Monday, August 30, 2010

Desperate Democrats Smear Marsha Farney: Updated

Wow, Democrats working for Judy Jennings, left-wing ideologue for State Board of Education, must be getting desperate.  Recently, they launched another push poll on the SBOE 10 race in which they ask if voters know that Dr. Marsha Farney "attended a white-supremacist rally" last Summer. 

Seriously?   Have you met Dr. Farney?

These lefties are hoping that voters won't ask which 'white-supremacist rally,' since they are actually referring to a Williamson County 4th of July weekend TEA Party Rally that was attended by U.S. Congressman John Carter,  and Texas House candidates Dr. Charles Schwertner and Larry Gonzales.  According to the Austin American Statesman, about 1,200 folks attended, and nary a white hood was in sight.

This ludicrous description of a TEA Party rally not only shows how desperate these people are, but how completely out-of-touch they are with voters.  According to recent polling data, 56% of mainstream voters approve of the Tea Party Movement, and 52% said the members of the Tea Party have a "better understanding of the issues than the average member of Congress."  One might venture to guess that these numbers are much higher for Texans. 

Perhaps what's really got Judy Jennings and her band of leftists in a panic, is the fact that Dr. Farney is not afraid to call them out on their extremist views of America and their desire to re-write history.   In reaction to Dr. Farney's speech at the July Rally, the Jennings camp expressed faux outrage that they might possibly be considered America-bashing.  While protesting that her 'personal ideology' will not play a role in education policy, Judy has demanded that school curriculum remove any references to the difference between 'legal' and 'illegal' immigrants, and wants to make sure no schools teach about the Venona Papers, primary source documents housed in the Library of Congress which reveal the extent of communist infiltration of the United States in the mid-twentieth century.  Sounds like the usual educational indoctrination loved by the Left.

 Since Americans are in no mood to put up with socialist ideologues this year, the Jennings camp is desperate to smear Dr. Farney by painting her a raaaaacist.    Unfortunately for Judy and the Dems, the fact that Marsha Farney spoke at a popular Tea Party Rally is likely to bring even more support to the Farney campaign.  Voters would do well to examine Judy Jennings' extremist, anti-American views, and choose a candidate who is not only highly qualified, but actually proud of her country.

I just learned that calling Dr. Marsha Farney a racist is even more ironic in light of her history; Her doctoral dissertation was an in-depth study of the Georgetown Independent School District from 1850 through desegregation. During her research, Dr. Farney revealed the remarkable journey and successes of the segregated black school in Georgetown, known as the 'Carver School.' She has given many presentations on the historic Carver School to large audiences at the Williamson County Courthouse, during which she shared authentic photographs and primary sources documenting the numerous academic and athletic achievements earned by Carver students. Distressed by the disappearance of the Carver School trophies, Dr. Farney is personally financing the creation of replicas, and is working with the Williamson County Museum to plan an awards ceremony honoring the achievements of the Carver School and its students next year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Coattails For Diana Maldonado

In 2008, Democrat Diana Maldonado rode to a narrow 1% victory on the coattails of Barack Obama. Like Obama, Maldonado portrayed herself as a moderate in conservative-leaning Williamson County, and carefully avoided discussion of the liberal-progressive agenda. Of course now that the Obama presidency is crashing and burning in such spectacular fashion, Democrats like Maldonado played 'duck and cover' during the recent Presidential visit, and are avoiding association with Obama at all costs.

This year Representative Maldonado will have a difficult time convincing voters she is a moderate since she has a rather inconvenient legislative record to defend. For example, she earned a 36% rating from the Texas Association of Business and a 10% rating from the Young Conservatives of Texas. Furthermore, her actions in the 2009 session to kill voter photo ID legislation reveals her to be at odds with 82% of American citizens.

So whose coattails will she attempt to ride in 2010? Apparently, Rep Maldonado has attached herself to gubernatorial candidate Bill White. She was an early supporter of the former Houston Mayor in the 2010 Primaries, (see video below) and after playing "Duck and Cover" during the presidential visit, she teamed up with Bill's wife, Andrea White for campaign activities in Williamson County,

Unfortunately for Maldonado, former Houston Mayor Bill White has quite a bit of his own baggage to carry, baggage that won't play well in HD 52. For example, White left the City of Houston essentially bankrupt and with more debt per capita than California. White, an unwavering supporter of abortion, courted Planned Parenthood executives in Houston and encouraged the establishment of the 'world's largest abortion clinic' in the city. Most recently, White's refusal to rule out increased taxes and debt for the Lone Star State has earned him the new moniker, "Bill White for Taxes."

