Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Texas Budget: Public education, Higher education and Health services likely to be cut

Heh Heh Heh.....I'll show them how to cut a budget.

Governor Perry downplayed the Texas Budget shortfall that the state legislature must now grapple with. While it takes about $99 billion to keep all current services in the state, Texas Comptroller Susan combs is predicting revenues of about $72Billion.

Most of the state's general revenue budget  (money over which lawmakers have discretion) is spent on public and higher education and health and human services.Combs' estimate would result in a $15 billion gap If the legislature attempts to keep spending at its current level.  But, If spending is adjusted to keep up with population growth, then the shortfall is closer to $27 billion. Also, Perry has stated that the $9.4B in the state's rainy day fund are off limits. Recently, Perry was quoted as saying :
"We will prioritize what's important in this state. We will fund those. And we will craft a budget that meets those revenue projections and not raise taxes nor get into the rainy day fund," Perry said. "And that's been a consistent message for at least a year and a half."
According to the Houston Chronicle, Perry was  disputing the idea of a shortfall even before the revenue estimates had come out. He noted that Texas' budget must balance: "We don't have shortfalls in Texas. ... You couldn't spend enough to make some of those groups happy."
Talmadge Heflin, a former Texas republican congressman, now with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. dismissed the 27B dollar figure, he put it more at 16B. He stated his position as follows:
"They (dems) need to forget about current services. ... The opportunity is to reduce the footprint (of state government), to have a more effective state government that will be easier to fund in years to come," Heflin said, "and if we don't take the opportunity of that, we'll have trouble years down the road, next time we have a little down turn in the economy."
Fellow conservative and Texas senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) actually sounds happy about the likely cuts, saying :
"New revenue isn't on the table. Those ideas of fees or taxes (to keep up services) are just not in the ballpark," said State Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano). "It's cuts, cuts, cuts,..... cuts is the magic word."
No new taxes and no new fees are always a welcomed promise. The bad news is that it's almost certain that those that will mostly be affected by the cuts are not your typical Republican base.  So, it looks like for republicans, it's a win-win situation. Cut the budget and don't hurt your base.


  1. Cut the education budget, but don't touch the governor's Emerging Technology Fund, given to his Aggie friends' start up bidnesses and funded by his raid on the Teacher Retirement Fund... Anymous

  2. Ay, ay, ay - que nos espera. Uncertain times.

  3. Yea he does have the giant fund for his business buddies who in turn contribute to his coffers. Good Point. What is he now? Dictator Perry- it's been 10 years. He's too old to be called Perry (that's a dimunitive), let's call him Perro instead.