Gov. Good Hair is asking agencies for a 5% cut out of his ostensibly ‘balanced budget.’ I wonder if he could reimburse us for the rent on his Westlake mansion as a good start.
In total, Perry’s initial request for proposal produced plans for reductions $1.7 billion in approved spending from all state agencies over the current biennium. Today’s announcement via the Legislative Budget Board cuts that to $1.25 billion, which is still no small chunk of change. Such cuts probably hurt basic service provision in Texas more than they would in many other states because (as is so well and widely reported) such services have been cut to the bone as is.
House Legislative Caucus Leader Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, was quick to point out that if the state had taken steps to receive up to $700 million in Race to the Top dollars and $500 million in unemployment insurance cash, then things might not be so bleak. The caveat that he doesn’t mention is that these would be dedicated dollars for specific projects, but, still, $1.2 billion is nothing to sneeze at, even in the best of times. Dunnam said, “Accepting the Federal unemployment insurance and education dollars would only have affected Perry’s false image as a Washington outsider (never mind the $16 billion in Federal Stimulus funds Perry and the Republican legislature used to balance the current state budget).”
I really don’t understand how he’s still ahead in the polls.