ACTUALLY, the miracle is not what it's cracked up to be. Gov. Perry told us that the state had "billions in surplus". In the next 2 years the miracle could be reduced to a deficit of almost $25 billion. According to Barbara Bush "our schools are in crises. She said we rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma and we rank 33rd in the nation on teachers salaries". That's almost too depressing to write. The Governor and his Lt. Gov. admitted that a lot of what they are doing are not priorities for Texans - but they would still never raise taxes.
Then, Texas legislators hit the people with $15 billion in cuts to all levels of state government, including health care. $4 billion of those cuts went to public education. More people are coming to Texas and they will expect that social services will rise or at least accommodate them. In an economic downturn, revenue will be reduced and guess what will happen, what little social services there are will be severely downsized.
More Texans that ever are living on food stamps, and the number is growing. The Houston Chronicle analysis shows 12% of people in the greater Houston area depend on the program and in some counties as many as 40% are poor enough to qualify for help. Yes, Gov. Perry, you are creating jobs in Texas. but those jobs don't pay enough to put food on the table and pay the rent.
Gov. Perry spent over $2 million in travel and campaign expenses thinking he had a chance to be a nominee for President of the U.S. (What a catastrophe that would have been). He also added to his salary of $150,000 by more than 50% by collecting his pension, another little perk under Texas law.
According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 189 state employees collected a pension in addition to their salary of more than $100,000; 6,102 state employees across all pay grades collected both pension and salary; 25 state Senate employees collected pension plus salary and 32 Texas House employees collected pension and salary. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Gov. Perry spent $360,000 on rentals while he was remodeling the governor's mansion.
The solution: who can really say, however I'm convinced that Texans and our country deserve better.