After his 2011 budget nonsense which became reality, Rick Perry is back to his old games as he preps for 2013; but now, he doesn’t want to be all alone in taking the hit for cutting education and services. Now, he expects his Republican buddies to sign some sort of pledge to cut education and services.
The compact will call for “truth in budgeting,” another way of saying Perry wants to end the common practice of using accounting tricks — like delayed payments and sped-up tax collections — to balance the state budget.
He also wants legislators and would-be legislators to “oppose any and all new taxes or tax increases, preserve the Rainy Day Fund, and cut wasteful and redundant government programs and agencies.”
I’m not surprised at Perry. This pledge is all about his 2014 campaign for re-election, and he wants all the GOPers on his side early-on–before the decisions are actually made. Before legislators get a chance to even discuss the needs of Texas children, the elderly, the indigent, and others.
House Democratic leader and Houston’s own State Rep. Jessica Farrar said it best:
“His proposal promotes more fiscal irresponsibility in asking lawmakers to blindly sign a blood oath that will result in a doubling down of the devastating cuts already made to public schools, colleges and universities,” Farrar said. “Instead of planning for a better future, this plan ensures higher public costs through an uneducated workforce and treatment of chronic illnesses that could’ve been stemmed through preventative health care.”
This amounts to nothing more than a re-election endorsement pledge card for Rick Perry, and I hope the Republicans who sign on realize this. Unfortunately, the effects don’t make for a stronger Texas, unless you’re one of Rick Perry’s wealthy state contractor buddies.
The Chron has more from Rep. Farrar:
According to the speech excerpts, Perry will say that “the cost of Medicaid is a ticking time bomb and is primed to do massive damage to our budget in the short and long terms.” He will tout a push to allow Medicaid to be distributed to states in block grants to give them flexibility.
Farrar said in Texas, “We have the highest rate of uninsured people” and that providing health care early is a money-saver.
Farrar also said she doesn’t think a block grant giving Texas more flexibility would be in the public interest: “The legislative majority will do naughty little things to be stingy with people who are in real need.”
Perry is definitely sounding the drum beat for a war on students, the poor, the elderly, and more Texans.
State Rep. Mike Villareal of San Antonio responded on his Facebook page:
Today Governor Perry announced his “Budget Compact.” He loves to talk about his principles in the abstract, but he doesn’t want to discuss the disabled kids who lose health services when he won’t close corporate tax loopholes, or the students crowded into full classrooms when he won’t touch the Rainy Day Fund. After the deep and unnecessary education cuts that he championed, it’s no surprise that his Compact doesn’t say a word about educating schoolchildren.
Texas Senator Jose Rodriguez of El Paso
“Although there are many things to be proud of in Texas, the state needs improvement. After decade under Perry’s leadership, Texas still has the fewest number of citizens with a high school degree, the highest number of citizens without health insurance, and the worst environment of any state with the highest rates of carcinogens released into the air and toxic chemicals released into the water.
“There are millions of Texans fighting day-to-day to make ends meet. Nationwide, Texas has the 4th highest percentage of kids living in poverty. In my own community, over a quarter of El Pasoans live in poverty.
“Perry and other state leaders need to stop focusing solely on how to lower taxes for multi-million dollar businesses and find ways to help average Texas families put food on their tables, pay for health insurance, and send their kids to college.