Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Said vs. Done

Republicans are famous for their philosophy of, “government bad, business good,” even as they bailed out Wall Street, with taxpayer’s money, for causing a recession; bringing the US economy to the edge of the next great depression.

In TX, as well as in Washington DC, the Republican majorities have run the government the same way they would run a business: straight into bankruptcy.

The Republicans didn’t run the government into a ditch because of general incompetence; they are much smarter than they act. No, they do it because they lack the courage of their convictions. Many Republicans are partnered with Grover Norquist. Grover’s well known for wanting, “to shrink the government till it can be drowned in a bathtub.”

To accomplish said shrinkage a legislator might propose to eliminate expensive government programs, but that would incense more of their constituents with each and every program cut; eventually impairing their ability to get reelected. Remember the mantra of our perpetual incumbent politicians is that, “it is better to keep the job than it is to do the job!”

So, what does the perpetual politician do? They sign the certificate from Grover’s group promising never to raise any taxes; often reducing taxation as it becomes possible. The intentional reduction in revenue is accompanied by, contradictory, increased government spending.

When it becomes blatantly obvious that we have enormous, unfunded government spending the incumbent legislator will feign shock and outrage, even though he or she was an active participant in creating this situation.

What must be done? Cut spending, cut spending and cut spending!

Except that that isn’t the answer, it is the back door approach to doing what was planned from the start: reducing government programs.

So, what is the answer?

Review all spending to determine what is needed, what is outdated and what is unnecessary; the process that was intentionally bypassed on the road to debt. Then fund what is determined to be a vital government service. Resolving which programs are needed is difficult, but when the issue becomes the restoration of funding, taxes, the fur will really begin to fly.

The situation is as difficult as it was intended to be from the start, circa 1980 (Trickle Down). If you, the voter, are ready to begin real solutions then you’ll need to vote Democrat in 2012, because the rational Republicans (they really do exist) are deferring to the radical right.

Also, I recommend term limits to keep a new generation of elected officials from the temptation of perpetual incumbency.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The TX Republican mantra: You don’t need no education!

In the 2009 session of the legislature there was talk of adding more Tier 1 public universities to the two (UT Austin and TX A&M College Station) we already have. The money to do it was not available saving those, who didn’t have the political will to spend it, from themselves.

The structural budget deficit has combined with the bad economy to cause the remaining months of the current biennial budget to be seriously short of revenue. That’s bad, but the next biennial budget is shaping up to be much, much worse. So, what’s the legislature doing? They are trying to de-emphasize research (save money) at our tier 1 universities, disregarding the fact that the enormity of those research programs are one, of two, key defining issues of a tier 1 university.

Next the legislature attacks the other defining issue of a tier 1 university, exceptional academic programs, by trying to suggest that the criteria for determining what constitutes a good university professor should be weakened. Also, paying lower salaries to professors would be helpful in reducing the state’s budget problem. This will destroy those industry attracting, innovative, job creating tier 1 institutions.

Gov. GoodHair’s plan for a $10,000 four year degree, at a public university, will be worth at least $1,500!

The Radical Right Republican’s less government hypocrisy.

The Republicans want less government in our lives, unless you’re a woman of maternal age.

If the Republican far-right extremists, to whom all other Republicans currently defer, get enough agreement from elected officials they can get the US Constitution’s separation of church and state denied.

If that misunderstanding becomes the official government policy it clears the way for an American theocracy. It reinstitutes the middle age idea that made all officials, (in positions they were appointed to, or they purchased) in the state church’s hierarchy, community leaders.

Are we ready for a government that is all over us like a second skin; the return of inquisitions and crusades?