Tuesday, February 8, 2011

State of The State

Governor Rick Perry will deliver his State of the State Address to a joint session of the House and Senate today at 11:00am, and a live webcast is available here. 

While lots of our liberal-progressive friends are trying to say Texas is just as bad as California, the truth is that while we too are feeling the effects of the national recession, Texas remains an economic stand-out in the nation.  Unemployment in Texas is 7.9%, while the national average is 9.8.  California, on the other hand, is bearing an unemployment rate of over 12%. As far as the state budget goes, while revenue projections are down due to a struggling economy, Texas lawmakers are planning a budget that only spends what we have, and no more.  Crazy, right?

The real problem for Texas isn't so much with the state government, but with local governments who are borrowing and spending at dangerous levels.  Our school districts are spending over $11,000 per student on average, and local bond debt service amounts are staggering.  Unfunded mandates from the state play a small role, but many local governments, especially education bureaucrats, really do want the mandates (e.g. classroom size limits,) they just want the state to pay for them via increased taxes.  It really is time for everyone to tighten the belt.

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