The San Antonio Express-News has suddenly decided that lawmakers need to slow down when it comes to decisions on the budget. They need to proceed deliberately, waiting on revenue certifications and the like.

Why this sudden concern for fiscal responsibility from the SA E-N editorial board? Well, because some lawmakers are having the audacity to suggest cutting taxes. Sure, the editorial talks about spending – but these guys in the media didn’t offer any slow-down recs when lawmakers were looking at increasing the budget last biennium an astounding 18.7 percent. Heck, the newsrooms were a-buzz with the idea that that rate of increase was too small.

But now the talk has turned to tax cuts, and the editorial boards are scared too death of lawmakers actually following through.

Quoting the ed-board:

Jockeying has already started in the Capitol to find ways to spend the surplus on favored programs or, as GOP leaders prefer, refund it to taxpayers. … A little circumspection is in order here.

Let’s be very clear: the surplus is the over-charge the state has received from taxpayers.

I wonder if the San Antonio Express-News does this in their personal life. They go to Whole Foods to buy organic pretzels ($1.99) and hand the clerk $5. Do the fine folks at the SA-EN let the clerk hold the change, after all there will obviously be a time when they need to buy something else (the organic soymilk will go sour)? Does Whole Foods keep the change to go into their profits? Or does the editorialist demand back his change? We all know what happens. Neither Whole Foods would be so bold as to assume to keep, nor would the customers walk out without their change (unless leaving a tip).

Texas taxpayers deserve to get their change back. That some in Austin might like to charge us more, much more, for government (see this eye-popping recommendation from the liberal pro-bureaucracy Center for Public Policy Priorities), that isn’t the pricetag we were handed. If they want to make the case for more and bigger government, let them ring up that next sale and see if taxpayers buy.

But for now, we’ve paid the cost charged us, and lawmakers should do the right thing and give the money back. Cut our taxes, and then present us with the next bill.

What the Express-News and others is deathly afraid of, is that lawmakers will actually do the tax cut, and then commit themselves to keeping taxes law.

By telling lawmakers to not act quickly, the liberal hordes know time is on their side. The longer the money sits in the state coffers, the more likely it is legislators will spend it.

The surplus should be returned, not spent. And it should happen now, not later.

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