Yep, that was a good one. Now the same band that brought us the state monopoly on games-of-chance want us to feel guilty that the poor and uneducated play the Lottery, and especially the high-dollar versions, at higher rates than more affluent and educated folks. Apparently someone didn’t read the memo that state-funded gambling is a tax on people with poor math skills. Which, of course, means the state has a perverse incentive: keep math skills low so more people will play.

Keeping The Budget Responsible

State Rep. John Otto of Dayton has it right: "Everything we do in Texas with regard to public policy starts and stops with the budget." Too few people in or out of the Legislature understand that, which is why its good to know Otto has been tapped to find ways to limit the growth of government.