Even as the Republican-led Texas House and Senate work furiously to unravel our unemployment rules to make them more appealing to Barack Obama, Florida’s legislature rejected such efforts. My friend Adam Hasner, the Florida House Majority leader, said, “The strings attached to the $444 million are going to potentially make a bad problem worse.” Wonder if I can convince him to move to Texas?
What Hasner said in the New York Times about Florida is equally true in Texas. But here it’s $500 million new ways to make any economic problems worse.
The more important difference between here and there? The conservatives in the Florida legislature had the backbone to do what is in the best interests of their people, not just grab at quick cash without regard for the future.
Sadly we’re stuck with ideological lightweights like Republican-ish State Sen. Kevin Eltife, the author of Senate Bill 1569 which turns Texas’ successful policies upside-down. While he is undoubtedly well-meaning, Mr. Eltife’s desire to snare Texas in repeatedly-rejected unemployment policies is not only unravel our economic success, but further alienate the right-thinking base from his political party.
But Eltife isn’t alone in seeking to drag down Texas. He is being ably aided by West Texas GOP lawyer-turned-senator Bob Duncan, who when not imposing new taxes and fees on motorists also worked this session to help out trial lawyers not yet rich enough off asbestos lawsuits.
Then there is Bob Deuell, the Greenville GOP doctor said on the Senate floor that because he is pro-life and pro-family, he was supporting the Eltife bill. How it’s pro-family and pro-life to drown Texas in stupid public policy that makes employment more scarce was not discussed. Deuell may need some electoral medication to cure him of his leftist-itis.
Offering an assist on the other side of the building is the House Business and Industry Committee, chaired by Democrat Joe Deshotel – appointed by Speaker Joe Straus, a Republican. Deshotel rushed the legislation into a meeting this week with no notice to the public, and voted it out with only his cronies present.
Almost as bad the economic consequences of this misguided scheme are the political machinations moving it forward.
Hey, Adam: when the Florida legislative session ends, would you mind coming to Texas and offering a few of our “leadership” legislators some tips on what it means to govern with principles?