Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Straus (again) claims credit for others' accomplishments....

"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
Proverbs 29:1

[Author's Note: For a deeper examintion of Joe Straus' history of claiming credit for the accomplishments of others, see here.]

Joe Straus' latest newsletter contains this little bit of LOL:
Fortunately, the Legislature left about $4 billion in the bank when we last met, and that will make it easier to balance the next state budget.
This is laughable.  During the 2014 campaign, Dan Patrick repeatedly pledged that he would not allow a budget to reach the governor's desk if it grew faster than population plus inflation.  Thus, unless he wanted to write the budget in a special session, Straus had lost this battle before the 84th #TXLEGE gaveled in.

But, since he brought it up, let's take a look at what happened the previous session when Straus had the most direct control over the budget process:
Those numbers understate the blowout because $4 billion more was snatched from the state's rainy day fund. Add various accounting stunts and the Texas Public Policy Foundation calculates a 26% spending increase for the biennium. A broad coalition of taxpayer and tea-party groups is urging Mr. Perry to veto. … 

Republicans defend the budget by noting that Texas has urgent public-works needs. Two years of droughts make new water projects a necessity, and with nearly half the new jobs in the U.S. over the last four years springing up in Texas, roads and school funding are priorities too. But the Houston Chronicle notes that nearly everything from mental health to family planning to Medicaid to Mr. Perry's pet corporate welfare program-the Emerging Technology Fund-won fat funding increases. 

This may be the first time in history that a state experienced a rush of new tax collections and lowered its reserve fund. The supplemental spending earlier this year also allowed an end run around the state's constitutional spending cap. (Expenditures can't rise faster than the rate of personal income growth.) By spending more in 2013 the state can now appropriate more in 2014-15, because the baseline for calculating future expenditure growth is ratcheted upward. This is the kind of stunt one would expect from Nancy Pelosi. The budget contains a roughly $1 billion tax cut, but for every $1 of tax relief, $19 in new revenue will be spent.
Fun Fact: As a Senator, Dan Patrick voted against the 2013 budget.

At this point, it's par for the course for this crowd to claim credit after the fact for accomplihsments that were forced upon them by others, but it's still worthwhile to note when they do so.

Bottom Line: Team Straus remains incorrigibly wicked, they likewise remain irretrivably predictable.

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