Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rick calling for balanced budget amendments...

Rick is really in election mode these days... calling for constitutional amendments both to the Texas constitution and the federal constitution...

First the Texas proposals (link). Excerpt follows...

Rick Perry never mentioned U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's name during a San Antonio campaign swing Tuesday but he often hinted she's guilty by association with the Washington political establishment.

During a brief media event at Mission Restaurant Supply downtown, the governor called for passage of two state constitutional amendments that he said would help Texas maintain fiscal discipline. He also called on Congress to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Perry's proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution focused on tax and spending restrictions. One would require that any state tax increase must be passed by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. The other would limit spending rate increases to the combined growth rates of population and inflation.

Now the federal proposals from the Texas Conservative Coalition ironically (link). Excerpt follows...

January 27, 2010

The Honorable Rick Perry

Governor of Texas

Post Office Box 12428

Austin, Texas 78711

Dear Governor Perry,

We strongly support your call for the adoption of a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.

Federal spending is unsustainable, potentially ruining the country’s long-term fiscal stability and weakening our economy.

Yet, President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will continue with their profligacy until the Constitution clearly and directly mandates a balanced budget.

This unprecedented spending has serious consequences.

Just this month (January 2010), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected "that if current laws and policies remained unchanged, the federal budget would show a deficit of $1.3 trillion for fiscal year 2010." The CBO also projected that the "budget picture remains daunting beyond this year, with deficits averaging about $600 billion annually from 2011 through 2020."

At some point, a future generation of Americans will be forced to pay the bill for Congress’ reckless spending today. When that time comes, what will tax rates be? How much liberty will we have lost?

In 1977, the State of Texas formally petitioned the United States Congress to enact a federal requirement under which:

"the total of all federal appropriations made by the Congress for any fiscal year may not exceed the total of all estimated Federal revenues for that fiscal year." Source: House Concurrent Resolution 31, 65th Texas Legislature; United States Senate Congressional Record, January 15, 1979; page 134

It is time to renew the call for a federal balanced budget amendment, and we are enthusiastic about taking the lead in pushing for it.

Those of us actively involved with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will ask our colleagues in other states to also take up this cause. We will not stand idly by as the Administration and Congressional majority bankrupt America in the reckless pursuit of a radical agenda.

Please do not hesitate to call on the members of the Texas Conservative Coalition if we may be of assistance in this effort.

Thank you for your service to the State of Texas.


State Representative Wayne Christian

House District 9 – Center

State Representative Warren Chisum

House District 88 - Pampa

State Representative Brandon Creighton

House District 16 – Conroe

State Representative Bryan Hughes

House District 5 – Mineola

State Representative Tan Parker

House District 63 – Flower Mound

State Representative Jodie Laubenberg

House District 89 – Parker

State Representative Ken Paxton

House District 70 – McKinney

State Representative Leo Berman

House District 6 – Tyler

State Representative Dan Flynn

House District 2 – Van

State Representative Phil King

House District 61 – Weatherford

State Representative Geanie Morrison

House District 30 – Victoria

State Representative Larry Taylor

House District 24 – Friendswood

TCC P.O. Box 2659, Austin TX 78768 512-474-1798 2

State Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson

House District 56 – Waco

State Representative Dwayne Bohac

House District 138 – Houston

State Representative Betty Brown

House District 4 – Terrell

State Representative Fred Brown

House District 14 – College Station

State Representative Angie Chen Button

House District 112 – Dallas

State Representative Bill Callegari

House District 132 – Katy

State Representative Frank Corte

House District 122 – San Antonio

State Representative John Davis

House District 129 – Houston

State Senator Bob Deuell

Senate District 2 – Greenville

State Representative Joe Driver

House District 113 – Garland

State Senator Kevin Eltife

Senate District 1 – Tyler

State Representative Allen Fletcher

House District 130 – Tomball

State Representative Dan Gattis

House District 20 – Georgetown

State Representative Kelly Hancock

House District 91 – North Richland Hills

State Representative Patricia Harless

House District 126 – Spring

State Senator Glenn Hegar

Senate District 18 – Katy

State Representative Charlie Howard

House District 26 – Sugar Land

State Senator Joan Huffman

Senate District 17 – Houston

State Representative Todd Hunter

House District 32 – Corpus Christi

State Representative Jim Jackson

House District 115 – Carrollton

State Representative Tim Kleinschmidt

House District 17 – Lexington

State Representative Ken Legler

House District 144 – Pasadena

State Representative Tryon Lewis

House District 81 – Odessa

State Representative Sid Miller

House District 59 – Stephenville

State Senator Robert Nichols

Senate District 3 - Jacksonville

State Representative Rob Orr

House District 58 – Burleson

State Representative John Otto

House District 18 – Dayton

State Senator Dan Patrick

Senate District 7 – Houston

State Representative Debbie Riddle

House District 150 – Tomball

State Senator Kel Seliger

Senate District 31 – Amarillo

State Representative Ralph Sheffield

House District 55 – Temple

State Representative Mark Shelton

House District 97 – Fort Worth

State Representative David Swinford

House District 87 – Dumas

State Representative Vicki Truitt

House District 98 – Keller

State Representative Randy Weber

House District 29 – Pearland

State Senator Jeff Wentworth

Senate District 25 – San Antonio

State Senator Tommy Williams

Senate District 4 – The Woodlands

State Representative John Zerwas House District 28 – Richmond

TCC P.O. Box 2659, Austin TX 78768 512-474-1798

It is easy to say that this is all election year posturing and maybe it is... but elections are often where the best ideas come out... and if candidates campaign on them and win they can convince their fellow lawmakers that there is a mandate for action.

If Rick can run on balanced budget amendments and win... he can go into the next legislative session and push for those things and say the people have spoken.

Frankly his ideas so far make a lot of sense and are politically feasible at least at the state level. Getting rid of the property tax as Medina has proposed is exciting... but sales taxes may have to hit 20% or worse if we did that... and an income tax would always be on the agenda.

Rick and Medina have both pushed big ideas like this... Kay is somewhat lagging... especially in light of her reform plans she has pushed in the past and done nothing about...

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.