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Texas Miracle… Anther Fraud

07 Jan

What do the Texas “Education Miracle” and the Texas “Budget Miracle” have in common?

Really Big, Really Deep Holes...Good Places to Put Dead Rogue Elephants.

They are both frauds perpetrated by Republicans.

The Texas Education Miracle? This from one of the first people who broke the story about the fraud, George Scott

The leadership of the Texas Republican Party in the Legislature and at the TEA made a calculated decision (individually and collectively) to permit the State of Texas to lie to parents about the academic skills of Texas students.

In validating, promoting and enshrining the lie, Texas Republicans have followed the path of many of their national counterparts.  They abandoned their principles and recruited allies to validate the academic corruption.  In sum, politicians, bureaucrats, many academicians and scores of public policy researchers reaped great financial, professional or political benefits from the schemes.

The same Texas Republican Party and Legislature is now doing it with the Texas Budget. After supposedly defying the national trend by fueling growth by tax cuts and budget cuts… The Piper has come home with a vengeance. The State is now projected to be $25 BILLION in the red. But like the Enron disaster of cooked books…The $25 billion number may well be the tip of the iceberg, in that the books may have been cooked to show the state with a surplus all along when it was in the red.

Conservative philosophy fails… Again.

The Texas Omen

These are tough times for state governments. Huge deficits loom almost everywhere, from California to New York, from New Jersey to Texas.

Wait — Texas? Wasn’t Texas supposed to be thriving even as the rest of America suffered? Didn’t its governor declare, during his re-election campaign, that “we have billions in surplus”? Yes, it was, and yes, he did. But reality has now intruded, in the form of a deficit expected to run as high as $25 billion over the next two years.

And that reality has implications for the nation as a whole. For Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting — the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending — has been implemented most completely. If the theory can’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere.

How bad is the Texas deficit? Comparing budget crises among states is tricky, for technical reasons. Still, data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggest that the Texas budget gap is worse than New York’s, about as bad as California’s, but not quite up to New Jersey levels.

The point, however, is that just the other day Texas was being touted as a role model (and still is by commentators who haven’t been keeping up with the news). It was the state the recession supposedly passed by, thanks to its low taxes and business-friendly policies. Its governor boasted that its budget was in good shape thanks to his “tough conservative decisions.”

Oh, and at a time when there’s a full-court press on to demonize public-sector unions as the source of all our woes, Texas is nearly demon-free: less than 20 percent of public-sector workers there are covered by union contracts, compared with almost 75 percent in New York.

So what happened to the “Texas miracle” many people were talking about even a few months ago?

The truth is that the Texas state government has relied for years on smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of sound finances in the face of a serious “structural” budget deficit — that is, a deficit that persists even when the economy is doing well. When the recession struck, hitting revenue in Texas just as it did everywhere else, that illusion was bound to collapse.

The only thing that let Gov. Rick Perry get away, temporarily, with claims of a surplus was the fact that Texas enacts budgets only once every two years, and the last budget was put in place before the depth of the economic downturn was clear. Now the next budget must be passed — and Texas may have a $25 billion hole to fill. Now what?

Given the complete dominance of conservative ideology in Texas politics, tax increases are out of the question. So it has to be spending cuts.

The problem being, of course – Rethugs have already cut to the bone in Texas… The State supposedly has a $9 billion “Rainy Day Fund”… But does it really?

This could get real interesting.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2011 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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