Perry Back To Slash and Burn

Governor's Texas Budget Compact called hypocritical

Perry Back To Slash and Burn
Photo by John Anderson

After goon-squading his way through how Texas treats its young, its old, its weak, its infrastructure and its environment last session, Gov. Rick Perry is at it again. With an announcement this morning, the failed presidential candidate seemingly wants to stomp out what's left of services in that state.

Today in Houston Perry announced the Texas Budget Compact, a five-point agenda seemingly designed to pander to the worst slash-and-burn instincts of Republican primary voters. With Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans by his side, Perry laid out his budget creed.

– Practice Truth in Budgeting
– Support a Constitutional limit of spending to the growth of population and inflation
– Oppose any new taxes or tax increases, and make the small business tax exemption permanent
– Preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund
– Cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies

Of course, one might note that Perry didn't lift a finger to help Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, last session when he wanted better budget transparency. As for the strong Rainy Day fund, that's already allocated to the budget he signed – the one with the gaping Medicaid and Medicare holes that will need filling before the next budget can be built. As for limiting spending to population growth and inflation, the schools budget that the equally ambitious (and equally unsuccessful) Sen. Florence Shapiro built and he signed failed to do either. That's why there's a $5.4 billion gap in school funding this biennium.

Calling the governor "a grade-A hypocrite," Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie said in a statement, "Perry is calling on his fellow Republicans to commit to permanently underfunding public education and human services. He’s leading Texas into a race for the bottom that jeopardizes the future of both our children and our parents."

Hard not to see this latest piece of Perry grandstanding as petty election politics, as the GOP hardliners try to fire the state further into a service-slashing frenzy. Perry has already said he is thinking of running for governor again in 2014, while Patrick has been heavily rumored to be eying the lieutenant governorship if David Dewhurst picks up the US Senate nomination. As for Sullivan, his self-appointed role as GOP kingmaker could be dented by the ethics complaints filed against him (apparently there's some little issues about, oh, not registering as a lobbyist and failing to accurately report campaign finance activity for Empower Texans that some Republicans would like people to look at.)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Rick Perry, Dirty Tricks, Election 2012, State Budget, Kirk Watson, Empower Texans, Michael Quinn Sullivan, Dan Patrick

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