29. Returning To Normal = Returning To Work
In this newsletter, I highlight the latest on the failures of Bidenomics, the need to end the extra federal unemployment payments, the Texas Legislature's actions, and the ways to let people prosper.
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It’s been a busy week with more nonsense out of D.C. and with things heading to the home stretch in Austin, as the Texas Legislature will Sine Die on May 31. It’s been a successful session so far from a free-market perspective, but there’s more work to do in these final days of the session. In other good news, a court case in Ohio is helping to fight back against federal overreach of state sovereignty, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he will soon be rejecting the extra $300 per week payment to unemployed workers, and there are avenues to turn around the flawed approach of Bidenomics.
These issues and more related to the economic and fiscal situations in Texas and D.C. along with more positive news about COVID-19 in Texas (and America) are highlighted below in the bullet points with more information at the links provided.
TEXAS ECONOMIC AND FISCAL SITUATION
Big News in Texas
Watch this SMU Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom event where I joined Michael Cox of SMU and Pia Orrenius of Dallas Fed to discuss the TX economy.
After my colleague EJ Antoni and I released a piece on the need to end the federal government’s $300 per week unemployment payment keeping many workers on the sidelines, there were almost 40 groups, including TPPF, that said the same thing and Governor Abbott then announced that Texas will reject it starting on June 26, 2021.
The U.S. Treasury recently released guidance on how states can spend their funds from ARPA, however, there are unanswered questions that Treasury will have to answer after the 60-day comment period. Texas will likely receive about $40 billion including $10 billion to local governments. I outline here what Texas should do with this money IF the state accepts it, which I think most or all should be rejected. And a judge in Ohio says the federal takeover of state fiscal policy in ARPA by President Biden and the Democrats in Congress is likely unconstitutional, so that’s something to watch.
Texas’s state budget is currently with the conference committee to iron out the differences between the Senate and House versions, which is basically dealing with funding for healthcare-related items like Medicaid. I believe it will remain a Conservative Texas Budget with hopefully more funds for property tax relief. And I recently worked with my friends at the Alaska Policy Forum to create their Responsible Alaska Budget which is based on TPPF’s methodology for sound spending. I’ll do a Livestream with them later this week to highlight their approach.
Testimony & Key Legislation Before the Texas Legislature
SB 1336 would strengthen the state’s spending limit. It passed the House Appropriations Committee and should be on the House floor this week. As I’ve noted previously, this would be one of—if not the biggest—win this session.
HB 59 would have replaced school district M&O property taxes with a consumption tax and HB 958 would have bought it down over time were good pieces of legislation that died. These were wasted opportunities this session that I hope will be prime for moving forward next session.
HB 1869 passed the House and was heard in the Senate Committee on Local Government. This bill would add non-voter-approved debt under the election trigger for raising property taxes. Hopefully, it will be improved in the Senate, but this is a good bill for more taxpayer protection.
Reminder: Crony corporatism is bad. It’s time to let Chapter 313 property tax abatements provided by school districts expire in Texas. Even the liberal media is getting killing this corporate welfare as the Houston Chronicle ran a hit piece on it. There are a couple of bills still alive like HB 4242, which would extend it for two years, but hopefully, they won’t be passed so the Chapter will expire next year because these abatements fail basic math lessons.
U.S. ECONOMIC AND FISCAL SITUATION
Watch this TPPF event where I joined the Foundation’s President Dr. Kevin Roberts and Director of Immigration to talk about the failures of Bidenomics and the administration’s other policies during the first 100 days (good discussion on this topic by Brad Polumbo and Alex Salter).
Good news! Poll shows people care about the federal budget except for Congress.
Here are my thoughts about the attempts to raise tax receipts by expanding government with more IRS staff and audits (Hing: I disagree).
Tax fairness is in the eye of the beholder, let’s not try to socially engineer society with the tax code or redistribute based on envy but rather fund only limited roles for government.
The government should stop telling people how to parent.
We must keep pushing back against the flawed logic of MMT.
TEXAS OPEN, NOW OPEN AMERICA…
Here is a summary of the latest in the COVID-19 situation in Texas as of 5/16/2021. Given the evidence of the situation and questionable results of mandates and restrictions by governments at every level, it’s good that the state ended its restrictions on March 10, 2021 (two months ago) but it’s time to end all restrictions. More on TX DSHS data here. Here’s how different deaths compare across the U.S. in 2020.
Two quotes by two of my favorite economists are helpful with inflation:
My prayers this week are focused on the following verse:
Thank you for reading this newsletter and sharing it with your network. I pray that we show our kids and others what it means to live a good life so that others will remember us for it. Many blessings to you and yours.
Vance Ginn, Ph.D. | www.vanceginn.com | #LetPeopleProsper