18 billion dollars!!
That is the projection for the state budget deficit over the next two years, 2011 through 2013.
18 billion dollars.
In 2006, the legislature and Governor Perry reduced property taxes by 14 billion dollars and only increased other taxes by 9 billion dollars hoping that the economy would grow to make up the 5 billion needed to cover the tax cut. That did not happen.
Now Texans are faced with a grim reality, reduced services. The legislature and the governor are asking state agencies to cut their proposed budgets by 10 percent. Those cuts are going to hurt.
That means less for education, less police on the street, less prison guards, less infrastructure improvements, less Medicaid, in essence, less everything.
Can we Texans handled these reductions in services. We are about to see.
Everyone is for tax cuts, it is the most popular issue in politics. However, we must begin to show some common sense when proposing tax cuts. Texans need to know the impact of the cuts because as we all know, once a tax cut is implemented, no politician has the courage to come back to the voters and ask for a tax increase when needed.
That means the only solution to a budget deficit is budget cuts, and that impacts our services, services we Texans have become accustomed to.
Therefore, we suggest, in the future, when a politician proposes tax cuts, before we get excited, ask the simple question. Can we afford it?