Democratic gubernatorial candidate apparently knows as little about world history as about good economics. He’s taking Texas Gov. Rick Perry to task for “Soviet-style” budget techniques. What technique is that? Well, budget cuts, of course.
Excuse me, Mr. White, the late Soviet Empire imploded for many reasons but government austerity certainly wasn’t one of them. Reckless, out-of-control, unrestrained spending was high on the list. And bad economic policy. And oppression of their citizens. And an evil worldview. Spending restraint? Soviets never had a problem with it; they never did it.
At an event hosted this week by the online Texas Tribune, and reported on by the Associated Press, Houston’s former mayor also said he “refused to rule out future tax increases to close the gap.”
Texas faces an $11 billion shortfall — that is, the difference between projected spending and projected revenues. Notice the word “projected.”
A budget shortfall can be managed in basically one of two ways. Spending can be cut to match available funds, or taxes can be raised to bring more cash into the treasury.
So what got Mr. White’s revisionist goat? Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus staked out their position on the shortfall. They told every state agency to find ways to reduce spending by five-percent.
To Mr. White and the tax-and-spend wing of his party, cutting government spending simply not allowed.
Voters worried about their jobs, and the future of Texas’ economy, would do well to let Mr. White join his economic comrades in the dustbin of history.