With the eyes of the nation focused (distracted?) on the top of the ticket, far too many critical elections are being ignored down the ballot. While there is no mistaking the importance of the presidency, equally important are those most local of ballot items: bond proposals. But let’s call it what they are: piling on debt.
Despite the way they are sold by proponents, bonds are not free money. They are the equivalent of a home equity loan that government takes out… on your property. And we are up to our eyeballs in debt.
As my colleague Ross Kecseg has reported, Texas is second in the nation in per-capita debt. As reported Texas Scorecard has been reporting, cities and schools from Amarillo to Pearland and everywhere in between are hoping that on Tuesday voters will agree to make Texas’ debt-load even higher.
Before getting surprised by that last question on the ballot, make sure you know exactly what you are being asked to go into debt for, and how much debt currently exists.
Just like a family’s credit card, debt is a convenient and fearsome tool that must be used responsibly. Taxpayers must ask if the cost of new debt is worth the benefit. And more often than not, the right answer is “no.”