Trey Trainor is a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission. He was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2019 and confirmed by the United States Senate in 2020. Trey has practiced law for over two decades, particularly in the areas of election law, campaign finance law and ethics.
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You know, the job was dangerous when you’re talking Fred, I have a question should be respectful of me. Colorful One might even go so far as to say he’s mediocre. I guess I should salute you with a worthy adversary and all that. But the truth is, I really did he score podcast.
Well, Who the hell’s money? Is it anyway, right? It’s supposed to be our money. My friends. When when we give money to the federal government, we expect the federal government and the state government to be good stewards with that money. And when they are not, it is a betrayal of our people. So a lot of people lose sight that it’s not there’s no such thing as government’s money. It’s taxpayers money. There was an article at the Texas scorecard by Don Hofheinz and Bill peacock. And the title caught my eye budget gimmicks hide an avalanche of spending increases in Texas. Neither neither one of the houses in Texas are bragging about this massive increase in government spending. Now remember, my friends, the Republicans are supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility. The Republicans are supposed to be the party of limited constitutional government. The Republicans are supposed to be the one saying that a government that governs least governs best. That’s supposed to be the Republican mindset. And let’s be honest, you and I are doing without you and I have less. Why is it that it’s permissible for you and I to have less to be scraping by and Beijing Biden’s economy. And yet government says a screw you people. We’re never going to take a haircut. We’re never going to cut back. We’re never going to tighten our belt. Let me read to you now this is a this is an affliction on the national level that is well chronicled. You’ve got Beijing Biden out there. This dumbass Beijing Biden out there claiming that he reduced the debt by $1.7 trillion. Listen,
I might note parenthetically, in my first two years, I reduced the debt by $1.7 trillion. No presidents ever done that.
Well, you never did that. He’s right. No, no president has ever reduced the debt. You haven’t done it. All you’ve done is increase the debt. That’s a bold faced lie. So we’re used to liars and crooks, and individuals on the federal level, robbing Peter to pay Paul or just robbing Peter and stealing Paul’s money. Right. But here at home in Texas, we have come to expect anyway, on the on the conservative side of the ledger that our that our so called Republican controlled government is going to be responsible. Well, let me read this article. When taxpayers heard about Texas is $32.7 billion budget surplus in January. Texans seeking to be free of paying rent to the government hoped that this would be the year the Texas Legislature would get serious about property tax relief or perhaps it’s elimination. After all, despite many recent promises of tax relief property tax revenue increased by 12% last year. Wow. So yes, we were soaked even more 12% more last year. Unfortunately, the legislature and the governor are poised to put far more taxpayer money into new spending. That’s growth of government kids, then into making a serious effort to reduce or eliminate property taxes. While using budget gimmicks to hide from Texans, these increases, yet a path to owning property free of government rent is still possible rights these two men this year according to the Senate version of both SB 30 and HB one, a Texas Legislature will spend $223.6 billion. Now that represents a $62.5 billion increase that’s nearly 40% increase over what the legislature appropriated appropriated in 2021. This is by far the largest dollar spending increase in Texas history. And at least the highest percentage increase in recent memory session to session spending went up 21% in 2007, yet nowhere can taxpayers find this increase reflected in the legislators official budget documents. Historically, the Texas Legislature uses budget gimmicks when it wants to spend more money than it has on hand working around the Texas constitutions balance balanced budget requirement. But in recent years, the legislature has been using gimmicks to hide spending increases from we the people, and 2021, the legislature appropriated $166.3 billion and state funds for fiscal year 2022 2023. Yet the summary for the Senate’s version of HB one this year shows that the expected spending of state funds for 2022 2023 is 182 point $4,000,000,016.1 billion higher. Thus, what taxpayers were told was only a 1.5%. spending increase. And 2021 turns out to be an 11.3% increase. Nobody should be happy about any of this. Nobody should be happy about a government that says, well, we get elected. And it’s our job to pull the wool over the eyes of the people who elected us. So they don’t know how much of their money we are spending. So again, folks, we’ve got a surplus. And the bulk, if not all of it should be coming back and in this conservatives opinion to We The People, or should be dedicated to hardening the power grid, maybe building a couple of natural gas fired power plants. Maybe we should be making sure that we have more reservoirs built around the state of Texas to handle this massive influx of people who are coming to Texas because the Republican controlled government have a standing. Our economy is good, but it may not be good for much longer if government continues to eat a greater share of our prosperity. Government is fat enough, isn’t it? Folks, we talked to Texans for Fiscal Responsibility coming up next, on The Salcedo storm podcast.
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folks, Tim Hardin is the president of Texans for fiscal responsibility. They continue to hold the Texas Legislature and our government accountable for the promises of property tax relief made during the campaign season. That and other things, sir, welcome back.
Good to be here. Chris. Good to be here. Thank you for having me.
