Texas blues

Submitted by Matthew on 2 February, 2011 - 12:37

Texas is in bad shape. Rick Perry was re-elected for another term as governor and the Republicans have a two-thirds majority in the State House.

The Republicans are committed to solving a deficit without a tax increase. Texas is one of the few states with no state income tax, and the Tea Party has stiffened the resolve of the “less government, less tax” current. Cuts are proposed to funding for public schools, colleges and universities, and to health coverage for poor people and children.

There is little in the Texas state budget that is discretionary, so cuts are necessarily savage on the areas where they apply. It is not clear that there is any group that will do much to oppose the cuts. The state workers’ unions perhaps.

Texas legislature meets for six months every two years. The first issue of the session that started this month was the House Speaker. The Tea Party started a fight in the Republican Party over their support for Jo Strauss as House Speaker. He is a fairly conservative Republican, but he was regarded as a fair Speaker. The campaign against his reelection focused on the need for a Christian conservative Speaker — Strauss is Jewish. In the end, the campaign collapsed with the Republicans mostly supporting Strauss.

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