If in fact, these are the coattails Ms. Maldonado is hoping to ride to victory, she is in serious trouble indeed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Larry Gonzales Interviews Arizona Rep Steve Montenegro on Immigration Law

At a GOPAC-Hispanic meeting in Dallas, Republican candidate for Texas House District 52 Larry Gonzales interviewed Arizona Representative Steve Montenegro.  A co-sponsor of the Arizona's new immigration law, Montenegro clarifies and clears up the misinformation being perpetuated by the media.  Great interview, and worth a listen. 

"There's a lot of people...lying about this." -AZ Rep. Steve Montenegro

Williamson County Employees Association Seeks Obfuscation

Apparently having grown tired of the ad hominem attacks on the women of the Commissioners Court, members of the Williamson County Employees Association have launched a new tactic: obfuscation. WCEA's latest mantra is that they received a pay cut last year, therefore we taxpayers should pay higher rates so that County Employees can have a pay raise. This is patently false.

The fact is that county employees have not received any pay cuts, on the contrary, pay increases prior to 2007 averaged 5% each year, and since 2007 have averaged 3.13%. The WCEA is basing this 'pay cut' argument on the increase in health insurance premiums.

What Royger Harris and the WCEA do not mention is that health insurance premiums have increased dramatically for all Americans. According to a recent study by Families USA, between 2000 and 2007 family health insurance premiums in Texas "rose 86.8%, while median earnings rose by only 15%." Unfortunately, the Families USA study lumps public and private sector workers together, hence the illusory 15% increase. Like government workers, private sector workers are also coping with insurance premium increases, but unlike county salaries, private sector pay, which is tied to economic reality, has steadily decreased.

The WCEA also very carefully avoids mention of county retirement pensions. Williamson County participates in the TCDRS, or Texas County and District Retirement System, and provides a whopping 250% match at retirement. In providing this generous tax-payer-funded contribution, Wilco is among 22 of 252 Texas Counties matching at this maximum rate, placing Williamson County in the top 8.73% of Texas counties. When local governments in other states are now on the brink of bankruptcy due to guaranteed government employee pensions,we understand why the WCEA would steer clear of this topic.

The WCEA demands for property tax increases so that county employees can enjoy a pay raise, while the rest of the nation is coping with high unemployment, higher living/healthcare costs, and actual pay decreases, is unconscionable. Furthermore, the WCEA social media and blogsite activity that permits anonymous personal attacks on the women of the Commissioners Court (often posted Monday-Friday between the hours of 8 and 5) is cowardly and detracts from their credibility. Perhaps these folks ought to take note of the majority of county workers who have not joined WCEA, and are doing the jobs we the tax-payers hired them to do.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Texas GOP Women: Arizona is Right!

The Texas Federation of Republican Women left no doubts as to where the organization stands on Arizona's new immigration law when the Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution this month commending the State of Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer, Senator John Kyl, and State Senator Russell Pearce for their determination to enforce federal immigration laws.

Resolutions Committee Chair M. Elizabeth Cathey presented the resolution Friday, August 6, to 80 women in attendance at the Federation's quarterly board meeting. Voting members of the board made an amendment to include the author of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, State Senator Russell Pearce, but no other amendments were offered and the resolution received enthusiastic and unanimous support.

The resolution states:

RESOLVED, that the Texas Federation of Republican Women, at its Board of Directors meeting in Austin, Texas, on August 6, 2010, commends the State of Arizona, its Governor the Honorable Jan Brewer, its State Senator Russell Pearce, and its United States Senator, the Honorable John Kyl for their efforts to enforce federal law as it relates to foreign immigration.
The TFRW resolution also includes language recognizing the Arizona Governor's responsibility to protect the lawful citizens of the state.

"The Texas Federation of Republican Women's Board of Directors is proud to commend the leaders of the State of Arizona for supporting the rights of their citizens with the Support Our Law Enforcement and State Neighborhoods Act," said Federation President Rebecca Bradford. "As Texans we understand the value of immigrants to our amazing State, and like the citizens of Arizona, we believe those immigrants should be honest in their reasons and means to enter our State and the Country."

