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It’s getting increasingly easy to get on the government gravy train. From movie studio execs to Ph.D. families, the hand-outs just don’t end in this Republican-controlled legislature. Small government. Right…

This week, the Texas Senate’s Finance Committee is considering a hand-out to mega-rich movie moguls threatening to take their latte’s and go shoot their TV shows somewhere else.

The movie guys crack me up. A lawyer from NBC Universal was flown in to push for the bill. And a teamster from Dallas was there pushing for it.

The “protections” in the bill for taxpayers? It’ll only go to movie studios making REALLY BIG BLOCKBUSTERS here in Texas. You know, like that crummy Alamo movie no one saw a couple years ago.

Groovy, so not only are taxpayers on the hook for something taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for anyway, it’ll go to people who are worth zillions.  Oh, Michael, we need to keep them here, or else they will go to Canada, Louisiana or some other third-world country and make movies there. Maybe we should subsidize their moving vans?

Consider this just for good measure; this subsidy is going to people who fight conservatives at every conceivable angle, all the time. This is bad policy AND bad politics, all rolled into one, big boondoggle.

Lest you think the hand-outs are limited to the mega-rich movie producers wanting people to invest in their drivel, take heart; our legislators want to give hand-outs to middle-class folks who just don’t want to invest in their own kids.

A couple weeks ago the Texas House was told about a woman who needs the state to spend more on children’s health insurance; for people who need it, of course. People like her.

You see, she and her husband have two small children, one of whom has “serious medical problems” (asthma, which is nothing to sneeze at; I also have asthma yet still manage to run 5-10k every day) and they had a heck of a time getting the state taxpayers to keep footing the bill for their health insurance. It was said the system is broken, and failing her kids.

No, she and her husband failed their kids.

You see her husband is a Ph.D. student at Rice University. He apparently doesn’t want to choose between his silly degree from uber-expensive Rice, and actually providing for his family.

While getting a doctorate is certainly glamorous and exciting, getting a job selling stocks and bonds at Merrill Lynch would have insured the kids had much better health care.

This woman and her husband maintain a family website, with pictures of their vacations and Halloween costumes. She doesn’t work, but does make quilts for the family. But paying their kids’ health needs? That falls to you and me.

Republicans bought it hook, line and sinker. And are ready to keep folks like that subsidized.

We just can not expect Republican legislators to stick to their principles at either end of the hand-out spectrum (yes, assuming their have principles). They have taxpayer money to spend, and spend they shall.

If you and me ain’t on the subsidy gravy train, we’re apparently suckers.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

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

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