Over the last 20 years, state government spending has increased 300 percent – nearly twice as fast as the sum of inflation and population. Frankly, we can’t afford that level of spending any longer. And yet Speaker of the House Joe Straus isn’t willing to put the brakes on government growth? It’s time for taxpayers to put the brakes on the mealy-mouthed spenders.
Earlier this week Gov. Rick Perry proposed a strong limitation on state spending as part of the Texas Budget Compact – five principles that should guide the 2013 budget writing process.
Speaker Straus and other moderates, like State Rep. Jim Keffer of Eastland, wasted no time in dismissing the Compact. Liberal Austin news blogger Harvey Kronberg and the bloviating Paul Burka of Texas Monthly wasted no time regurgitating the Straus talking points in criticizing the specifics of Perry’s proposal – and conservatives in general.
The ideas put forward by Mr. Perry are not his alone, but rather taken from the Republican Party Platform. No surprise that Straus and Keffer, who get their political power by appeasing liberals in the Democratic Party, work in opposition to the most basic tenets of the GOP.
We know the Straus leadership team opposes budget reforms, because they have refused to implement them. In the last legislative session, Team Straus went to great strides in preventing any budget reforms from going to the floor of the House for a vote. They had a GOP super-majority, but refused to even allow committee votes on fundamental reforms supported by the overwhelming majority of their party’s voters.
In fact, some 90 percent of Republican Party voters have in the last three primaries cast ballots supporting non-binding resolutions calling precisely for the spending limits Gov. Perry is proposing in the Compact.
But moderates like Jim Keffer and Joe Straus ignore the platform of their party, and the expressed will of their voters. That’s how Republicans get praise from liberal-financed ‘newsmen’ like Kronberg and Burka: by working against the values and principles of their party and their voters.
(It was Joe Straus, after all, who was echoing Barack Obama by saying the legislature needed to find new revenues rather than pursue more spending efficiency.)
For the future of the state, conservative voters need to reclaim their brand from the appeasement wing of the GOP so we can enact needed – and popular – budget reforms.