Big government liberals from both parties in D.C. appear indifferent to the federal government’s massive growth. According to government data, each taxpayer now owes the feds over $151,000 for past goodies it didn’t have the money for. The average taxpayer also owes over $1,115,000 in future promises the government has already made but doesn’t have the money for.
But Texans are also suffering from bloated government at the state and local level.
In Tarrant County, liberal Democrats like Mark Bauer are campaigning in defense of local incumbents, like Colleyville City Councilman Stan Hall, who encouraged the legislature to authorize additional regional taxing power to finance wasteful light-rail transportation schemes.
In a letter sent out to local residents, Bauer wrote, “the far-right Tea Party is promoting [local] candidates … Besides their history of refusing to compromise to promote the American agenda, their proven strategy has been to cut funding for infrastructure improvements and to cut public school funding”. [Emphasis mine]
Apparently Bauer and his Obama-Davis minions are more interested in liberal hyperbole than prudent policy solutions.
Conservatives aren’t necessarily advocating for cutting government; they’re interested in slowing its disproportionate growth … and for good reason.
According to data published by the state Comptroller, local taxing and debt levels in Texas have grown significantly faster than the combined rate of both population growth and inflation. Since 1992, property tax levies by school districts have grown 34 percent faster than population and inflation. City levies; 57 percent faster. Counties; 88 percent faster. Sales tax revenue grew 40 percent faster over the same period.
Between 2001 and 2011, local government debt grew 130 percent faster than population and inflation. When compared to other states, Texas now has the second-highest local debt per person in the nation.
Despite these alarming trends, Bauer and other liberals aren’t satisfied.
In their view, government isn’t growing fast enough. Consequently, they’re rushing to the defense of local candidates who are willing to support even more taxes and fees.
On February 3, 2009, a unanimous Colleyville City Council (including Mr. Hall) passed a resolution that pushed for new county vehicle registration fees, fuel excise taxes, mileage fees, driver’s license and roadway impact fees … all to fund light rail.
For those unfamiliar with transportation economics, light rail is exponentially more costly than traditional roads. In fact the Texas Public Policy Foundation has published extensive studies demonstrating why rail doesn’t work. Another study published by Randy O’Toole at the CATO Institute concluded, “No rail transit line in the country comes close to covering its operating costs, much less its total cost.”
For example, the City of Plano diverts over $60 million in sales tax revenue annually to DART, with approximately $1 billion in total investment. Only 2,500 riders are serviced daily. Riders on light rail also receive nearly twice the government subsidy on ticket purchases, versus those who ride on buses.
The criticism of Colleyville’s council doesn’t end with rail. Citizens have expressed concern over numerous issues, including the $45 million redevelopment of Highway 26 that won’t add new lanes, amounting to a costly beautification project with no functional benefits that will significantly ease traffic congestion.
Low turnout in local elections can be frustrating. But it also offers an opportunity for Texans to make a difference. Due to the relatively small size of local districts, a two or three percent increase in turnout can result in a landslide victory.
Stated differently, undesirable incumbents can be more easily defeated at the local level.
If Texans hope to alter the path away from crises towards continued prosperity, they must exercise vigilant stewardship in all elections.
Election Day for local races is Saturday, May 10, with statewide, primary runoff elections being held on May 27.
Below is the text of the original email sent by liberal activist, Mark Bauer:
It finally reached Colleyville – the far-right Tea Party is promoting candidates to run in the Colleyville City Council and the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD School District elections. Besides their history of refusing to compromise to promote the American agenda, their proven strategy has been to cut funding for infrastructure improvements and to cut public school funding even when it means more children per classroom.
Early voting for municipal and school board seats starts this Monday, April 28.
True Americans are already fighting back—we have a phone bank organized for this Saturday. The goal is to contact the most frequent voters—regardless of party affiliation—and to get them out early to vote for our moderate incumbents.
The candidates we need to support for their outstanding public service are:
Stan Hall (Colleyville City Council, Place 3)
Jorge Rodriguez (GCISD School Board trustee, Place 7)
Jesse Rodriguez (GCISD School Board trustees, Place 5)
These public servants are doing a great job: tax rates have not increased, we are getting new businesses moving in, infrastructure improvements, and our schools are still ranked tier one in the nation. This is an easy phone bank—these are nonpartisan races and there are no party affiliation issues. We have the call lists, we have the scripts, we have the drinks & eats—we just need you and your cell phone to donate one hour of your time.
What: Phone Bank for Progress
When: Saturday, April 26, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
(come and go, we are only asking for people to volunteer one hour)
Where: Home of Mark & Tari Bauer
If you don’t want to call, we need data entry people too. Invite your friends.
(It will help with our planning if you could RSVP – respond to this email if you know you are coming, but walk ins are welcome too.)
Call me if you have any questions.