I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but . . .
. . . but Bradley J. Fikes passes along a link to Michael Hiltzik’s latest column titled What California should learn from the Texas budget crisis. The deck headline reads as follows:
The so-called Texas Miracle is in trouble, demonstrating that fashioning fiscal policies strictly along low-tax lines doesn’t protect you from budget deficits or business slumps or make your residents necessarily happy or healthy.
The column is researched with Hiltzik’s characteristically low regard for facts and fairness.
Hiltzik starts out by talking about how bad Texas is supposedly doing, and then quickly moves to weak criticism of the legislature’s response. You can’t help but chuckle at reasoning that could convince only an avowed leftist:
California’s Legislature has won national renown for its dysfunction, but Texas lawmakers know how to squeeze dysfunction until it squeals. The late Molly Ivins reported years ago that when a good-government group ranked the Texas Legislature 38th among the 50 states, the reaction among knowledgeable Texans was, “You mean there are 12 worse than this?”
Maybe things have improved in the Texas statehouse since Ivins’ day. But given that the legislators put off action on the budget this year so they could first debate an anti-abortion measure, a balanced-budget amendment for the U.S. Constitution and a voter-ID law, maybe not.
Well! If Molly Ivins didn’t like the legislature, that’s good enough for me! Never mind that her definition of “knowledgeable Texas” was basically “liberal Texans.”
And I’m with Hiltzik: why should a state fritter away time discussing a balanced budget amendment for the U.S. Constitution? Everyone knows that the federal budget is in tip-top shape under Supreme Regime Leader Barack Obama, and any minor multi-trillion dollar kinks are being quickly and professionally ironed out by our eye-on-the-ball Congress, which is moving to HACK and SLASH spending by MILLIONS of dollars at time — MILLIONS! I say — spending reductions that obviously reveal any discussion of a balanced budget amendment to be a frivolous waste of time.
Add that to wasting valuable legislative debate minutes worrying about abortion, which has snuffed out a mere 50 million or so lives since Roe v. Wade, and voter fraud, which is a non-issue according to such eminent authorities as Bradley Friedman and Senior Fellow of Senior Fellows Eric Boehlert, and the Texas Legislature’s skewed priorities come into even sharper focus, thanks to Hiltzik’s deft wielding of the policy microscope.