Founded in 1955, the Texas Federation of Republican Women's long-standing goals of education, training, participation in government, electing Republicans, and encouraging Republican women to run for office has helped create a powerful organization that is 10,200 members strong with 161 clubs. For more information on TFRW or to locate a local club, please visit (new website coming soon!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

America in the Theater of the Absurd

In the mid-20th century, European playwrights developed the 'Theatre of the Absurd,' a dramatic literary style that portrayed the world as a godless, meaningless place, and where logical process and communication are irrelevant.   While many of the plays from this movement are quite entertaining, (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is one of my favorites,) recent political developments leave me wondering if we are living in the midst of an absurdist drama; a prospect I find more disturbing than amusing.

One example from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a 'theater of the absurd' in and of itself,  is the recent ruling that it is perfectly okay to lie about receiving a military medal.   If we can all lie about it, why have any criteria for receiving one at all?  Why not just hand each soldier a Medal of Honor upon graduating from boot camp? After all, we certainly wouldn't want anyone to feel bad for not having a medal.

Unfortunately, the Lone Star State is not immune to applied absurdity in government, and in 2009 the Texas Education Agency contributed the Texas Projection Measure. Under TPM, even a student who failed to answer a single question correctly could be considered 'passing' the TAKS, if the school predicts the student will pass within a few years.


According to the TEA:

A student who has failed TAKS/TAKS (Accommodated) in the current year, but is projected to be at or above proficiency in the projection grade, is counted as proficient in the AYP calculation in addition to those students who achieved proficiency in the current year.
While TEA Commissioner Robert Scott defends TPM, since many school principals and superintendents really, really like the way it boosts ratings, even some Democrats have pointed out the logical absurdity of the Texas Projection Measure. 

The result?  With the watered-down standards, every school is great!  Only 1.5% of Texas schools are rated 'Academically Unacceptable,'  and 68% are above average.  I had no idea Texas Public Schools were such an academic success story.  While I have no doubt there are some very good public schools in Texas, how does one know?  Even without the TPM, schools can employ a number of other exemptions to boost ratings.  While some districts have been honest about application of TPM, most simply sent out the annual press release touting the fantastically awesome job they are doing educating your children (even though they do need more money. )  

We can add to list of the absurd  "adopting the effective tax rate," "jobs created or saved," "The Fairness Doctrine," etc., ad naseum.  From a logical standpoint, these terms are misleading at best, and intentionally deceptive at worst.

I like to believe that America has not completely yielded to the 'truth is relative' mantra, that we still attribute value to concepts of right and wrong, fact and fiction.  Hopefully the audience of voters will reject these forays into the Theater of the Absurd, and demand clarity and simplicity in government.


Just for fun:
"A man talking sense to himself is no madder than a man talking nonsense not to himself..."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Government Elites: "These Are Not the Droids You Are Looking For"

"Big Government is audacious and conceited."
     -Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, "A Tea Party Manifesto," Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2010.

One of the catalysts of the Tea Party movement is growing citizen frustration with the arrogant and elitist attitudes exhibited by many elected officials.  Some government types sincerely believe they are much, much smarter than the rank and file voters, and that voters really cannot possibly understand that government knows what is best for Americans and their money.   Unfortunately, this belief is not confined to the purlieu of Washington, but permeates state and local politics as well.

Last week Democrat State Representative Lon Burnham outraged Texans by saying that the people are "just too stupid to realize how beneficial a state income would be."  Perhaps Burnham ought to educate us by holding up examples of how a state income tax has helped other states like California and New York.

Oh, right.  Probably not a good idea.

Locally, in the course of debate over tax rates for Williamson County, proponents of the tax rate increases allege that taxpayers have been subject to "misinformation" and just don't understand.  You see, they explain, it isn't raising taxes, it is "adopting the effective rate," and it just means that the county will adjust rates so that tax revenue will be the same this year as it was last year.  See?  See?  Oh, and by the way, you'll only be paying a little, teensy bit more. But when you see the increase on your tax bill just remember, these are not the droids you are looking for it is not an actual tax increase.

Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe summed the problem up nicely yesterday in the Wall Street Journal:

By definition, government is the means by which citizens are forced to do that which they would not do voluntarily. Like pay high taxes. Or redistribute tax dollars to bail out the broken, bloated pension systems of state government employees. Or purchase, by federal mandate, a government-defined health-insurance plan that is unaffordable, unnecessary or unwanted.
The problem is not that citizens don't understand.  Americans are waking up and are not fooled by benign sounding terms and convoluted formulas.  They are sick and tired of elitist politicians who think them too stupid to understand what political liberalism is doing to this country.  Happily, the 2010 elections are right around the corner, and we are watching and preparing for 2012.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cedar Park City Council Working For Smaller Government

With federal government expanding at an astronomical rate, it is refreshing to learn that some of our local elected officials are working to apply the American principles of smaller government.  Members of the Cedar Park City Council have launched an ambitious plan to review every single city ordinance, with the goal of repealing, simplifying, and/or modifying laws over the course of several years. 

With 18 chapters in the Cedar Park code of ordinances, this project will take quite some time to complete, but council members have already begun, and on July 22 held their first hearing to repeal ordinances that should have been adopted as resolutions. 

"The goal is to make local government simpler, more accessible, and state things in language that is as plain as possible," said Councilman Tony Dale.  "We also want to ensure that we do not have ordinances that are obstacles to economic development and prevent us from being competitive with other local communities when it comes to job creation." 

The Cedar Park actions are a stark contrast to the federal government;  in 2010 the U.S. tax code alone rose to 71,684 pages, and in correlation, the national debt has risen to 94% of GDP in 2010, and is projected to rise to over 100% by 2012.  (Coincidence?)  While Americans expressed shock last summer that the proposed government health care bill consisted of 1,017 pages, the final bill ended up with a whopping 2,801 pages that everyone, including those who voted for it, are still trying to figure out.  Now, of course, we've become accustomed to monstrous-sized bills and have hardly raised eyebrows at the 2,300 page Financial Reform bill .

Hopefully the 'small government syndrome' the Cedar Park City Council has contracted is a highly contagious condition and soon our other government entities will catch on and start seriously applying Constitutional principles of limited government everywhere.

That's what I call hope and change.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dr. Schwertner's Ranch Roundup, August 21

Republican candidate for Texas House District 20 will be holding a Ranch Roundup and BBQ Fundraiser on Saturday, August 21, 6:00PM at the Schwertner Ranch Event Center at 1200 Lindemann Road, in Salado. 

Dr. Schwertner is a highly respected Georgetown doctor and staunch Conservative, and is running to replace Representative Dan Gattis in the House District 20 seat.  Representative Gattis is not seeking re-election. 

Honorary Co-Hosts scheduled to attend include U.S. Congressman John Carter, State Representative Dan Gattis, Georgetown Mayor George Garver, Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw, Leander Mayor John Cowman, and Cedar Park Mayor Bob Lemon.

View the invitation here, and be sure to rsvp by Monday August 16, to the Schwertner Campaign or by calling (512) 615-1118.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Meal Economics Update: How to Speak Out Against Tax Hikes

For those of you who read Happy Meal Economics and are asking what to do next, here's some necessary information.  

Help support and encourage the elected members of the Williamson County Commissioners Court to stand firm for fiscally conservative government by coming to one of the next two Court meetings to testify before they pass a budget at the end of the month. 

The first meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday, August 10, at 9:30AM, at the Williamson County Courthouse at 710 Main Street in Georgetown.  Another meeting will take place Tuesday, August 17, again at 9:30AM at the same location. 

You may also contact County Judge Dan Gattis or your Precinct Commissioner via the county website

The City of Round Rock is also considering a rate increase
You can comment on the proposed budget online, or you can attend City Council meetings on Thursday nights at 7:00PM at City Hall, 221 E. Main Street in Round Rock.  The next meeting is August 12. 

Happy Meal Economics

 In the recent debate over adopting the effective tax rate raising taxes in Williamson County, one proponent of distributing more taxpayer income to county employees sniffed that the estimated increase was roughly equal to the price of one "Happy Meal" each month.

Oh! Well, if you put it that way. Just a Happy Meal, okay, well, go ahead then.

