Friday, January 07, 2011

Looming $25 Billion Texas Budget Deficit

In response to Paul Krugman's article in the January 7, 2011 New York Times:

This following article from the Austin American-Statesman shows the real price of the Texas budget fiasco.

This story breaks my heart, and shows just how close many of us are to being Texans without any safety net at all. The young man in this story, a University of Texas graduate on his way to a bright, successful life, is now vegetating in a nursing home with no hope for therapy or treatment to help him regain his life and future. He did not make the "lottery" to be eligible for treatment. Do you remember Sarah Palin and her fear of Democratic "Death Panels"? Well, here is the Rick Perry Texas version of that - only it is not only the old - it is people in the prime of life who are being told the equivalent of, "Your life is not worth a plugged nickel. And, here, let me pull that plug."

When George 2 was Texas governor (1995 - 2000), he bragged about cutting Texas real estate taxes. As a result, my real estate taxes went from $2576 in 1994, when Ann Richards was governor, to $3939 in 2000, when George 2 left Texas for the White House, and Rick Perry stepped into George 2's boots. Under Rick Perry's regime, my real estate taxes (same house, no improvements) rose steadily to $6444 for 2010. Rick Perry also brags about cutting property taxes! What kind of accounting is this: fifteen years of real estate tax cuts equal a 150% increase in my real estate taxes?

But, my woes of trying to hold onto my house while on a fixed income with rising property taxes, is small potatoes when compared to those who are sick, maimed, injured, unemployed, homeless, hungry, cold, and mentally ill. These Texans are left out in the cold -- literally -- with no safety net except the kindness of friends and strangers. Friends and strangers, whether charitable organizations or individuals, who themselves are stretched to the breaking point.

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