Senator Kevin Eltife was in Austin yesterday rehashing his failed effort to raise taxes last session. That’s an interesting move in these political times.
Here’s the quick summary of the fight. During the session $555 million in Unemployment Insurance stimulus funds became available. That money was rejected by Rick Perry because it would have come with costly strings. Eltife and other Republican Representatives like Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) sided with Democrat members in an attempt to override the governor. They failed.
The Texas Business Association and others noted acceptance of the funds would have called for a radical change to our state’s UI eligibility. The net affect would have been higher taxes. A vote to accept the funds was a vote to raise taxes.
Eltife does not dispute the fact that he voted to raise taxes in the process of getting a measly $555 million. That’s what makes his ill conceived victory lap/victory spin yesterday all the more amusing.
Adding to the humor is Texas would have broken the fund regardless and ended up borrowing over $2 billion. That money was interest free. Eltife’s tax increase was modestly estimated at $75 million per year.
All of this is not news. The real news here is that the honorable Senator has been under a rock since the session ended. The policy position he is taking here is as ill advised as the ones held by former Representative Tommy Merritt. Merritt, whose representative area fell within Eltife’s, lost his re-election bid to conservative David Simpson.
Is Eltife reasserting ignorance or his desire to grow the government through onerous taxation and social programs? Either way, he was in rare form yesterday and East Texas voters have another example of a wayward representative that needs replacing.
Check out page six of TAB’s year in report (See Page 6 ).