Bad Budget Proposals Come In Pairs

Budget coalition’s plan unworthy of boldest and grandest state

I guess bad budget proposals come in pairs. On the same day that Congressman Paul Ryan and his fellow House Republicans rolled out their disastrous budget proposal, the Texans for a Conservative Budget Coalition have released their own for Texas.

Here is the statement by White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer on the Ryan Republican Budget:

The House budget once again fails the test of balance, fairness, and shared responsibility. It would shower the wealthiest few Americans with an average tax cut of at least $150,000, while preserving taxpayer giveaways to oil companies and breaks for Wall Street hedge fund managers. What’s worse is that all of these tax breaks would be paid for by undermining Medicare and the very things we need to grow our economy and the middle class – things like education, basic research, and new sources of energy. And instead of strengthening Medicare, the House budget would end Medicare as we know it, turning the guarantee of retirement security into a voucher that will shift higher and higher costs to seniors over time.

The House economic plan draws on the same wrong-headed theory that led to the worst recession of our lifetimes and contributed to the erosion of middle-class security over the last decade. And the President believes we cannot return to a failed theory that didn’t lead to the growth of jobs, incomes, or the economy. That’s why he put forward a balanced approach that reduces the deficit by over $4 trillion. It’s an approach that asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share, makes tough cuts to programs we can’t afford, and strengthens Medicare with reforms that would reduce overpayments to drug companies, improve the quality of care, and protect Medicare’s commitment to America’s seniors.

And here is the statement by Scott McCown of the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) on the Texans for a Conservative Budget Coalition's "Real Texas Budget Solutions: 2013 and Beyond"

Texans Want to Move Forward, Not Backward

Budget coalition’s plan unworthy of boldest and grandest state

Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, released the following statement today regarding Texans for a Conservative Budget Coalition’s “Real Texas Budget Solutions: 2013 and Beyond.” “Slashing budgets even deeper than we just did in 2011 is not the path to prosperity for our state. Instead, increasing our investment in education is the way forward. Between 2000 and 2010, the child population of the United States grew by about two million children, and over half of them were Texans. Our economy benefits from having so many young people—if we teach them the skills they need. Reducing high school dropouts and increasing college graduates, though, requires expanding opportunity in our public schools, community colleges, and state universities, not retrenching.

“Dodging responsibility is not what Texans do. When a neighbor needs help, Texans step up. We ensure a helping hand to children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and the temporarily down and out. Texans do not want to see our child protection system, our mental health system, our nursing homes and community care systems, our health care system, and other social services starved for adequate funding.

“Of course, Texans are tight with a dollar. Texas continually ranks near the bottom of the states in spending. To put in perspective how conservative Texas budgets really are, our state would have to increase state spending by 27 percent just to reach average state spending per resident. Any claim that Texas is spending too much or spending is growing too fast is simply false.

“Twenty-five years ago Texas faced a revenue problem as serious as our current dilemma. The state responded responsibly by increasing revenue, setting the stage for major reforms through the following years to our prison system, our education system, and our state’s social safety net. The coalition’s selection of 1990 as the benchmark year from which to measure budget growth ignores these achievements—essentially comparing today to the Wild West.

“Our state’s real problem is an antiquated tax system and an unaffordable 2006 school property tax cut, which left the state with a $10 billion biennium structural deficit. Fortunately, with a trillion dollar economy, we have reasonable choices for increasing state revenue to meet the needs of our growing state. For example, we can repeal certain outmoded tax breaks, increase taxes on alcohol and tobacco, and modernize our sales tax base by including certain services. Even after taking these steps, Texas will remain a low-tax state, but with additional revenue to meet our needs.”