“This is a stopgap bill, I don’t care how we cut it,” said Rep. Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton, about the transportation funding deal passed by the Texas House and Senate on Monday night.
The bill, which puts in serious jeopardy our saving money to the rainy day fund, requires a vote of the people which will be held in November of 2014, that’s right more than a year away, to change the Constitution to make it where half the money now going to our savings account will instead be sent right over to management-challenged TxDOT to spend.
And if you’re one of those people who think beyond a year or two, unlike most of our elected officials it seems, and realize the great danger to fiscal responsibility this change to the constitution presents, get ready to be branded as just another crank who “opposes everything”.
Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond, always for big government when it benefits his big-business members, was quoted by the San Antonio Express-News as saying: “It will require a concerted effort on the part of the business and chamber community in Texas and other forward-looking organizations to make the case to the voters that this is something that absolutely needs to be done.” He also said there are “people who are against anything and everything and they typically show up at every bond election and proposition of this type.”
So there you have it from the big-business lobby: If you think permanently cutting in-half the money we save for future shortfalls and disasters is not wise public policy, you’re just another one of those “against anything and everything” folk.
Hammond’s group used to command respect but, over the past few years it has become clear that TAB is little different than its counterparts elsewhere: disdainful of the public and perfectly willing to support bad policy for Texas when some big firms might benefit in the short term.