GOP nirvana

Posted in Around The State, Commentary, Health Care, Public Schools, Taxes at 11:08 am by wcnews

The true purpose of the 2006 GOP tax swap is now becoming a reality. It was to create a budget shortfall/crisis, that could then be used to fulfill a long sought political agenda It truly is what they’ve been hoping for, for generations. GOP Nirvana, more commonly known as “Starve the Beast”. Which essentially is that the GOP would drive up deficits so high, (or in Texas’ case projected budget shortfalls), that they would be left with “no choice” but to cut extremely popular public and social programs.

But the two programs, which are the most popular programs, also do the most good. Education and heath care, more than anything else, help people out of and keep people out of poverty. They are also the two public programs the GOP hates the most. Two tax supported government programs that work. They have long been seen Medicare and public education as frivolous and wasteful. They mistakenly believe that both of these programs, along with most other government services, should be given over to the private sector, privatized, so they can be run better and for profit.

But having no choice or no other option, is a matter of opinion, and is about how, or if, the options are presented and framed. Check out the results of today’s Texas Tribune poll. It purportedly tells us that registered voters in Texas are “stuck” between two supposedly equally bad choices, cutting needed programs and raising revenue/taxes in general.

Four months of hearing about the state’s budget problems hasn’t changed the minds of Texas voters. According to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, registered voters still want lawmakers to cut the budget, but they still oppose the major cuts in education and health and human services that cutting the budget requires.


Voters want the cuts — until specific programs are on the chopping block. Poll respondents were asked, on a scale of 0 to 10, whether they preferred to balance the next budget with spending cuts, by raising revenues or with something in between. The answers this time were about the same as in our February poll, with only 4 percent choosing to balance the books with new revenue and 18 percent saying it should all be done with cuts. Another 18 percent landed right in the middle. Broken down by political preferences, the average Democrat landed at 5.8 on the scale, or close to the middle but a little on the side of raising revenue. The average Republican scored 2.3 — much closer to the budget-cutting end of the scale. And the average independent was a budget cutter, too, scoring 3.6 on average.


When asked about specific cuts, those voters show their divided preferences. An overwhelming 85 percent oppose cuts to public education; 90 percent don’t want to cut the Children’s Health Insurance Program; 86 percent say no to cutting payments to Medicaid providers like doctors and hospitals; 93 percent want to avoid cuts to nursing home funding; and 84 percent are unwilling to cut funding for border security.

Other cuts were less unpopular but still don’t sit well with a majority of voters. Seventy-three percent say the state shouldn’t cut its share of higher education funding; 60 percent oppose pre-kindergarten funding cuts; 72 percent oppose cutting grants to college students; 65 percent would leave the state’s share of teacher and public employee pensions alone; 68 percent oppose ending state environmental regulation and leaving it to the federal government; 70 percent would not close an adult prison; 69 percent would not close a juvenile prison; and 72 percent wouldn’t cut funding for new highway construction.

After reading this article we are left with a feeling of frustration and that all we have are two choices, cut needed programs or raise taxes in general, and no one wants to do either. But those are not, generally speaking, the only two choices we have. We have a myriad of options, and a tax structure in Texas that is backward, harmful, and corrupt.

What is left out of this poll and our politics in Texas and nationally as well, is any mention of whether the public would be willing to raise specific taxes, on specific income levels that are not paying their fair share. What is known as progressive taxation. The is very little, if any mention, of how regressive our tax structure is in Texas. Here is a very simple definition: Progressive tax, the more you earn, the higher your tax rate; Regressive tax, the less you earn, the higher your tax rate.

In the next poll there should be several questions similar to these, it would be very illuminating to see the results.

Are you aware that the weatlhy and corporations in Texas pay very little in taxes as compared to how much poor,working and middle class Texans pay?

Do you think the wealthy and corporations in Texas should pay at least as much in taxes as poor, working and middle class Texans?

If you knew we could pay to cover the budget shortfall we are facing in Texas, and we wouldn’t have to cut public education and needed social programs, if only the wealthy and corporations would paid their fair share of taxes, as much as poor, working and middle class Texans, would you be in favor of that?

Now those questions above are just about the “political” aspect of taxation. Nothing about the moral aspect of taxation. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more (Luke 12:48). And, “I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me”, (Matthew 25:40).

In our current political and policy decisions we have chosen to put the accumulation of wealth ahead of all else. We will not allow one cent of accumulated excess - the so-called Rainy Day Fund - to be spent, so that a political ideology of gutting public education and Medicare, and many other programs that help the least brothers, can be fulfilled. GOP Nirvana indeed.


  1. jackross said,

    May 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I finally figured out how the famously inviked “trickle down” effect works, and it’s quite simple and can be demonstrated!

    1) GOP congressmen push and vote for tax cuts and deregulation
    2) Corporate interests are happy
    3) Happy Corporate interests make generous campain donations to GOP congressmen for their reelection

    Doesn’t get any simpler than this! For the rest, GOP congressmen go by “I’ve got mine, screw you”!

  2. wcnews said,

    May 26, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Yep, that a very awesome and succinct description of “trickle on” economics works.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.