Friday, May 24, 2013

ACTION ALERT: Stop Texas' 26% Spending Increase

The disastrous 83rd Legislature comes down to this, from the Tea Party Advisory Caucus:
Fellow Patriots:
Spending Up 26%! Texas Legislature Takes Wild Left Turn & Spends like there’s No Tomorrow
Alert from: JoAnn Fleming, Chairman, TX Legislature's TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee; Executive Director, Grassroots America
The news is bad – very bad. A majority in the Texas House and Senate (yes, a majority of Republicans) have gone on a wild spending spree! We have one last chance to stop it. Please help us kill HB 1025 and SB 1 to force a special session. We believe we can get a more conservative budget when all the focus is on spending.
It is time for YOU to come to the aid of Texas! Call, e-mail, text, FaceBook, and Tweet your state representative as soon as possible! Melt the phone lines starting at 8 AM Friday and call all day! Call your representative’s district offices and Capitol office. Tell him/her you do not support the budget and you support a special session to get it right. Ask them to vote down HB 1025 & SB 1.  Be firm and employ the Golden Rule.  Yelling and cursing doesn't make them hear you, in fact, it can have the opposite effect.
To find your state representative click here.
For good measure, call your state senator & declare you don’t support the budget, click here.
Call Governor Perry’s office & ask him to veto the budget if it passes!(512) 463-2000
Special thanks to Texas Public Policy Foundation for its help in putting together the numbers that follow...
The bad news - if HB 1025 (supplemental spending bill) and SB 1 (budget) pass, this happens:
·        The $1.8 billion in tax relief called for by the Governor is slashed because a majority of the legislature went on a spending spree. The Legislature includes about half of the Governor’s request (about $900 million) and wants to count $631 million in a one-time electrical ratepayer fee rebate for about 80% of Texans as a tax cut—which it isn’t.
·        The budget will exceed the state’s constitutional spending limit. They will bust the spending cap! The big spenders seek to circumvent the spending limit through SJR 1, the constitutional amendment to be approved by voters in November. They are changing the definition of “busting the cap” so they can say they didn’t…sounds just like Washington, DC!
·        Though they had more than $13 billion in new general revenue (GR) on hand for the 2014-15 budget, House & Senate budget appropriators did not include money in the budget for “pay as you go” highway funding or provide taxpayers with a meaningful tax cut. Instead, they spent it all and want to raid the Rainy Day Fund too!
·        The Legislature has decided to raid the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) for almost $4 billion. The ESF was intended to protect against the pressure for a tax increase during an economic downturn. Instead, this budget uses the Rainy Day Fund to explode spending during a time of plenty, cutting the fund balance in half—from $8 billion to $4 billion. This leaves Texas vulnerable if the national economy continues to falter or we have a natural or manmade disaster.
·        The Legislature will appropriate approximately $106 billion in General Revenue and Rainy Day funds. This is an increase of $22 billion, or 26%, over last session! (This is a session to session, not a budget to budget, comparison.)
·        The total of all funds (including federal funds) in the new budget looks to be about $214 billion, an increase of about $38 billion, or 21%, over what was appropriated in 2011. (This is a session to session, not a budget to budget, comparison.)
·        This level of spending is proof most legislators are tone deaf (94% of 2012 Republican primary voters signaled they wanted spending cut). They willingly ignore the unstable national and global economies. This is a threat to a strong Texas and should be treated as an assault on liberty.
·        This spending repeats the mistake of the 79th TX Legislature (2005). After the 78th Legislature (2003) held the line on spending, the 79thLegislature went on a spending spree that led to the 2011 $15 billion budget shortfall. It could happen again. Are the big spenders setting the stage for gambling and/or and income tax next session?
·        This spending rejects principles of fiscal conservatism in exchange for a big-gov’t approach like those of the other big-five states: CA, NY, IL, FL.
·       This budget is a threat to the economic prosperity of Texas citizens, families, and communities. It is a threat to Texas – the best hope for enduring freedom in these United States. 
 The Legislature appears determined to spend the State of Texas into becoming the next California, and the Governor is sucking his thumb.  The situation is dire.  Call and Tweet your legislators AND the Governor.


Contact Info:

Governor Rick Perry:
Phone: (512) 463-2000
Twitter: @GovernorPerry

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst:
Phone: (512) 463-0001
Twitter: @DavidHDewhurst

House Speaker Joe Straus
Phone: (512) 463-1000
Twitter: @SpeakerStraus

Find your own legislator here.


Update: Continuing the pattern of this bizarre session, Lt. Governor Dewhurst NAILS it!!!

Update II: Empower Texans has more here; money quote: 
There is $13 billion of additional general revenue sitting in the state treasury than two years prior. But that wasn’t enough to satisfy the Legislature’s appetite for more spending. They say they need $4 billion more from a fund constitutionally created to backfill budget shortfalls.

There are many aspects of the current version of the budget that should be of serious concern to voters (like throwing $4 billion extra into public education to appease Democrats, the lack of substantial tax relief, a pension increase for legislators… etc.). Arguably the biggest though is the reckless disregard for the original purpose of the Rainy Day Fund.

Legislators should hit the reset button and pass a better budget in a special session. Getting it right is far more important than just getting it done.
 Update III: Chuck DeVore Tweets this diagram:

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