Rumors have already begun to swell around Austin that there is the possibility of a historic budgetary surplus heading lawmakers’ way as appropriators begin to consider the state budget for the next biennium. The Austin swamp is already salivating about ways to spend it.
A recent tweet by Austin’s favorite leftist editor, Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune, is the perfect example of the mentality of the political class when confronted with what they see as “free money”.
Heard this yesterday for what I thought was the first time and my eyeballs flew out of my skull — but of course it turns out @rossramsey wrote about it back in November: #txlege may come back in 2023 with a surplus of as much as $25 billion https://t.co/UZIVv5liQl #tx2022
— Evan Smith (@evanasmith) March 22, 2022
Of course, any informed taxpayer knows that this is not “free money” for lawmakers to give to their pet projects and other wasteful bureaucratic programs, but rather, it is a surplus of taxpayer money, and sadly money that the alleged “conservatives”, who hold the majority in both legislative chambers, are all to eager to spend.
This surplus was made possible for a number of reasons, one of which was the spending limit that was placed on the budget in the last legislative session. TFR has written at length about this being the key to finally dealing with the increasing burden of property taxes, and we have presented our plan on how we could eliminate the school property tax with the surplus alone over the course of a few years.
Yet, despite all of the bloviating and pandering by Republican lawmakers about their conservative credentials, they continue business as usual down in Austin, planning on how best to spend your money, aiding in growing government in Texas.
The question that all conservatives need to ask themselves is this: Is our state government too big?
When TFR has presented this question to Texas taxpayers all across the state, not once has a person replied with anything but a resounding YES! So then, if we readily acknowledge that our government is far too big, why do we allow it to continue to grow at all?
In the past, the Republican solution to the hypertrophy of the government is to “slow its growth”, whether that be through spending caps that slow the rate of the budget, or limits on the rate at which local governments can raise your property tax rates, but the solution is never to actually cut government spending.
Lawmakers simply keep with the status quo and use surplus dollars as a slush fund to fund wasteful programs that continue to steal money from taxpayers and instead give it to things like corporate welfare programs, like the Texas Enterprise Fund, or throw it in the Economic Stabilization Fund (An emergency fund that is simply used as a piggy bank for ongoing expenses like public education funding).
For years, fiscal Conservatives across the state have cried out to lawmakers to rein in our unaccountable government, and public schools are the worst culprit. They have seen a historic drop in education enrollment because of bad COVID policy, teaching CRT in our classrooms, promoting pornography and homosexual lifestyles, and enabling child predators with policy.
Texans do not need their tax dollars going to fund more government, they need more freedom and less government. The conservative decision, when faced with the possibility of a $25 billion surplus, is for lawmakers to commit to giving EVERY SINGLE CENT back to taxpayers in the form of tax relief.
Specifically, TFR would like to see the entire $25 billion used to pay down compression rates on the property taxes of Texans. This would result in the biggest tax relief in over a century and give much-needed relief to millions of Texans being crushed under the weight of inflation and rising gas prices. If this happened, voters might actually believe the narrative lawmakers continue to perpetuate in that we had the “most conservative session in Texas history”.
The question is will self-proclaimed conservative lawmakers continue “business as usual” in Austin, or will they finally listen to their voters and give back what has been taken from them, to begin with?