Wait a minute, just how many Happy Meals are Williamson County residents already providing? If the median home value is $188,860, and the county rate is $0.468324 per $100 valuation, then the median tax bill is about $884.48; roughly 257 Happy Meals. You also pay property taxes on a median priced home to:

  • Your City-in Round Rock @ $.39661, annually $749.04, or 218 Happy Meals 
  • Your ISD-in Round Rock ISD @ $1.3324, annually $2,516.37,  or 733 Happy Meals 
  • Austin Community College @ $.0946, annually $178.6, or 52 Happy Meals 

This brings your total property tax bill to 1,260 Happy Meals each year!

But wait, we also provide Happy Meals pay income taxes to the Federal Government. According to 2008 Census estimates, the average household income is $69,745. If you are married, filing jointly, with two dependents, and you take deductions for state sales tax, your income tax bill would be only $3,499, but since the Bush tax cuts expire this year, the bill will increase to $5,637, or 1,643 Happy Meals. 

Other discernable direct taxes include those in your Electricity, water and gas bills, about $16 a month on mine, about $5 each month on our basic cable/internet service, and taxes, fees, and surcharges make up about 45% of our phone bill at $21 each month. These various taxes equal $42 a month, $504 a year, or another 147 Happy Meals.

More difficult to decipher are gas taxes; in Texas we pay $0.384 per gallon. According to the EPA, the average vehicle travels 11,720 miles each year and gets 20.4 miles per gallon, so if our family of 4 uses two vehicles, they likely purchase 1,149 gallons of gas each year and pay $441.22 in taxes, or another 129 Happy Meals.

So far we are up to 3,179 Happy Meals per year.  But wait, there's more...

These are only the direct taxes; we all pay indirect taxes on just about everything we purchase or use since the U.S. corporate tax rate of 38% is one of the world's highest. Next year indirect taxes will dramatically increase via new federal laws on health care, the banking industry, and possibly cap and trade, and analysts are predicting a 2011 Tax Tsunami.  Those taxes are passed on to us as increased cost for the goods and services we purchase, and will amount to thousands more Happy Meals each year.

Rather than adding more, we need to find ways to give fewer Happy Meals to our ever-growing government.  As noted economist Arthur Laffer demonstrates, lower taxes and less government spending make for a strong economy.  Budget planners for both Williamson County and cities like Round Rock need to do what most American families are doing, cutting their respective budgets to cope with reduced income.  No new projects or spending should be added this year.

That would make taxpayers happy...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Congressman John Carter Coming to Round Rock August 9

Congressman John Carter will be speaking on Monday, August 9, at the Williamson County Republican Women's luncheon at 11:30AM, at the Wingate Conference Center in Round Rock. One of the most conservative members of Congress, he serves on the House Appropriations Committee and helped bring to light the ethical issues surrounding Congressman Charlie Rangel when he introduced the Rangel Rule . Without Carter's relentless efforts, it is likely that Rangel would have continued to fly under the radar, but now Rangel will face trial for alleged corruption.

Cost to attend the luncheon is $15 and reservations are required. RSVP to

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

Yesterday Representative Diana Maldonado and Progressive Capitol held an event entitled, "Do you know your current State Representative?" Women were invited to meet Maldonado and "other smart women" for coffee, cupcakes and conversation at a Georgetown cupcake business. Unfortunately for the smart women in attendance, Representative Maldonado has little to offer in the way of solutions to pressing issues, especially for the cupcake shop.

One of the incredible ironies of the event was its location, a small business in Georgetown. No friend to private business, Representative Maldonado received a dismal 36% rating from the Texas Association of Business based on her 2009 legislative performance, with only 11 other legislators earning a lower score. One wonders if the cupcake shop owners are aware of Representative Maldonado's hostility to business and her votes to further burden them with taxes and mandates. Furthermore, as a member of the Progressive States Network Representative Maldonado signed a 2009 letter addressed to President Obama, Senator Reid and Congresswoman Pelosi, urging them to pass government-run health care legislation. As analysts study the implications of the 2010 health care reform bill, they are finding it will burden small businesses with penalties, taxes, and paperwork, and will severely reduce productivity and job creation. Thank you, Representative Maldonado.

