Monday, October 18, 2010

State government is not working for the people it is supposed to serve

Both major parties get failing grades

by Peter Stern

As much as 4 more years of Texas Governor Rick Perry is scary, many people are scared more by Bill White. Some issues are that he is a liberal Democrat, that he will push for the same or similar failed Obama programs and that White is looking to relinquish state control to the federal government. People are being told all sorts of stories, but the truth is that there are few good alternative candidates to choose from.

Bill White was Mayor of Houston and when he left office the city's budget was in the red. Whether or not he was a direct cause responsible of the failing budget, White was responsible for that.

In addition, often people are frightened of the "unknown" more than they fear the negative known. So, my own opinion is that Perry will again be reelected and in the next 4 years little will change to help the majority of Texans.

Perry will continue to favor his special interests, which include deregulating more areas of industry as he previously did with electricity and higher education sectors. Texans will continue to pay top dollar for various services and goods, while taxes will continue to rise. Public education will continue to fail more children.

This year legislators will look at developing a state property tax and will once again review the option of a personal state income tax. While many believe either or both of these options would provide state income long needed, I firmly believe that we cannot provide additional state income that incumbent legislators will divert to their special interests. New tax dollars will enable them to create more slush funds for their own interests, just as they have done for years with the gasoline tax revenue, transportation funds and mismanagement and misuse of state lottery revenue. Incumbents have proven that they cannot be trusted to work in the best interests of the Texas community.

Our daily lives will continue to worsen until the people press legislators to limit or eliminate wealthy campaign contributions and also to limit the terms of elected and appointed officials. We also may want to look at the benefits and retirement packages provided to our officials and to cut the waste in our government and state agencies.

Another issue is one of transparency. Too many issues are "resolved" behind closed doors and various special interest bills are approved riding piggy-back on other bills. Furthermore, professional lobbyists should be prohibited from practicing their business from within the Capitol DURING legislative sessions.

The functioning of our state government is stacked against the people it is supposed to serve. With Perry and incumbent legislators we will continue to be financially enslaved and will remain politically, socially and financially in the Dark Ages.

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