NEWS

Clucking Hysteria

Hysterical pronouncements by politicians can lead to both bad policy and higher costs. You don’t get much more hysterical than Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, who told an audience that simply breathing the air in some parts of Texas places people “as at [much] risk for cancer as a smoker." Cluck-cluck, clucks Cluck.

Jumping Off Bridges

Yep, Mom was right: Just because the other kids are jumping off a bridge doesn’t make it right. Writ large, that commonsense is found in the national economy. If Texas were to follow the big-spending, high-taxing path of all the cool liberal kids, like California and New York, we too could be facing yet again massive budget cuts and huge tax increases. No thanks.

Dallas News Highlights Random Unfairness of Property Taxes

The Dallas Morning News reports that only 7 percent of homeowners challenged their 2006 appraisals. Although 54 percent of protesters got some relief, Richard Whittle was denied when he challenged the increase of his one-story Garland house by 67 percent to $135,490 in 2006.

Higher Fraud

Despite cries of poverty from university administrators seeking constant tuitions hikes — and more taxpayer subsidies — a new review finds major institutions are not only awash in cash, but that they are hoarding the cash contributed by alumni. For what? Who knows. But it apparently isn’t to the benefit of taxpayers or students. And when pressed on tuition hikes?

Those Calves Won’t Rope Themselves

One of the most significant taxpayer lawsuits in Texas’ history is about to go to jury-trial in Austin, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has thus far refused to be deposed — despite being a defendant in the case. While the office of Lt. Governor is a taxing one, it seems that as the head of the Legislative Budget Board charged with enforcing Texas’ spending limit, he might have time to explain why the state’s application of that limit has been, well, a little too generous with your money.

Getting It (Almost) Right

In a rare display of good sense, the Dallas Morning News almost gets it right in an editorial on the Legislature’s new business income tax. But in arguing against the creation of new loopholes and exmeptions, they write "this new tax needs time to work." In reality, the monstrosity needs to go away before it can do lasting damage to the economic credibility of the state.

Academically-Required Press Box

Abilene school district officials tell the local newspaper that their "New Year’s Resolution" is to increase taxpayers’ debt this May by $85.2 million, or $5,126 per student. This would include spending $2 million on a new press box for the local football stadium.

New Business Tax Body Blow: 300 Percent Increase

The Houston Chronicle reports on the severe impact of the new business tax, which is a $6.2 billion hike  over the franchise tax.  Wanda Rohm, who owns Presto Printing in Houston with 12 employees, said her taxes will go up an astonishing 300 percent.

Sandbagging The Taxpayers

You always get more of what you subsidize, especially risky behavior. That’s certainly the case along Texas’ hurricane-prone coastline.

Lacking Decency

While Texas Transportation Commissioner Ric Williamson’s strong views on any number of issues earned him equal measures of love and scorn, he was an honorable man who truly sought to serve the best interests of Texans. He died earlier this week of a heart attack. As the godfather of the Trans-Texas Corridor, he took the arrows and daggers as a part of the public policy debate. But the state’s liberals demonstrate they have no sense of proportion, respect, or even decency, in gleefully proclaiming his passing.

Giving Environmentalists The Bird

Pop quiz: Do you save the planet from global warming by switching to renewable energy sources, or do you protect a species from tragic death knowing you’ll make the planet uninhabitable in somewhere between 5 to 5 million years?

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