With soaring unemployment and an economic recession, government should not be seeking to stifle innovation and expansion, but should allow small businesses like the cupcake shop to operate unemcumbered by excessive regulation and taxes. Without the jobs and opportunities created by businesses of all sizes, more and more Americans will find themselves unemployed and dependent on a government that continues to expand and control at an alarming rate. But perhaps the cupcake shop will get a sweet government contract to provide fair allotments of cake to all the newly-created dependents. After all, we'll have to eat something...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Follow the Planned Parenthood Money

How do you misplace $1.3 billion in taxpayer money? Apparently Planned Parenthood cannot account for over half of the $2 billion in tax-payer funded subsidies it has received since 2003. The nation's #1 abortion provider, which reported $85 million in profits for 2007-2008, has refused to offer any explanation for the missing funds.

While these tax-payer funds are for operation of clinics, Planned Parenthood plays a significant political role as well, donating vast sums to candidates and other pro-abortion political action groups each year. In Williamson County, Representative Diana Maldonado is one such recipient, having received $2,000 in 2008, and she is listed as a Planned Parenthood Action 'victory' candidate. Typically, however, since Texans are not as enthusiastic as other parts of the country about killing unborn children, pro-abortion candidates like Diana Maldonado are careful to only list endorsements from groups like Annie's List; benign-sounding name, pro-abort agenda. Annie's List has donated generously to Maldonado in both 2008 and 2010.

Happily, we do not have any Planned Parenthood clinics in Williamson county, yet. But rest assured, it is no accident that these abortion groups are anxious to support candidates in our area.

If you have any doubts about the real purpose of abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood, check out this movie trailer for Blood Money, based on the book by former abortion clinic director and Round Rock resident Carol Everett. These are highly profitable businesses, and regardless of your stance on the ethics of abortion, they should in no way be subsidized by taxpayers.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If It Quacks Like a Duck...

It seems the folks over at the new Williamson County Employee's Association are very worried that we might think the WCEA is a union, and are adamantly protesting the reference on their blogsite. The WCEA claim is that since they can neither strike nor engage in collective bargaining, they are really just loveable, harmless, little fuzzballs. All they want to do is give out scholarships, “create unity among employees,” “foster complete cooperation” (emphasis added)between the county and its employees, and oh yeah, make sure they get raises and tax-payer funded cadillac-level benefits.

The definition of a union?

An association, combination, or organization of employees who band together to secure favorable wages, improved working conditions, and better work hours, and to resolve grievances against employers.

Since founding the WCEA, Royger Harris, an employee of Jana Duty's County Attorney office, and other members have been complaining loudly about not getting pay raises and having to contribute more to their own health insurance plans. They are unmoved by the fact that many of us in the private sector have faced unemployment, significant pay reductions, and have already been working to adjust to increased health care costs. WCEA members are lobbying the Commissioners Court to raise tax rates on Wilco residents to pay for county employees' raises and to contribute more to employee healthcare. In the tired, overused argument that inevitably attaches itself to every proposed tax hike, WCEA members whine that the monthly tax increase is "only the price of a Happy Meal at McDonald's!" Frankly, I don't care if it IS the price of a Happy Meal, the extra tax is still a redistribution of my hard-earned money.

Furthermore, while they may not be able to engage in collective bargaining, the WCEA is also demanding a seat on the benefit committee board. And, as Royger Harris recently admitted, the WCEA does have a political aspect in that it will be promoting certain candidates it deems to be 'deserving.' Never mind that these goals are identical to those of other public sector unions.

As the saying goes, "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it must be a duck."

Public sector employee unions are not terribly common in Texas, a 'Right to Work' state. Nationally, private sector unions have been steadily decreasing in membership and now claim only 7% of the private workforce, but public sector union membership has grown to over 37%. According to Michael Barone, public sector unions are especially effective due to their unique 'collusive' character:
Public-sector unions strive to elect their management, which in turn can extract money from taxpayers to increase wages and benefits and can promise pensions that future taxpayers will have to fund.

Lately, economists have identified public sector unions as major contributors to the economic woes of states like California, and a full one-third of the 2009 stimulus package went to bolster these unions. If Texas and Williamson County are to continue to tout economic strength, it will be necessary to keep taxes low and resist the unreasonable demands of these 'union lite' groups. The Commissioner's Court should ignore all the quacking and stay the course of fiscal responsibility.

For a great related article, check out Taxpayer Beware, regarding the coming local government tax increases in Texas.