11.15.11

A better question

Posted in Around The State, Education, Public Schools, Taxes, The Budget, Uncategorized at 2:53 pm by wcnews

Yesterday at the Texas Tribune there was another article about two state Senators and their words to the business community, Time to Ask Texas Voters What They Really Want. They want answers to their questions regarding what kind of government we want and how to pay for it.

It’s “their” questions because it seems like they don’t really want to open up a whole discussion about government and how to pay for it. They just want answers to a few narrowly focused questions.

The line to get a driver’s license at one Houston location is so long, according to Tommy Williams, that a guy called in a pizza order, got it delivered to him, and finished eating before he got to the front of the line.

Williams, R-The Woodlands, uses the line in a speech, so it might or might not be precisely accurate. But it sets up his point: “How many of you in this audience would pay an additional $8 every six years (the current price is $24) to hire enough people to get rid of those two-hour lines?”

That got a nice show of hands, even at the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association’s annual gathering in Austin, where lobbyists are trained to keep their opinions to themselves and their hands in their pockets.

Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, talking to that same group, pointed out three big problems facing the state — school finance, the business margins tax and transportation infrastructure — and suggested the only way to solve them is to ask the voters whether they want to spend the money to fix those things or not. Do they want to spend more money on public schools? Would it be alright to extend the state’s business tax to partnerships, even if that’s construed as an unconstitutional personal income tax on the partners? Would voters accept a higher gasoline tax to build roads?

“It’s not important whether they say yes or no — it’s just important that they answer the question,” he said.  [Emphasis added]

Here’s a much better question:

Would you be open to a tax structure that would significantly reduce property taxes, adequately fund public education, reduce taxes on most Texans, including the middle class, and benefit the economy?

If so take a look at this.

As long as all our current elected leaders want to do is tweak a system that needs to be scrapped and replaced, our public education will not be adequately and fairly funded.  Certainly raising the gas tax is a better way to pay for new roads then tolling them.  Texas has long had a regressive tax structure and if we want to pay for public education those who haven’t been paying their fair share will need to start.

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