Democrat gubernatorial candidate Bill White has lofty plans for Texas… but we have to wait for him to look “under the hood” to know how he will make them reality.
I’ve got to look under the hood and see how the economy is at the time, and make sure that we’re able, that the revenues equal the expenses, and that I would do everything possible in order to maintain fiscal discipline on the revenue side. Period.
The fact White will not rule out tax increases during an economic downturn is disturbing in and of itself. His thinking about the budgeting process (those bold words) is of equal concern.
What fiscal discipline does White hope to have over revenue? After all, revenue is only half of the equation. And no matter what White might believe, “discipline” is not a word that characterizes the government’s role in regulating its intake of revenue. And finally, the control of revenue belongs with the taxpayers in their ability — or, of late, inability — to pay the tax
Expenditures are where White or any politician can have some say, and that’s where his focus should be instead of taking a wait and see approach. Instead of seeing where the revenue levels are politicians should be looking for inefficiencies and cutting back. That’s discipline, Mr. White.
It’s also not the approach we can expect to be taken by White or his allies. Instead, they wait for the revenue numbers to come in, max out that budget, then start asking for more “needed” funds.
The government is not raising revenue for the sake of raising revenue; it is raising taxes to keep pace with spending. Discipline should be exhibited in restraining expenditures. Discipline in revenue collection will follow naturally.
Like all governments, Texas has historically grown spending at unsustainable rates. Until now we have largely been spared the ramifications of this habit but just like California we will eventually hit a tipping point. Bringing revenues in line with desired projects or “goals” seems to be White’s mode of operation. If this type of executive leadership is manifested in Texas policy it will require tax increases or tax creation and then we will be in for a California-style break down.
Quote from TexasTribune