....including the budget. Apollo at the Federalist Paupers has some very interesting analysis of the Reddest of Red States:
The [Texas] legislature’s going to have $72 billion to spend for the next two years; if current levels of services were maintained, it would require $99 billion. If current levels of spending were maintained, without accounting for population growth or inflation, it would require $87 billion. Plainly, either taxes have to go up, or spending has to come down. And merely reducing the rate of spending growth and shuffling around money through accounting tricks will not get it done. This is going to require real tax hikes, or real spending cuts. The Republicans in office were elected on a pledge of not raising taxes, so these cuts are going to be very real.My emphasis.
The Texas budget is going to be important for conservatives nationally. This state is very much the standard-bearer for the national Republican party, and for conservative Republicans in particular. We’ve got more than a 2/3 Republican majority in the state House, and almost as big of a majority in the Senate. We’ve got a Republican elected to every statewide office. Our governor has been a prominent national booster of the Tea Party, and our lieutenant governor is enough of a political chameleon that he’s currently going along with Tea Party sentiment. Most importantly, we’ve got an electorate that believes this state should be setting an example for other states, and for the federal government as well. For now, at least, Texans seem to be in a mood to see these budget cuts through, even if it hurts.
In short, if the conservative approach of balancing budgets through cutting spending without raising taxes can work anywhere, it has to work here, and it has to work now. I’ll be posting updates as the process develops. I’ve got faith that Gov. Goodhair will stick to his pledge, but it’s not obvious what the end result will look like.
It will be interesting to see how the Texas legislature (and the governor) respond to the idea of raising taxes -slash- cutting spending. Perhaps they can come up with a model for the country-at-large....
... I'm not going to hold my breath though.