Wednesday afternoon on the heels of major victories for property and business tax relief in the Texas Senate, State Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) took the opportunity to continue his foot-in-mouth parade. Perhaps bitter over the passage of such relief, some of which he voted against, Eltife continued to bash conservatives and bemoan the fact that government isn’t growing as quickly as he would like.
Eltife began by throwing a temper tantrum in the Senate Finance Committee meeting as senators met to consider a committee substitute to SB 9 and SJR 2 by State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R – North Richland Hills) that would alter the state’s spending cap. In the hearing, Eltife levied harsh criticism at the existing spending cap for its prevention of the spending spree he would like to go on.
“I think it exasperates the problem we have this session which is that we are going to leave here with over $5 billion stranded outside the spending cap when we have all these needs,” whined Eltife.
The senator then rattled off a Christmas list of items that he classified as “needs.” Additional transportation spending, pensions spending, deferred maintenance spending, and tuition revenue bonds all met the muster. Tax relief, however, did not. Even worse, the spending proposals come with a hefty price tag—over $15 billion.
Still, Eltife didn’t stop there. He continued to attack conservatives for supporting fiscal restraint in the existing cap. Thoughts of additional safeguards from rampant spending seemed to make him shudder.
“I am on the record and would gladly vote to bust the spending cap tomorrow on the floor of the Senate,” said Eltife.
Lawmakers are rightly concerned of what would result from busting the spending cap. 94% of Republican voters affirmed their support for a strict constitutional limit on spending in the 2012 GOP Primary. To his credit, Eltife seems keenly aware of the extent of exactly what he is promoting.
“I understand that 90% of people disagree with me and think that we should ratchet [the spending cap] down so government will shrink, but I think we have a growing state and we haven’t spent enough on the major infrastructure items of the state,” said Eltife.
Further digging his hole deeper, Eltife opined on what he thinks is truly a cause of concern: “I think our problem has been over the last 10 years that we haven’t spent enough.”
Apparently, Eltife believes he can spend other people’s money smarter and wiser than they can. Such remarks fly in the face of what everyday Texans know and believe—that government is best when it governs the least.