I don’t really know what’s happening in the lives of all you people who, frankly, have just been goddamn disappointing lately. Seriously, four more years of Governor Perry? And now I have to stop calling him 39% and start calling him 55%? Ugh.
Problem is, there are too many smart people on the other side of this particular fight and they’re all out to gut Sullivan, Peggy Venable and the collection of dipshits who signed the letter asking for a ‘conservative speaker’. That will solidify intelligent control of the GOP as well as their ability to finally bridge the gap and show they can lead and govern. What I said earlier still holds
The first thing of note is a cross post by some guy named William Lutz who wrote this…
“According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, local revenue in Texas rose from $65.5 billion in 2000 to $108.1 billion in 2008 … a 65 percent increase. The consumer price index for Houston went from 152.8 to 188.8 during the same period, a 23.6 percent increase. … Texas local government spending increased at nearly THREE TIMES the rate of inflation. The Statistical Abstract of the United States publishes a chart listing the effective property tax rate, as a percentage of a home’s value, for the largest city in each state. Our largest city, Houston, was number four.”
Of course, Bill (can I call you Bill?) doesn’t break down the census data to Houston which would give us an actual number to work with vs the statewide number which isn’t smoothed out for differences in property tax rates which can swing wildly even in metro areas (Austin vs. Cedar Park is one example) due to the need to build out facilities and expand services to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population in some areas. Also, the scream point, that Houston has the fourth highest property taxes among a list of the most populous cities in each state, isn’t a surprise. Texas has no income tax. Texas has what is arguably the most regressive tax structure in the US which keeps us perpetually behind in terms of infrastructure build out. Which means we have a massive constraint on our future growth. Think what’s happening now in CA, but about 3 times as large. The real scream point is that, even with this supposedly massive increase, we’re still underfunded and not able to pay for what we need as a state.
Gary, makes this all about property tax caps which have been a miserable failure everywhere they’ve been tried (think CA, AGAIN). Why Gary wants to import California’s failed policies is beyond me. Even Warren Buffet pointed out rather neatly what a terrible idea caps are. The reality is, under a cap the poor and middle class subsidize the wealthy.
Then Gary went on and reprinted some crap from the Heritage Foundation. Supposedly, the guy Gary is quoting is an ‘expert’ on the Federal Budget. Which is pretty laughable considering that his entire proposal to cut the deficit rests on…
In a budget-cutting study released just last week, the Heritage Foundation showed how to cut $343 billion in federal spending, or more than one-fourth of the 2010 deficit, as a down-payment on putting government spending on a downward trajectory. …turning over certain federal programs, such as job training and highway-funding programs, to state and local governments, consolidating hundreds of duplicative programs, ending corporate welfare and abolishing dozens of outdated, ineffective programs.
Here’s the problem… it’s not like need for these programs goes away, so the ones turned over to the states still have to be funded by taxpayers at that level. As for abolishing corporate welfare, that’s more than 25% of the DOD’s budget and that alone will save close to $250 billion. I know that’s not what the author at Heritage was thinking of, but it’s the only way his little proposal will work. Everything else is the typical penny-equivalent savings ideas that conservatives always bring to deficit discussions and they won’t work this time, either. What’s striking is that Heritage has apparently never bothered to do a comparative analysis to examine the effects of lower tax rates on real economic growth, with a specific emphasis on the effect of cuts in spending on needed public services (education, infrastructure, law enforcement, etc) resulting from lower government revenue. Nor have they apparently bothered to examine the negative effects of wealth and income concentrations, especially in relation to political stability.
The point, in case you can’t read between the lines, is that not all government spending is wasteful, taxes should not be too low or too high and the government and citizens have a specific interest in not seeing tax rates too low.
Hand to God, I’m sick to death of partisan bullshit which is why, just this once, I’m being really nice here and not using my absurdly large stock of pejoratives to attack Gary. But I’m also not going to tolerate the intellectual laziness of ideology over economic reality. Or lies. Gary’s latest email is full of both.
Dear City of Austin leaders developing the 2012 Urban Rail proposal: Showing off the snazzy looking rail cars is great, but the thing that really matters is the routes you want them to take. For the sake of all that is good in this world, please do not compromise on the route map by doing something stupid like running the line east of campus or opting for tons of shared guidelines instead of dedicated lanes. We are a decade behind on this and we’ve got one more shot at going this right. I do not want or plan on giving you cover for a crap proposal because you think that is necessary for it to pass. Shoot for the Moon like Kennedy instead of giving us some middle of the road, DOA roadkill like Obama.
What he said.