With the Texas GOP platform on deck this weekend, the Texas Democratic Party has posted their new platform. It does not address taxes except claiming that current state taxes favor big over small business, but includes items such as universal government health care and a new “global marketing program” at the Texas Dept. of Agriculture that would surely require more government revenue.
The platform says “Texas Democrats believe health care is a right for all people, not a privilege reserved for those able to pay for it” and suggests taxpayers should fund an unlimited amount of “free” health care.
The platform also calls for the creation of a new state agency – a state “Department of Labor.” On the federal level, the platform advocates “federal farm legislation that establishes minimum price support levels and economic protections for family farms.” Again, there is no indication of how to pay for this hand-out. At a time of record food prices, minimum price supports also seems out of step with reality.
Another element of the platform is “the repeal of the Texas right to work law.” Such a repeal would make Texas a closed-shop state, meaning that workers who choose not to join a union could lose their job because of it. One of the reasons Texas’ job growth has outpaced other states is that it is a right to work state.
The platform does have some positive elements, such as support for performance measures for state agencies and opposition to takings of private property solely for purposes of economic development. But overall the platform proposes a lot of costly new government programs with no way of paying for them, short of higher taxes, though it disingenuously does not say which taxes to raise, though some Democratic state legislators are on record supporting a state income tax. Now, it is Texas Republicans’ turn – let’s hope they embrace lower taxes and less government.