Today, Governor Rick Perry launches his latest political stunt: he’s calling on lawmakers and candidates to sign a pledge promising that they will continue failed Tea Party Republican budget policies.
Quite simply, Perry’s pledge says: we can’t spend the Rainy Day Fund to help struggling schools, we must starve the health care system at the expense of millions of uninsured and underinsured Texans and we must keep cutting spending, even though Texas already ranks last or near last in virtually every category of per-capita funding in the nation.
And in a Texas Tribune story previewing today’s stunt, Perry says this: “I think we’re at a unique time that we can reset the budgeting game in Texas.”
The budget is a moral document that demonstrates the fiscal responsibility, compassion and strategic thinking of those in government – or the lack thereof.
The budget is not a game.
It’s not a game to Carolyn, a woman I met last week in East Arlington, who is worried about her two grandchildren who have no health insurance. She told me they keep getting cut off of Medicaid, and she didn’t know why. The reason why, I explained, is that under the Perry Administration, kids are intentionally cut off of Medicaid every six months.
It’s not a game to the elementary school principal I met at church yesterday, who sees firsthand that increasing class sizes are having a very real and detrimental effect on the quality of children’s education.
And it’s not a game to the southeast Arlington woman who works for the state. She and other hard-working state employees are frustrated that as they go years without pay increases, Perry is double-dipping at our expense by collecting a pension and salary at the same time.
The budget is not a game – it has very real and direct consequences for each and every person who lives in the state of Texas.
Texans deserve a budget that honors our priorities and prepares for our future by investing in education, healthier families and infrastructure. Texans don’t deserve more budget gimmicks and trickery from Rick Perry and Tea Party Republicans.
If you agree, I hope you’ll help me win this race by contributing $100, $50, $25 or $10 today.