What's the matter with Texas?

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Everything is bigger in Texas, including shortfalls. However, the rhetoric coming from Governor Rick Perry and the rest of the Texas Republicans over the last year has also been bigger, bigger enough to convince the rest of the country that Texas has not been as affected by the Great Recession as much as the rest of the country. However, it seems as those the rest of the country is starting to take notice that things are not as they appear to be in the conservative utopia called Texas.

As Business Insider reports, there's one state, which is fairly high up on the list of troubled states that nobody is talking about, and there's a reason for it:

The state is Texas.

This month the state's part-time legislature goes back into session, and the state is starting at potentially a $25 billion deficit on a two-year budget of around $95 billion. That's enormous. And there's not much fat to cut. The whole budget is basically education and healthcare spending. Cutting everything else wouldn't do the trick. And though raising this kind of money would be easy on an economy of $1.2 trillion, the new GOP mega-majority in Congress is firmly against raising any revenue.

More Below the Fold…

Not only is there not much fat to cut, there is less fat in Texas than in any other state. When you look at what Texas spends on the entire budget, according to Tax Foundation Texas spends $3,831 per capita, which is the least amount spent per capita in the entire nation.

Raising taxes is out of the question, taxes which by the way are the seventh lowest in the nation. The possibility of raising fees is also out of the question. The Republican majority in the legislature is seat to address the shortfall with only budget cuts.

So, why are people outside of Texas just now starting to notice that Texas is facing a significant fiscal crisis, despite being governed by a conservative majority for a decade? Because it does not fit into the narrative:

So why haven't we heard more about Texas, one of the most important economy's in America? Well, it's because it doesn't fit the script. It's a pro-business, lean-spending, no-union state. You can't fit it into a nice storyline, so it's ignored.

But if you want to make comparisons between US states and ailing European countries, think of Texas as being like America's Ireland. Ireland was once praised as a model for economic growth: conservatives loved it for its pro-business, anti-tax, low-spending strategy, and hailed it as the way forward for all of Europe. Then it blew up.

This is the sleeper state budget crisis of 2011, and it will be praised for doing great, right up until the moment before it blows up.

Political and Social Thought…

to the Left of College Station  


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