Straus, furloughs and a pledge

Posted in Around The State, Bad Government Republicans, Commentary, Right Wing Lies, Taxes, The Budget at 3:44 pm by wcnews

GOP Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, in an effort to shore up his right flank, made a few wild statements before the beginning of a House Appropriations Committee hearing today. The long and short is that he says the infamous “no new taxes” line. But it’s not clear, from what’s been reported so far, if Straus believes “new revenue streams” like taking away sales tax exemptions, or raising fees, are considered a “new tax” or not.

First this from Texas Politics, House Speaker: No-new-taxes budget essential, will mean significant cuts and a look at ideas like unpaid furloughs.

Among ideas that Straus mentioned:

-A blanket moratorium on all new programs and services that require state funding
-A halt to issuing bonds because of the cost of debt
-Efforts to contain personnel costs and payroll growth, including consideration of the effect of freezing higher- level salaries and limiting new hires to those who are essential for Texan’s welfare and safety.
-Personnel containment costs used in other states, including unpaid furloughs to save salary costs and four-day work weeks to save operating costs.

Straus emphasized he’s not advocating any of those choices but said every cost-saving idea must be on the table.

Straus is going California with those “unpaid furloughs”. Of course the big questions are left unanswered like how to we make up for the neglect of the last fifteen years of public education and transportation infrastructure neglect.

In a SP story from April Castro Straus was quoted as saying some already debunked and false information on the effect of the new health care bill on the state budget, Straus says state must get creative with budget.

Straus said the federal health care overhaul will only exacerbate the state’s budgetary woes.

“Over the next few years, Texans will face higher federal income taxes and other increases in federal levies, including for Social Security and Medicare as result of the federal health care reforms,” Straus said. “Our work on the budget will begin in an environment of uncertainty as the federal government grapples with spending and tax measures to reduce the federal debt. This makes it even more imperative that the state of Texas cover its budget shortfall without a tax increase.”

It will actually help to reduce the deficit. The effect of the health care bill on state budgets will be negligible, and starting in 2014, and will not effect the 2011 budget. And the rest of that about income taxes, Medicare and Social Security is just scare tactics and wing-nut rhetoric.

Once again, the main problem facing Texas is the the most valuable assets of our state in the past, and educated population and a top notch transportation infrastructure, are at a breaking point and the current leaders in our state, like Straus, would rather use scare tactics than try and work for an equitable solution.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » The difference between ignorance and stupidity said,

    May 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    […] to those several things from yesterday. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus laid out the usual GOP canard that everything is on the table…except for what isn’t…a tax increase, of course. […]

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