Friday, November 12, 2010

Mixed up priorities

Republicans won a whopping majority in the state house on November 2 and within days the chairs of various committees have released a letter naming their priorities for the coming session. In their top ten they include “passing a photo ID requirement as a protection against voter fraud”, but if voter fraud is really as rampant as they seem to believe doesn’t that call into question the legitimacy of their recent overwhelming victory?

Other topics in the letter include “ensuring businesses are not stifled by over-taxation, excess regulation or unfair litigation.” This should be deciphered as raising fees - which hurt small and startup businesses because they aren’t related to profits, continuing to allow air and water pollution by gas producers in the Barnett Shale – because being able to light your tap water on fire isn’t a problem, and limiting the rights of individuals to seek redress when a business or doctor has harmed them. The chairs claim that these steps will help the Texas economy and create jobs.

The chairs go on to claim that Speaker Straus is “a staunch fiscal conservative in the model of President Reagan”. I can’t say whether or not Straus is a fiscal conservative, but Reagan certainly wasn’t as he raised taxes twice and massively increased the size of the federal government in his eight years as president. Given their failure to know recent history it’s no wonder they have chosen to ignore the states abysmal education record or seek any means to improve it.

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