In taking on Perry on the issue of the state’s fiscal health, I think Hutchison is running into a brick wall. How do you make the case when the numbers are on Perry’s side? Who thought this was a winning argument? It doesn’t matter that the policies that have Texas in a relatively good fiscal position did not start with Rick Perry. They go back fifty years, to the era of the conservative Democrats, whose mantra was a “good ‘bidness’ climate.” The good business climate meant low taxes, minimal services, and favorable regulation for business. Nothing has changed. State budget writers have always been cautious about spending money, allocating well over 90% of the available revenue to education, health care, and law enforcement. It starts with the Legislative Budget Board, whose budget is always “bare bones.” But Perry has involved himself in keeping budgets lean as well, by having executive agencies reduce their spending requests.
Kay needs to figure out whether she thinks the economy sucks or that it is good but Rick can't take credit. She can't have it both ways.