Empower Texans has a fantastic new website detailing Joe Straus' collaboration with Democrats to grow government in Texan, some highlights:
Red State, Purple LegislationTexas may be a red state, but legislation passed this session under Speaker Straus’ watch sure doesn’t reflect it.
Mark Jones, Chairman of the Department of Political Science at Rice University, dubbed the phrase “Red State, Purple Legislation” to describe the contrast between the wave of Texas Republican victories at the ballot box in 2012 and the lack of conservative reform in the 2013 legislative session.
According to Jones:
“Texas Democrats exercised considerable influence over the legislative process… House Democrats brokered a tacit alliance with the GOP’s moderate/centrist bloc, led by Speaker Joe Straus… This alliance allowed a relatively cohesive and disciplined Democratic delegation to block the passage of most legislation opposed by its members.”
But it gets worse:
Lack of Conservative ReformWhat reforms did Speaker Joe Straus and his lackeys KILL this session? Here’s just a partial list:
- Strict Constitutional Spending Limits
- Zero-based Budgeting
- Franchise Tax (a.k.a. Gross Margins Tax) Elimination
- Property Tax Reform
- Protections from Tax Increases
- Requiring Legislators to Disclose Government Contracts
Ending Gas Tax/Highway Fund Diversions Eliminating Corporate Welfare Programs Requiring Transparency Provisions for Local Bond Elections Eliminating Pensions for Convicted Former Legislators
Leading to SUCH positive outcomes:
Kudos to Empower Texans for consolidating this information; read the whole thing here.
Texas Goes SacramentoSo what did Speaker Straus and his lackeys accomplish while they were busy killing conservative bills? They increased session-to-session spending by 26.9% -- all while increasing their legislator pensions by 12% -- spending down all $8 Billion of surplus general revenue and a portion of the state’s savings account in the process.
State spending jumped so much, it caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal who questioned whether Texas is beginning to make the same fiscal mistakes that California has made repeatedly.