27. Budget Battles: Remember The Taxpayer
In this newsletter, you'll read about how the TX House passed a budget below TPPF's Conservative TX Budget, President Biden has a dumb fiscal policy, and the need for freedom to let people prosper.
Another busy week in and around the Texas Capitol. This was mostly because of budget day on Thursday in the Texas House, though it ended up being pretty calm even as the one potential problem of funding for Medicaid expansion was easily defeated. Things are shaping up to be a solid session to help preserve liberty so that people have more opportunities to prosper, but we must keep being happy warriors and fight to ensure this happens by sine die. I’ve got more on the economic and fiscal situations in Texas and D.C. along with the latest on the positive news about COVID-19 in Texas below.
But first, I’d like to share that Emily and I had a fantastic weekend celebrating our 13-year anniversary since we met in Lubbock (this year will mark 10 years since we were married) while I was in graduate school at Texas Tech. She has been a blessing in so many ways, and I look forward to many more celebrations. As my mentor and friend, The Honorable Talmadge Heflin has said about relationships, you must reach 13 years before you can get to 50. I’m glad we’re on pace to achieve that sort of happiness!
Let’s get to the latest info on paths to let people prosper!
TEXAS ECONOMIC AND FISCAL SITUATION
Big News in Texas
These are big wins for Texans (see thread), including rightfully not providing funding for Medicaid expansion in the budget which effectively kills this attempt by the left. There are better, more affordable ways to help those in need rather than just providing government-run coverage that does not result in quality, timely care like market reforms that put patients in charge would do.
The next step in the budget process is for the conference committee on the budget to iron out the differences of a gap of $4 billion more in the Senate budget than the House budget. This should include continued spending restraint for tax cuts and additional tax relief before the end of session.
Dream Big! We Can Eliminate School District M&O Property Taxes In Texas is my latest commentary on how this will help improve opportunities for people from across the income spectrum to flourish, especially those with lower income.
Get the latest results from a WPA survey of Texas registered voters. One of the questions was on what Texas should do with the federal funds in ARPA, which interestingly about the same number of people responded with wanting to expand Medicaid (8%) as those who wanted to reject the funds with strings attached (7%). I’m hopeful some if not all of the federal funds in ARPA to Texas will be rejected because America can’t afford it and Texas might not be able to afford it over time if they become ongoing expenditures for bad policy.
Check out how at least $2 billion in subsidies and tax breaks from Texas governments is going to companies resisting improving our election system. Any reason to end corporate welfare is good to me, and this is a pretty good one!
Testimony Before the Texas Legislature
SB 1336 would strengthen the state’s spending limit. It recently passed the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday morning (4/27). As I’ve noted previously, this would be one of—if not the biggest—win this session to help keep the roles of government in our lives and our tax burdens in check.
Real estate values continue to skyrocket in Texas. I recently testified for HB 59 which would help replace nearly half of all property taxes with final sales taxes. I will testify on Tuesday before the House Appropriations Committee for HB 958 which is another option to eliminate school district M&O property taxes by limiting state spending and using most surplus dollars to buy down those taxes until they are eliminated.
Check out this panel testimony that I did last week with my esteemed colleague Dr. Tom Lindsay before the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee for SB167, which would limit tuition increases at public colleges and universities in Texas as this is already a government failure problem. You can watch our testimonies at 1:22:00.
U.S. ECONOMIC AND FISCAL SITUATION
More evidence of how there are many jobs not being filled as workers find government handouts more lucrative than a job.
Good idea to stop trying to socially engineer society through tax and fiscal policy when envy cannot be legislated away but can make the situation worse.
We don’t need more IRS staff, we need a less complex, costly Tax Code.
SALT In the Wound: I Actually Agree with AOC (by EJ Antoni)
CRFB finds that at least 10% of $6T in “COVID relief” so far has been wasted…I believe it is much higher than that and largely destructive to prosperity.
TEXAS OPEN, NOW OPEN AMERICA…
Here is a summary of the latest in the COVID-19 situation in Texas as of 4/24/2021. Given the evidence of the situation and questionable results of mandates and restrictions by governments at every level, including school districts, it’s time to end all restrictions. More on TX DSHS data here.
My prayers this week are focused on the following verse:
This quote by President JFK is one that public policy should be trying to achieve:
Thank you for reading and sharing this with your network. I pray that you have stillness this week as you prosper in whatever makes you happy. Many blessings to you and yours.
Vance Ginn, Ph.D. | www.vanceginn.com | #LetPeopleProsper