House appropriators have approved a new $164.5 billion all-funds state budget — living within the revenues available. It’s far from a done deal, even as liberals predictably cluck on.

House Bill 1 could be on the floor as early as Thursday of next week. It reportedly spends $77.6 billion in “general revenues.”

Enter the demagoguery of the Democrats, wailing with reckless abandon about how any cut will bring the end of civilization, the falling of the sky, and so on.

Heard that one before, Chicken Little, and it just isn’t so.

The November election was a direct repudiation of the tax and spend model embraced by American liberals. They lost. Texans sent them not only to the back bench, but to the visiting-team locker-room.

What we know is the “balanced” approach advocated by the Texas left doesn’t balance anything. They would have Texas spend every penny available, and then some, while hiking taxes.

California has been down that road; and their state is heading for (if not already spiraling off) a cliff. Maybe you’ve seen the mass-exodus from that state by entrepreneurs?

Back in 2003 the reckless ramblings from the Texas left predicted doom and gloom if the state didn’t raise taxes to meet a $10 billion budget shortfall. But by ignoring them and holding the fiscally responsible line, the state’s economy bloomed even as states like Michigan, Illinois and the aforementioned Golden (or is that gilded?) State fell away.

Texas was the last to enter the recession and first to exit, thanks to a general devotion to mostly correct budget thinking.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see liberals actually, you know, spend their time trying to help reduce spending in nonessential areas so we can continue funding priorities, like our school classroom? Won’t happen, of course.

Finding a way to fund priorities while living within the people’s means: that was clearly the message voters sent in November.

The 2012-13 budget as adopted by the Texas House Appropriations Committee isn’t perfect, but there are still steps to be taken. Texans absolutely expect the legislature to live within the taxpayers’ means.

Texans expect the 2012-13 budget to pass without any new taxes and without touching the state’s rainy day fund. That’s the bare-minimum for a successful session that has a super-majority of Republicans in the House.

It’s up to lawmakers to now make sure essential — mission critical — services are operating efficiently and rightly funded, and everything else scrubbed or eliminated. We expect the majority of legislators are up to the task.

That minor noise in the background? Just the grow-government crowd clucking for policies that are proven to fail.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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