Well, let’s, let’s take a look at this big debate. Because you know, I gotta be honest with you. The The only thing I know, is what’s being proposed by the House and the Senate to give some of our overtaxed money back to the tune of what was it about $32 billion $33.7 billion surplus? It’s correct, that the Senate wants to give us more of that money back. But the House says their way of giving money back is better. So can you explain the differences between the two approaches?
Sure. Well, first off, let me start by saying that both sides, both House and Senate are using what we’re calling fuzzy math. So both of the numbers that we’re hearing, especially lately, we had Donald Trump tweet 27 billion and really from the Senate. We were very confused by that we work with Vance Gan, who’s our head economist, and we’re like, where are they getting these numbers? Well, it turns out, you know, we read an article where they quoted Patrick and how he got those numbers, where he estimated how much savings would be over the life of a normal mortgage. 30 years. We’re stretching numbers quite a bit, but to kind of tell you the difference between the plan the senate plan has Three different bills, SB three, four and five, SB three is an increase in the homestead exemption, currently we’re at $40,000, we just increase that from 25. They want to take us to $70,000. And for elderly or over 65, they want to take it to $100,000. So that’s the first part of their plan. Well, second part is sp four, which is the image, no compression. So this is what we did back in 2019. When we compressed rates across the board, they’re offering about the same amount about 5.5 billion in compression in SP four. And then SP five is basically a bill that deals with personal property and business taxes, so it’s not going to be really applicable to most homestead home homeowners. Now, on the House side, the way they’re coming at it is they have one bill, it’s HB two, they are basically proposing a reduction in the appraisal cap right now, homesteaded homes are capped at 10%. They’re wanting to lower that to 5%. But what’s different is they’re actually wanting to put a cap on all real property. So this would include investment properties, which currently are not capped. And so this provision, although it’s not necessarily a bad reform, it’s not going to result in any cuts like this is simply just slowing the growth. So you’re not going to experience any cuts from this. Now on the House side, they are offering quite a bit more in imminent compression. So in the House bill and HB two, they’re offering $12 billion in immuno compression, which is twice as much as the Senate. And although there’s kind of this back and forth between the House and the Senate, ultimately, pretty much all fiscal organizations us whether it’s us or TPPs, or the Hawaiians Liberty Institute, we all prefer compression because this is done on a percentage basis. And it’s permanent, where a homestead exemption like an SB three eventually will be inflated away. And in high inflationary environment that we’re in right now, because of monetary policy on the federal level, we’re pretty confident that that that 40 to 70k is going to disappear in about a year or two because it’s dollar based not based on percentages. So if you’re asking which side actually has the stronger that would result in the most reduction in property taxes for homeowners, we would actually side on the house, the house.
Okay. All right. So let’s, let’s see what some other folks are saying like Don Hofheinz, and Bill Peacock, I think, you know, both of those guys are very well. And they jumped on the Texas scorecard. And they wrote a commentary about, as you rightly point out, everybody doing a little fuzzy math, and and everybody hiding spending increases. And it looks like the Texas Legislature, they all can agree to spend more money to the tune of well, the numbers that are being thrown out by by Hofheinz and peacock are eye popping $62.5 billion, that’s a 38.7% increase over the last biennium. So what are they doing to hide their spending increases?
Well, a lot of it is how they calculate budget growth and things like that. And quite honestly, it’s it’s incredibly complex, but they are right, we calculated about the same about 62 billion in new spending. And we’re talking about cycle over cycle. So compared to last budget, which is a biennial budget, this cycle, we’re spending 62 billion more than we did last cycle. And that encompasses a lot. We’re spending like five or 6 billion more in higher ed, we’ve passed tons of corporate welfare. Of course, that hasn’t officially passed yet. But the house has pushed through HB five, which is a renewal of the largest corporate property, excuse me, corporate welfare program in Texas, we’ve put in a well over a billion dollars in different subsidies, like music programs and things like that one of them HB 3600, steals from property tax relief fund and gives it to the Music Foundation. And so they’re, they’re kind of spreading the spinning all around. And this is kind of what we warned about at the beginning of session when they have a big stack of surplus dollars 33 billion. The temptation is to grow government and to kind of spread this around like a slush fund. And that’s exactly what we’ve seen. Right now. We’ve occurred, the budget has not officially passed, it’s in conference. So we haven’t seen a finalized version of it. But as it sits right now, there’s about 17 billion of that of that surplus that has not yet to be spend that we believe they’re just going to let it sit there. So they can use it again, next cycle as a slush fund. And so it doesn’t seem like there’s a very big desire to give significant property tax relief. Instead, you know, this has been and I was actually just talking to Bill Peacock, he said this is probably the worst session he’s seen since 1989. Because he’s been around a while, as far as the growth of budget as far as raising taxes and expanding government. I’ve been involved in state government for a little over a decade and saying this is the this is the worst growth of government I’ve ever seen, which is, of course, the danger of having that big money pot sitting there.
