Texas’s Brilliant Plan to Cut Medicaid for Disabled Children

Should kids really lose therapy services to help pay for property tax relief?

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The Texas Legislature, as established by the constitution, is both evidence of the state’s historical commitment to limited government and a bulwark against a more interventionist state. Regular legislative sessions last just 140 days every other year. An inevitable result of this system is that every session, for good or for ill, a lot of legislation is killed. But as Dan Patrick announced in January, shortly after being sworn in as lieutenant governor, it’s “a new day” in Texas. And a curious backlash that has emerged over the past few weeks illustrates the converse possibility: sometimes a bill, being hurried along the path, will survive the passage without being fully considered until after the fact.

A provision in the two-year state budget for the forthcoming biennium illustrates the potential pitfalls of that situation. Last month Emily DePrang, of Quorum Report, reported that advocates for children’s health were becoming alarmed about a provision calling for severe cuts to the Texas Medicaid Acute Care Therapy Program. The budget calls for about $400 million worth of cuts to the program (which is, like other Medicaid programs, funded by state and federal dollars). Put differently, as DePrang explained, here’s what that means:

As written, they’ll slash by 25 to 90 percent what Texas pays for medically necessary physical, occupational and speech therapy through the Texas Medicaid Acute Care Therapy Program, which serves about 440,000 poor people with severe disabilities each year, most of them children. Advocates say at least 7,500 therapists will lose their jobs and 60,000 children will lose access to medical care because of the cuts. [The Texas Health and Human Services Commission] can’t refute these claims because it conducted no research in potential impact before announcing the new rates on July 8th.

Shortly thereafter, a group of home health care advocates, joined by families of children with disabilities, filed suit against HHSC. The lawsuit asked the judge to order the state to delay implementing the cuts, which were originally scheduled to take effect September 1st. The suit has now been withdrawn, pending a hearing on the subject tomorrow at HHSC. Since then, more than 60 Democrats have called on the agency to proceed with caution, if at all.

What’s striking is that a number of Republicans have done the same. As of August 20th, half a dozen Republicans had sent letters of concern to HHSC Commissioner Chris Traylor, asking him to hold off on implementing those changes until the probable effects could be assessed. Joe Straus, the Speaker of the House, said the same in a Facebook post on September 10: “I expect the Commission to keep us in compliance with federal law as it works through a new proposal. I also believe it is the agency’s responsibility to inform the Legislature if the proposed reductions would harm access to care and network adequacy.” And last week, Robert Garrett, of the Dallas Morning News, reported that Representative John Otto and Senator Jane Nelson–the chairs of House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees respectively—have sent their own letters to Traylor, insisting that the cuts be implemented only if access to care is preserved, and if the state remains on the right side of federal law.

In general, I’m no friend of Medicaid, and I was cynical about the backlash at first: if legislators didn’t want to cut therapy for poor disabled children, they shouldn’t have voted for a budget that does exactly that. Still, there’s something suspicious going on here. The stated explanation for the cuts, per HHSC, is that the current payment rates in Texas, for home health care aides and outpatient rehab facilities are too high compared to national norms. The agency has provided some data to that effect, which shows that in 2013 Texas’s published payment rates were higher than those in four other states: Florida, California, Minnesota, and Arizona. For all I know it may be true that Texas has an inefficient approach to this particular program, but the data on offer doesn’t convince me of that. Two of the four states in the comparison are prima facie flawed examples: Florida was sued in 2011 for skimping on its Medicaid payments, and California’s 2013-14 budget represents Governor Jerry Brown’s effort to put the state on sounder fiscal footing, meaning that it included serious spending cuts compared to previous budget cycles.

Plus, a look back at the session makes it clear that the stated explanation is nothing more than an ex post facto rationalization.

On April 1, the House passed its biennial budget bill, which came in at $209.8 billion, and included $62.9 billion for Medicaid. On April 14, the Senate passed its version of the budget, which was bigger, at $211.4 billion overall, but included $800 million less for Medicaid. On May 29th, after House and Senate budget conferees hashed out their differences, both chambers passed the final budget, which authorized $209.4 billion in spending for the 2016-17 fiscal biennium. Of that, $61.2 billion was appropriated for Medicaid–less than either chamber had sought in their respective budgets.

There was a widespread impression, at the time, that the House had gotten rolled in the conference committee. “On most of the high-profile disputes, the Senate won out,” wrote Aman Batheja at the Texas Tribune, pointing out that the Senate had prevailed on the inclusion of property tax relief, and that the House had lost its bids for more funding for Medicaid and schools.

That impression was fairly common among the representatives themselves. They had obviously been happy with the House’s version of the budget, which passed on a 141-5 vote. And even at the time, a number of my sources expressed qualms about the Senate’s plans. School funding was the biggest area of concern for House Democrats and Republicans, including some very conservative Republicans, who warned that if the Lege didn’t provide enough funding for schools, the courts would. But the Senate’s proposed Medicaid cuts were also contentious. On April 22, for example representatives Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, and Bryan Hughes, a Republican, spoke at a rally at the Capitol, where they warned that the Senate’s proposed budget would necessitate severe cuts to Medicaid therapy services. When the conference committee budget came back to the House floor for final passage, John Zerwas and Dan Huberty, both Republicans, flagged concerns about the cuts now in question.

