The state of Texas is a gargantuan right-wing policy laboratory, spewing noxious governing ideas across the country just like our refineries pollute the air. We’ve had a Republican governor since 1995 and the Republicans have controlled the both houses of our state legislature for the past decade — and recently won a super-majority in the House.
These are tough times for state governments. Huge deficits loom almost everywhere, from California to New York, from New Jersey to Texas.
Wait — Texas? Wasn’t Texas supposed to be thriving even as the rest of America suffered? Didn’t its governor declare, during his re-election campaign, that “we have billions in surplus”? Yes, it was, and yes, he did. But reality has now intruded, in the form of a deficit expected to run as high as $25 billion over the next two years.
And that reality has implications for the nation as a whole. For Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting — the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending — has been implemented most completely. If the theory can’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere.
Krugman doesn’t mention that Perry balanced the budget in 2009 with $12 billion dollars of the Obama’s stimulus bill — while bragging about how awesome the state economy was and threatening to secede from the Union.
The whole “Texas Miracle” thing was a fraud — just like the Republican governance of the state.