Big Red Car here. Here being the Great State of Texas and everything is better and bigger in Texas. Ya’ll know that, right?
Well, there is objective proof for you to chew on and let me share it with you.
Texas is running a surplus. That’s right — Texas takes in more money than it spends. Chew on that, ya’ll. Try to get Washington — THE District of Columbia — to focus on that fact. Governments can operate at a surplus. A freakin’ surplus. It just takes some political will and a side of common sense. Both in short supply up there, no?
How much, Big Red Car, you ask? Well about $9,000,000,000 and that is not bad for a big state like Texas but more importantly it is because Texas is governed with an eye toward creating that very surplus as part of its normal procedures.
Quick review for you folks who do not live in Texas — yet:
1. Texas certifies how much money it has to spend over the next two years. This is the handiwork of the Comptroller and it is done before the Legislature even shows up in town.
2. So, Texas sets the revenue part of the equation before beginning to catalog spending.
3. Texas has a Legislature that meets every other year and sets a two year budget. Once upon a time a Representative or Senator had to saddle up a horse and ride on down to Austin so every two years was a good thing. It continues to be a good thing. During that two year period, the Legislature cannot change anything about the budget — they’re home in Amarillo or El Paso taking care of their real jobs.
4. The budget must be balanced. Balanced. Balanced. Balanced. This is not enlightenment or a recent development. It is old hat to have to balance the budget because it is and has been good practice for over a hundred years. It is the law. The damn law. The law.
What you can see is that there is a practice and philosophy and common sense at work here that is simple, clear and consistent. It is real.
Look HERE <<<link to read about the surplus in Texas. Eeee haw!
Returning the money to the taxpayers
So what does Texas think it should do with this surplus?
1. Put a bit in the Rainy Day Fund — good idea.
2. Refund some to the original taxpayers who have created the surplus — read about it HERE <<<link.
3. Live within its means and save the rest but don’t just spend it because it is there. Don’t spend it.
Whoa, Big Red Car. What a novel idea — Texas is going to consider REFUNDING part of the surplus to its taxpayers. Only in Texas would they even think about refunding part of the surplus to the taxpayers — those patsies who paid the damn taxes in the first place.
What the Hell are they drinking in Texas, anyway? This is nuts, right, Washington?
No, it is not nuts, it is fair and the right thing to do. The money belongs to the people not the government. A fact that politicians in Texas remember and respect.
Different governing philosophies, different outcomes
What all of this dramatizes is manifold and profound:
1. Different governing philosophies have different outcomes. This is real and it can be painful. Witness Texas v California — two huge equally blessed States and two wildly different outcomes.
2. Energy policies matter. Texas prosperity is in great measure due to its sound energy policies which provide for the exploration, development, production and refining of energy products. Uhhh, Washington, Keystone Pipeline?
3. The smallest possible government is the best possible government because it is inexpensive and controllable. Meeting every two years requires substantially more conservative financial policies because you cannot come back to town often to tinker with them.
So, Big Red Car, what is the bottom line here? Well, folks, the challenge is simply this — is the rest of the country as smart as the politicians in Texas? Haha, Big Red Car, you are on a roll today. Making friends. That is going to piss non-Texans off, Big Red Car.
Big Red Car: “Screw ’em if they can’t deal with the truth. Just screw ’em. Sorry.”