Well, let’s talk about the likelihood that that all of this these proposals to increase spending makes it what what is your evaluation? Are there any conservative boll weevils that will torpedo this irrespective Ansible increasing government spending.
It does not look to be the bearer of bad news, but it looks like we’re gonna grow government significantly. Now, as far as what you know what property tax is going to come away and how much more they’re going to offer. I’m not even convinced we’re going to get anything passed. Others might disagree with me, we might actually have to go to a special session for property tax. But it seems like based on the budgetary process, what the House and Senate both came up with, they almost had identical budgets, they were only a couple billion dollars apart. So most of the cake was already baked, before we even got the the budget out to either chamber. And so it looks like we’re the we’re still under the the crazy thing is we’re still under the constitutional spending limit, which basically limits our budget to population plus inflation. The reason we’re under that is one, the way that they calculate that is a little a little fuzzy as well. But also because last year, we were at 9%. Inflation, that cap that the LBB gave us is a 12.3% growth in a cycle over cycle, which typically to give you an idea, it’s usually anywhere from four to 6%. And so we have doubled the cap. And so they haven’t met that cap, but they’re really close to it. And we’ve grown government quite quite a bit. I don’t think that’s going to change much.
Well, that sucks. That’s bad news. Tim Hardin is our guests president of Texans for fiscal responsibility. They’re trying to hold the Texas Legislature accountable. But it doesn’t seem the legislation legislature really wants to listen at this point about that budget. Before we we go on from that there’s a provision that was offered by House Republicans to prohibit any taxpayer dollars, they’re going to spend money on and on everything that they want $62 billion increase except for giving parents school choice and funding school choice programs. What is the likelihood Are you hearing that that irresponsible and sick and twisted betrayal of our parents and our students will be able to be thrown out of this that little budget amendment that was championed by Charlie Garin and other turncoats? What are the likelihood that that gets stripped?
I think it’s extremely likely I don’t I don’t see any chance to the Senate is going to leave that in there when when the conference committee report comes out. And so I you know, I don’t have a crystal ball, I can’t say for sure. But I find it like less than 5% chance that thing’s gonna stay in there. I just don’t see, you know, the Senate passed SBA, which is a school choice reform. And so for their folks from the finance committee to allow that to stay in against the will of the people of Texas, it’s very clear that school choice is wanted, you’re seeing a wave nationwide. And so I’m fairly confident that that’s not going to be in there.
Okay, well, all right. You mentioned the the sinful phrase, the special session phrase. So it that’s where the good work is going to be forced to be done. And it looks like at this point, it’s so it was a foregone conclusion, after in my opinion, after the first week, the House allegedly got to work. And it really wasn’t even a full week of work. So I have been hearing talk of a special session, because it looks like there is no appetite from the leadership in the Texas House to do any of the Republican priorities, which is kind of odd for people who call themselves Republicans. What what do you think the complexion of a special session, just on the fiscal side looks like?
Well, I think for sure, if neither of these property tax relief packages, if they’re not able to come to an agreement, of course, you know, if you’ve been paying attention on Twitter, you know, Speaker feeling and Patrick kind of going at each other sharing memes and kind of poking at each other. Right. And so ultimately, someone’s going to have to concede, and there’s going to have to be some sort of a compromise. If that’s not possible, or that does not get passed, there’s absolutely no way they can allow no property tax relief to happen. So in terms of, you know, the fiscal side, I think the likelihood will completely depend on whether HB two or the that Senate package passes. I think if those do pass, I think they’re gonna, you know, dust their hands off and say, there you go, largest property tax reform in history, and then just kind of cross their fingers that nobody, nobody figures out what’s going on until they everybody’s reelected. Business Cycle.
Right. Okay. Well, so, as you know, the call is put out by the governor’s office on a special session. And he Where do you get the sense that he might be leaning toward the Senate side or toward the House side? As far as, as his preference? Have you? Have you talked to any of his people that you don’t wear? Because I know he’s probably loath to get in between this, this, this match between the speaker and the lieutenant governor? So any idea where he might be leaning?
He’s not and he so he tweeted out a few weeks ago that he supports both packages. So he’s staying neutral. And just kind of letting letting the thing of course, you know, he said and the funny thing is, he said in his debate with beta and we’ve we’ve retweeted this 100 times, that his goal was to eliminate school property taxes so people can actually own their home. He said this multiple times throughout the last few years. But of course, he’s he’s been completely quiet on on, you know, a phased out of property taxes and he’s just kind of kept his mouth shut, it looks like he’s gonna let the Chamber’s fight it out and whichever one wins, I’m sure it will be happy to sign it in. But he’s not. He’s not he doesn’t have a dog in a fight. In other words, Tim Hardin,
president of Texas for fiscal responsibility, the last question I have for you is, and maybe it’s a series of of issues that nobody’s talking about, that you believe are Spectres out there that could harm the fiscal health of Texas, that we really should be addressing.
