Virtually every state in the Union requires a balanced budget. Some, including Texas, have a “rainy day fund” to supplement the budget in those years when revenue does not meet the expenditures. Having said that, most states’ governors rave about how they have balanced the budget without saying that they have hit the “rainy day” fund.
We have a governor in Texas who not only brags that he has balanced the budget, but that he has done so without the help of the stimulus fund provided by the federal government. This is patently false. Yet, there are those who still believe him and also fail to look at what his “budget cutting” has done for the state of Texas.
Last year, in the federal stimulus grants, there was money to help keep teachers in our public school system. Personally, that helped my daughter keep her position in the state of Washington. That state used the money how it was intended to be used – to keep public education as close to the status quo as possible or enhance it.
The governor of Texas, while stating that he did not take federal money because “we Texans know best how to educate our children” accepted federal stimulus money and applied it to the general budget rather than to the education item in the budget. He then bragged about both a balanced budget and not accepting educational monies. He did what the part-term governor did when she said she rejected the money for the “bridge to nowhere” and then accepted the money for another project.
Last month, the House of Representatives passed and sent to the President another stimulus bill that will help states and cities from having to terminate teachers, police and firemen. In that bill, there are specific dictates that the money must be used to supplement the educational budget of the states, not supplant it.
The governor has already stated that he cannot accept the money because it would violate the state constitution. He has manipulated the money before. Congress stipulated that money be sent to the state be used for the purpose for which it is intended. The money is for the coming year and therefore would not interfere with the budget process of Texas.
While citing the Constitution, the governor did not take it into consideration when he arbitrarily issued an order that all 5th and 6th grade girls were to be inoculated. He did not cite the Constitution when he announced his Trans-Texas Corridor plan. He is again using the argument that “I am defending the Constitution of the State and Nation except….”
In addition to his anti-stimulus rhetoric, he is also grandstanding in his demonization of the federal government’s immigration action. He made a public relations appearance to greet President Obama at the Austin airport, ostensibly to give the President a letter on how to “secure the border.” He knew that every President has an aide who takes letters or other material that is supposed to go to the President. This is for security reasons.
While he is publicly lamenting that the President did not take his letter and did not meet his request to spend an hour with him, the governor has refused to meet with the National Security Staff to discuss border security and what is being done. He has also conveniently failed to mention that the Obama administration has deported more illegal aliens than his predecessor and is enforcing the employer violations.
The governor needs to speak to the issues that are facing Texas and quit running for President. He needs to speak to the educational problems facing Texas, the high prison population and recidivism rate, the problems facing public and mental health, not implying secession. If he is elected for four more years, let’s hope he will be a governor, not a candidate.