By Vernie Glasson
Something is “bugging me,” and I wonder if anyone else gets “bugged” as I do? That is, too many activist groups and so-called think tanks get the media’s attention by being naysayers!
You know the type. They are mostly boisterous and, often times, just plain rude. They are regulars on TV and radio talk shows, contributors to newspaper editorial pages and Internet jockeys. They rant on everything from backrooms to boardrooms and bedrooms to emergency rooms. We’ve got them, right here in Texas.
The latest blast from the know-it-all crowd is condemnation of our Texas Legislature for the budget that just passed. Now, I support limited government, low taxes and restrained spending, just like the large majority of Texans. Whether we support all of our state’s government spending or not, much of it is necessary. We cannot simply wish it to go away or ignore the responsibilities cast upon state government.
With Texas growing by more than 1,000 people moving here from other states each and every day—365 days a year—our population growth places huge demands on education, indigent health care, public safety, prisons, roads and other necessities that must be paid for.
Fortunately, our Texas economy is strong, and our state leadership deserves huge credit for all that has been done to make it so. Governor Perry, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, House Speaker Straus and the hard-working members of the legislature have done what is necessary to make the state in excellent fiscal shape.
Texas’ strong economy is providing ample revenue for the state. This, coupled with an impressive reserve we call the “Rainy Day Fund,” allows for Texas to carefully and methodically fund critical areas to meet the needs of our citizens.
That is exactly what our state representatives and state senators just did during their regular 140-day session, which ended in May. The naysayers on the state budget fail to recognize that the legislature is comprised of 181 men and women, diverse in every way imaginable—representing an even more diverse Texas population of some 26 million people—all Texans by birth, by choice or by happenstance.
What “bugs me” is that there are way too many to quickly criticize and condemn political leaders when they honestly and openly work together to reach a compromise on important matters such as the budget. Instead, our Texas legislators and other state leaders should not only be complimented, but also commended for what they have done.
Vernie Glasson serves as executive director of the Texas Farm Bureau.