So I think we have to return back to really, you know, the revival of the conservative movement, I would pinpoint when I kind of got involved in politics, which was 2008 2010, during that Tea Party wave, right. And if you remember, you know, it’s almost a distant memory now, but it was Taxed Enough already. And there’s a big fiscal element of that wave that we wanted to keep government small and to limit government and to quit expanding government. And somewhere along the way, I don’t know if it’s the Republican Party’s shift towards populism under Donald Trump, we’ve just kind of lost that mentality where, you know, someone like Abbott, who used to be wholeheartedly against occupational licensing and corporate welfare, and you know, the government offering solutions that the market should offer, we’ve moved away from that mentality. And I think the Republican Party has to really kind of, you know, find themselves again, and and understand that no matter what your issue, whether it’s social, whether it’s the gender modification thing, or the work agenda in higher education, or this or that, ultimately, the growth of government. And what do I mean, by that, I mean, spending, this is exactly how we can track the growth of government, if more dollars are spent, we’re growing government, if less dollars are spent, we’re shrinking government, these institutions, higher ed, that’s training up all of our our people to go into the workforce, it’s training your doctors is training, your psychologist is training professors that are pushing all of these agendas, these social agendas, we don’t like understand that tax dollars are funding those things. And so at the core of all of these problems we are experiencing, and that the Republican Party is shouting about, it’s ultimately fiscal, because if they if you don’t give government enough money to fund these work agendas, then they can’t. And so we only government will only do what we allow them to do through funding. And so we have to come back to this idea that the founding of the country was for limited government, and that we want government so small, we can barely see it. But what we’ve seen this legislative session is all of these problems. All of these, supposedly Republicans are pushing things that, you know, in the last 10 or so years, when we were under this kind of Tea Party, conservative, kind of aura, they forgotten, we’re pushing, you know, gun control legislation. We’re growing government, we’re raising taxes, we’re pushing more occupational licensing. And so we have to get back to the idea that the free market is the best way to deal with all economic problems, and that the government is really the problem. And so that’s what we need to limit. We need limited government, when the government is big individuals or small when the government is small individuals are big. And I think this is the core idea behind the founding of our country. And we really just need to return to that.
And another saying that was made infamous by the great Ronald Reagan. The government isn’t the solution to our problem. government is the problem. And then he was absolutely absolutely correct. And I think a pivot both fiscally and mentally, by those who call themselves Republicans or praise God, a third party springs up out there where constitutional conservatism and limited government is actually coveted and cherished, and will make both political parties because if you look at the polling out there, Mr. heartened that the both political parties are at all time lows, the unit party, the unit, by the way, the unit party spends like drunken sailors with all apologies to drunken sailors. If you look at the at the unit party, it is the most unpopular type of party in this country, both Republicans and Democrats. Really, the American people are sickened by what they’re seeing by both both sides, because they’re not opposition parties anymore. Correct? Correct.
All right. Tim Hardin, thank you very much, man. I appreciate the visit. Can you tell folks how to get in touch with Texans for fiscal responsibility?
Absolutely. Of course, you can follow us on Twitter. We’re at Texans, excuse me, at Texas underscore taxpayers. We’re on Facebook, we’re on Instagram. And of course, you can go to our website, Texas taxpayers.com. This is where we house our fiscal responsibility index where we score legislators based on holidays. They vote on size of government issues. And this is very handy as we start heading and pivoting to the primary season, which is where you know we need to get a lot of these bad people out and so we have an object Back to metric where you can say hey is my is my guy you know for limited government or not, check us out, click the tab on index and you can see exactly what your representatives Yep.
I am not going to get involved in the primary season for president at this point, but I think I will for a lot of so called legislators here in the state of Texas, Tim Horton’s, sir, appreciate the time. Absolutely. Thank you, Chris, that puts a wrap on this Salcedo storm podcast. Visit a couple of websites for me if you will, kids, Texas. scorecard.com. That’s number one, Texas scorecard.com. That’s all the news. That’s big in Texas. And if it’s big in Texas, it impacts not only our great state, but also these wants United States. Also check out the Chris Salcedo show and where you can find us at Chris salcedo.com Chris Saucedo shows on AM 700k SCV, the voice of Texas that simulcast on TNT radio all over the world. And the Chris Salcedo show on Newsmax TV Monday through Friday, four o’clock Eastern until five until we visit again my friends remember this, a societies work we don’t measure that worth by how much power is stolen by an out of control government. We measure that worth by how much power is reserved for you and me. We the people who stay safe out there my friends
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