Despite the assertions of a liberal Austin American Statesman columnist, what has killed California has been their excessive spending, over-regulation and oppressive tax structure. Letting voters keep big spenders out of their wallets is what Texas needs to avoid following in the Golden State’s downward economic spiral.

Statesman columnist Alberta Phillips makes the fallacious claim that property tax caps in California led to the state’s bankruptcy. She apparently is aware of the $6.3% income tax they levy, the perennial multi-billion over-spending in which the state engages, or the heavy union-back regulations that have shoved small, mid and large businesses out the door.

Indeed, whatever taxpayer protection California might have once had has been all but overwhelmed by taxpayer fleecing.

Phillips is taking special aim at a non-bring proposition on the Texas Republican Party Primary ballot. The proposition asks:

Controlling Government Growth
Every government body in Texas should be required to limit any annual increase in its budget and spending to the combined increase of population and inflation unless it first gets voter approval to exceed the allowed annual growth or in the case of an official emergency.

 

The voter then selects “yes” or “no.”

In the leftward tilt of Phillips’ thinking, this would amount to a “centralized system of state government.” How? Not exactly clear, despite part of the answer being found in her own column.

She quotes former Austin finance director and city council member Betty Dunkerley:

“We can look at California and see where they tried to control the increase in property taxes, but costs were not controlled, rising higher than inflation,” she told [Phillips]. Cities need flexibility to respond to their residents’ needs.

That’s why this proposition requires “limit any annual increase in its budget and spending… unless it first gets voter approval to exceed the allowed annual growth or in the case of an official emergency.”

Big spenders only like “local control” when it means unfettered “flexible” access by governing liberals into the pockets of productive people. But true local control, where the people have to be convinced to open their wallets… Well, that’s just a little too local for the likes of Ms. Phillips.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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