Real Texas Budget Solutions: 2013 and Beyond
Texas state spending rose 310% between 1990 and 2012, while population growth plus inflation totaled only 132%.Looking to the future, Texas is faced with additional demands on general revenue spending of at least $4 billion in 2013and $10 billion in 2014-15.
Texas has been the nation’s leading job creator for more than a decade because, at times like this, we answered the call by reigning in spending. And in fact the Legislature did reduce spending as it balanced the budget in 2011. However, most of that was due to reduced federal funding and budget gimmicks. That approach won’t work a second time. So if we do not implement real budget and spending reforms in 2013, each Texas family could soon face over $1,200 a year in increased taxes and fees in the search for new revenue.
Yet, Texas does not need new revenue—from any source. Neither do we need to raid the “Rainy Day” fund. Instead, Texans must rethink how we fund and operate Texas state and local governments in order to reduce dependence on the government, foster economic growth, and deliver improved, streamlined services to Texans. In other words, Texas government must learn to live within its means so that all Texans will continue to enjoy the nation’s top job-producing economy.
The following reforms will guide us down this path, providing away to prosperity for all Texas families by decreasing state overspending by $1.1 billion in 2012-13 and $8.3 billion in 2014-15and reducing the future spending growth.