We warned incoming legislators back in October about the pressure from incumbents to give up resistance to the Austin political Borg. The first tangible example comes from State Rep. Larry Gonzales, who this week belittled freshmen conservatives over their belief that Texas has a spending problem. He wants them to believe more money is needed in government.
It’s not newsworthy to see a big spender like Mr. Gonzales shilling for the establishment by pushing for more spending. He spent his last session (his freshman session) voting to keep money tied up in bloated bureaucracies like the Texas Education Agency, create budget shortfalls, impose more regulations, and draw down the Rainy Day Fund for recurring expenditures.
It is newsworthy to now see Rep. Gonzales step forward and reprimand conservative freshmen for not falling in line with the Austin political Borg’s stance on a potential gas tax increase like he apparently has.
Here’s what liberal news-blog Quorum Report had to say about the comments he made this week at the Texas Transportation Forum in Austin:
Gonzales said the House is filled with new members, all coming into the House with the belief that the state doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem.
“Come March, come April, they’re going to realize we don’t have another answer,” Gonzales predicted. “For those of us who have been around for a while, we all know what’s going on; it just takes a little bit of time for the new members to realize it. The good ones will figure that out, and we can go forward.”’
In other words, resistance is futile.
It’s disappointing to see the sophomore state representative from Round Rock warn conservative freshmen that attempting to address spending before considering new transportation revenue is a lost cause. The Austin political Borg has decided that spending more money is more attractive than fiscal stewardship, and that “it just takes a little bit of time for the new members to realize it.”
Conservatives shouldn’t be discouraged. This is exactly the kind of Austin insider groupthink that these freshmen elected to break up, and now is the opportunity to show constituents that they will stay true to their word.
Gas tax increases are simply not on the table for discussion this session. Not when so much of the State Highway Fund (fueled primarily by gas taxes and vehicle fees), is diverted to non-construction related projects. Not when transportation dollars are being spent on parks, mass-transit boondoggles, and public art.
The Austin political Borg frankly doesn’t want spending restraint. It’s not in the best interest of their rent-seeking campaign supporters, who would rather see more of your money line their pockets.
Let Mr. Gonzales’ words serve as motivation to stick to your principles. A warning like this issued so early in session shows the establishment’s worried about having so many conservative freshmen refusing to “go-along-to-get-along.”
Voters: it never hurts to let your legislators know exactly what you sent them to Austin to do:
Letter to Legislators: Cut Texans’ Taxes!
Letter to Legislators: Support Strong Spending Limits and Eliminate the Gross Margins Tax
Letter to Legislators: Oppose ObamaCare
Letter to Legislators: Support Transparency
Texas Budget Compact: Cut, Cap, Relief, Preserve, Truth