It’s bad enough that the Obama Administration and its sycophants in Congress are trying to hobble Texas’ economy. Now we have the Texas House Business & Industry Committee working to hang a “closed” sign around the state’s neck.

Sometime Wednesday (appropriately, April Fool’s Day) the committee will take up House Bill 2623, put forward by the committee’s chairman, State Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-Port Arthur). Its title must be a joke fit for April Fool’s day: “modernizations to unemployment compensation benefit eligibility.”

There is nothing modern about this. In fact, it would roll back the clock on welfare-to-work by expanding unemployment benefits and making those benefits available to people who are only looking for part-time work.

This has the net effect of making employment a lot more expensive in Texas. Unemployment taxes will rise and businesses will be forced to react by reducing the number of people on their payroll. Worse still, it puts Texas in a less competitive posture for attracting new businesses and spurring additional growth.

With seeking work as tough as it is, the last thing Joe Deshotel and the Texas Legislature need to be doing is making it that much more expensive for businesses to hire someone new.

On the other hand, if you are dedicated to growing the size of government and making people dependent on political largesse, then this is probably the right policy to pursue.

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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