So a Republican state senator goes to work, gets scared by the budget, advocates balancing budget by increasing taxes and spending all the savings, then declares his position is “conservative.”  Is this a joke? Because it’s not funny… It’s also what’s going on right now.

State Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), who sits on the influential Senate Finance Committee added his name to the short list of irresponsible Republican legislators advocating spending “most” of the state’s Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget.

As if that weren’t bad enough, he took economic irresponsibility a step further by suggesting the state must raise taxes to boot.

Not only did Sen. Deuell take a decidedly anti-taxpayer position while arguing for increased taxes and the spending of the state’s Rainy Day Fund, but he apparently went on to call it a “conservative” one as well.  Traditionally, the phrase “tax-and-spend” most often appears before the words “liberal” or “Democrat.”  Apparently Sen. Deuell would like to see that phrase applied to Republicans, as well.

He’s not alone.

Dr. Deuell is joined by Sen. Kevin Eltife and Rep. Zerwas who have also advocated raiding the Rainy Day Fund.  While Sen. Eltife stands alongside Dr. Deuell in support of piling additional taxes on Texans, (to his credit) Rep. Zerwas hasn’t yet taken that leap.

Texas taxpayers expect legislative leaders to follow through on the promise of conservative leadership: reducing spending and balancing the budget with no new taxes.  In a recent poll, 76 percent of voters said they were more likely to vote for budget cutters, while 74 percent said they are more likely to vote against tax raisers.

By the way, every state senator – including Dr. Deuell – is up for election in 2012 because of redistricting.

Adding to Texas’ tax burden and spending the state’s savings account to pay for recurring expenses is irresponsible and hardly the conservative leadership voters have been calling for since November. If Republicans are looking for a fast-track back to being in the legislative minority, State Sen. Deuell will happily lead you on the path to electoral defeat.

Andrew Kerr is the Executive Director of Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility

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