Monday, March 28, 2011

The SHO/Final Four Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance is ready for another sports-related tourist infusion as it brings you this week's blog roundup.

If the goal of the 81st Texas Legislature and Governor Rick Perry is to stifle job creation in Texas for the next two years, then Off the Kuff says they're knocking it out of the park.

Letters From Texas rolls its collective eyes about the word games played by the Republicans in charge as they announce their Senate subcommittee to find "non-tax revenue." Earth to Republicans: if we used to own it, but now the government owns it, it's a tax.

Musings looks ahead to 2021 in Connecting the Dots: Killing Education, Killing Unions, Funding the Tea Partiers. Give it a look. The videos are worth the price of admission by themselves!

WCNews at Eye On Williamson has something to say about the austerity budget: House Appropriations passes budget - tea party blamed for cuts.

In the latest post regarding the poll he's conducting on the mortgage interest tax deduction, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs explains why he has never owned a home.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme warns that Republicans are near their goal of killing public education for K-12 and at the university level.

Neil at Texas Liberal apologized for ever having voted for Houston city councilmember C.O. Bradford for any public office. Neil feels that voting for Mr. Bradford was one of the worst ballot box mistakes he has ever made.

refinish69 at Doing My Part for the Left is ever amazed by the stupidity of the Texas Lege. It is the gift that keeps on giving. Case in point is Rep. David Simpson's Don't Touch My Junk Bill.

This week, McBlogger takes a look at what austerity will do to Texas.

And PDiddie adds: as a type 2 diabetic for almost ten years, this was the most interesting thing I read in the past week.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Hundreds of thousands of job cuts" in Texas

The only question is how Rick Perry will attempt to blame President Obama for it.

Deep reductions in a House committee's budget proposal would cost Texas hundreds of thousands of jobs through the next two years, according to an analysis released Thursday.

"I've been trying to say this for over a year. I've been trying to say how our economy was bad, and how our shortfall was going to be affecting Texas, and nobody seemed to believe me. But I think reality is probably setting in on that," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie. "I really didn't realize the extent of the total employment. It's pretty shocking."

"How about if we blame it on the Great Collapse of 2008?"

The Legislative Budget Board's "dynamic economic impact" analysis of the Appropriations-approved budget proposal predicts 271,746 fewer jobs in 2012, and 335,244 fewer in 2013, compared to what total employment would be if revenues and spending remained stable. That includes government and private-sector jobs.

The analysis cautions that the estimate "does not imply the state will lose that many jobs from our current employment level upon enactment" of House Bill 1, as approved by the Appropriations Committee this week.

Instead, it shows Texas would have fewer jobs compared to a scenario in which state spending remained constant relative to the current budget.
Bad economy blamed

"Since available revenue for the 2012-13 biennium is predicted to fall well below that amount, in large part due to the national economic recession, many of these job losses can be attributed to the steep downturn of the Texas economy during the past several years," the LBB analysis said.

"But I thought Rick Perry said Texas was doing great. Back during the campaign season. How about if we say it just won't be that bad, like Dewhurst has been saying?"

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said the state needs to address the structural budget deficit caused by the 2006 school finance plan, but disputed the LBB's job loss estimates.

"We have a trillion-dollar economy in Texas. There's 9.5 million people employed in Texas. I don't think by any stretch of the imagination the budget that we pass is going to cost many - it may result in hundreds of job losses, but I would really doubt if it would be thousands," he said. "Most economic analysts would say that if you raise taxes to increase government spending, you'll cost jobs."

Travis Tullos, regional economist with Austin-based consulting firm TXP, described the LBB's prediction as a "worst-case scenario, generally speaking."

"If you were to increase taxes sufficient to cover that deficit - whatever that ends up being - that would be more deleterious to the economy than going ahead with a more conservative budget," Tullos said.

Vertigo-inducing spin. My question: how's that voting-a-straight-Republican-ticket-for-the-past-sixteen-years thing workin' out for ya?