(My prepared comments at a Capitol press conference held today with Governor Rick Perry and the key legislators working for important budget reforms.)
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility is a fairly new organization. We were founded primarily to drive action on the fundamental budget reforms that will improve the economic liberty and opportunity for all Texans. You can learn more about our work at EmpowerTexans.com.
Stacked here are more than 6,200 postcards from hard-working Texans. The folks who have sent these in are conveying a simple message: strengthen the spending limitation, provide transparency, and abolish taxes that are no longer needed.
These cards are almost entirely the result of a mailing TFR did just a couple weeks ago. We’re still getting hundreds of cards in a day.
Keeping taxes low and spending transparent makes sense as good economic policy, but it also makes sense politically.
It’s evident that taxpayer protections are popular, that the people of Texas want to see significant reform. But there is the problem. With only 25 days left in the legislative session, it’s critical that lawmakers act now. If the legislative session were to end today, I’m convinced that Texas’ taxpayers would not have a whole lot to be happy about.
Texas needs a stronger limit on the unchecked growth of government spending. Last spring, a ballot question in the Republican Primary received 90 percent approval on the idea of strengthening spending limits.
It’s not the state doesn’t need to spend more on some things. It’s simply that a strong spending restraint forces all of us to ask tough questions, and demand meaningful results.
Texas needs transparency in our spending. A fantastic bipartisan bill, HB3430, passed the House unanimously. It would put all state expenditures, contracts and grants online and in one place, but is awaiting action in the Senate. More sunlight is a good thing.
Finally, Texans need the assurance that taxes and fees are being spent the way they were intended. We need to make sure special-purpose taxes are used entirely, and only, for the purpose they are created. And when the job is done, those taxes should be eliminated.
Standing up here are legislators who are working to promote sound budget reforms. They are seeking to do the right thing by Texas’ taxpayers, to provide honesty and integrity in the state’s budget process. They have filed strong legislation to provide sensible reforms that will strengthen and empower all Texans.
Texans want these reforms. This stack of thousands of card, which is growing, is evidence of that.
No one has been a stronger champion of Texas’ taxpayers than our Governor, Rick Perry. He issued forth the rally-cry for true budget reform, meaningful tax relief, and honesty and transparency in the way the people’s money is spent. Governor Perry, thank you for allowing us this opportunity to be here today, and thank you for your leadership on these critical issues.