TEXAS’ DATE WITH DESTINY
The Texas State Comptroller has announced that we have a 28 billion dollar surplus in tax revenues. As the nation faces record inflation, shrinking GDP, deepening supply chain ruptures, and inevitable recession, this is an enviable position to be in. We have a nest egg.
This begs the question, what will we do with it? Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stated in a press release, “Every member of the Texas Senate will have ideas on how this additional revenue should be spent and I will give them full consideration.” Sounds a bit like a shopping spree in the making, doesn’t it? I for one am not feeling enthusiastic about hearing their shopping lists.
He goes on to say, “However, I believe, first and foremost, any surplus should first go back to the taxpayers of Texas. Texas homeowners must receive tax relief before we commit to any new spending.”
But turns out Patrick’s current proposal allots only $4 billion to property tax relief, with other priorities including a 13th check for retired teachers and suspending the state gas tax for the rest of the year. Really? This is what passes for leadership? I find this both galling and appalling.
The State’s energy grid is broken, we have an invasion on our southern border, we face the most important midterm election in our history with a system vulnerable to fraud, and supply chains that provide food are breaking down across the globe. And we are going to spend our nest egg on suspending the gas tax? That, my friends, is Idiocracy in action. The two choices that are shaping up here are 1) blow out this cash in a business as usual pigs-at-the-trough-fest, or 2) give it back to citizens in property tax relief.
These choices present a false dichotomy, and a breathtaking lack of vision. What I see, rather, is neither business as usual nor Reaganesque rebates, but a unique carpe diem moment to solve the big problems we are facing, and I mean really big. These are the existential ones which our Constitution actually tasks governments with and which, left unaddressed, presage our undoing.
The four policy priorities which must be addressed to ensure our security, even in the face of disastrous and self destructive Federal policies are:
1. Secure our border.
2. Secure our energy grid.
3. Secure our elections.
4. Secure our food supply.
So let’s look at this. We can allow the politicians to squander the excess on, well, excess—pet projects in everyone’s district to buy them votes to ensure they stay in office. Or, we can give the money back to those who paid it, namely us, the taxpayers. Or we can invest our surplus in our own sovereignty, carving out our destiny according to our vision and values.
I am singularly disinterested in Dan Patrick’s deciding what to give his “full consideration.” What interests me is telling Dan Patrick and the rest of our elected officials exactly what we want, then tasking them with accomplishing it.
We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to take Bevo by the horns and shape our future. I cannot think of a better way to thoughtfully and wisely spend our tax dollars. We can model this kind of maturity, or we can squander the opportunity. It is Texas’ date with destiny. What will it be?