As I saw it, though, the cuts to schools and Medicaid were inevitable. The Senate budget was bigger largely because Senate’s budget writers had, at the behest of the lieutenant governor, included a couple billion dollars for property tax relief and tacked several hundred million dollars onto the House’s border security plan. Patrick had made campaign promises about both of those priorities, and he was stubbornly unwilling to compromise on either. With Governor Greg Abbott keeping his own counsel, the best the House could do was damage control:

Based on Dennis Bonnen’s anhedonic layout last night, and the skeptical questions offered by both Republicans and Democrats at the back mic, I gather the House isn’t thrilled about this minor and ephemeral “relief” either. But in the absence of intervention from Greg Abbott (the governor), all the House could really do was what it did. Using his sales tax cuts as leverage in the negotiations, Bonnen was able to talk the biennial cost of the plan down by about a billion dollars, and he flatly refused the Senate’s scheme to exempt property tax relief from counting against the spending cap. The Senate nonetheless got a hefty property tax relief plan, worth about $1.3bn this biennium. That explains the House’s other two losses: to stay under the spending cap (with a little bit of breathing room), the conferees gave up about $700m for public education, about $500m for Medicaid, and a few bits and pieces here and there.

A primer, for any legislators who still don’t realize how things work here: contrary to what you might hear in some right-wing circles, Texas is a fiscally disciplined state. The economic and population growth we have experienced over the past thirty years have translated as proportionate growth in the state’s revenue collections and biennial spending. Meanwhile, we continue to maintain one of the lowest rates of state spending per capita in the country, as well as one of the lowest average tax burdens per capita. With more five million children enrolled in Texas public schools, education is the biggest area of state biennial spending. Medicaid is the second biggest. Everything else has been pretty well whittled to the bone already, so we can provide for schools and Medicaid.

In other words, if a feckless lieutenant governor insists that the Senate bring him a budget including more than a billion dollars for a poorly conceived campaign promise, and the Senate Finance chair rubber-stamps the idea, and the governor doesn’t tell either to take a long walk off a short pier, then Texas is going to get serious cuts to schools or Medicaid or both.

Since Texas’s Medicaid spending eats up about a third of the total budget, I’m not sure why the Senate decided to focus cuts on the relatively small program that provides life-saving therapy to disabled children. Several of the conferees should be able to explain. Charles Schwertner, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, led the conference negotiations on health care spending; in a statement, his office described the cuts as “a reasonable compromise,” but provided no further explanation of why that would be the case. Lois Kolkhorst, who took an interest in the Medicaid Acute Care Therapy program as chair of the House Public Health prior to winning a Senate seat last year, was also a member of the conference committee; she hasn’t defended the cuts either.

And Nelson, of course, was the Senate’s chief budget writer: her newfound concerns, as expressed in her letter to Traylor, are telling. HHSC should, she informs Traylor, “follow the Legislature’s clear written instructions and intent that adjustments to Medicaid therapy rates proceed in a manner that preserves access to these important services.”

As it stands, in other words, every legislator other than Schwertner who has weighed in publicly on the cuts has been opposed to them. That includes Nelson, who led the Senate’s effort to pass a budget consistent with Patrick’s stated preferences, even though it was perfectly clear that the children of Texas would be pay the price.

Otto, by contrast, is on sound footing when he notes, in his letter to Traylor, that “access to care has always been a priority to the Texas House;” as Appropriations chair, the budget he brought to the conference committee didn’t include these cuts. Nelson, though? The budget, thanks to the Senate, provides clear written instructions directing HHSC to make the cuts. She can hardly blame Traylor for implementing the budget bill she authored. Traylor wasn’t even named commissioner of HHSC until June 5th, after the session ended.

This is a pretty sloppy way to run a major state, clearly. Still, we shouldn’t make poor disabled children pay the price for political exigency. HHSC should hold off on implementing the cuts as planned. And if it doesn’t, the federal government, via the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, should intervene, as US Representatives Joaquin Castro and Gene Green, along with nine other Democrats in Texas’s Congressional delegation requested in a letter to CMS this weekend.

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  • Rules of Blazon

    So the Republicans tried to sweep their dirt under the rug, the Democrats caught them and called them out, and now the Republicans are scrambling.

    Thank goodness we have Democrats who actually care about Texans. Too bad they’re not yet in charge, and until they are, we’ll be treated to more of this nonsense.

  • I believe this answers my question to Erica “Carly or Hillary?”

    • Erica Grieder

      are they my only two options?

      • WUSRPH

        Several plans were presented to the Legislature for “a Texas plan” that would have extended care outside the ACA. Stuart Greenfield had one…but no one was interested. Perhaps someday I will explain to you the real function of the Legislature and you will understand that it is not its job to worry about these things and these kinds of people.

        • You thought she was addressing you……hahaha

          • WUSRPH

            No…I just ignore you as much as possible.

          • no you egotistical old blowhard you thought she needed to be reminded how smart you were….priceless

          • Ron Kabele

            “Egotistical old blowhard”. Brian warned all of us against personal attacks.

          • I’m called names here daily by the egotistical old blowhard, unlike the immature it doesn’t bother me. Ron how old are you?

        • Indiana Pearl

          So Perry closed many PP clinics while promising to replace the missing care to the poor. Not!

          Estimated 20,000 more unwanted pregnancies/year. Who pays?

          • WUSRPH

            Primarily the local property tax payers but it is hidden in their bills so they do not know it.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Sort of like slowly boiling a frog . . .

          • txlakedude

            These people want coat-hanger abortions, so the can thrown our Doctors in jail, to reduce our medical freedoms, and control their greed towards the Citizens of Texas.

        • txlakedude

          TheTexas Republicans have done a great job of, ruining our transportation systems, keeping people poor, attacking science, hurting children and women’s rights, and reducing, Voting Rights.
          Ain’t Texas now a great place to live and suffer now?

  • Indiana Pearl

    Texas refused to accept the Medicaid expansion associated with the ACA. Self-inflicted wounds are the most painful.

    • WUSRPH

      Thanks to the ACA (and people like you who helped sign people up) Texas now has dropped below the 20% figure for the percentage of working people without health insurance. However, we still lead the nation in both the percentage with no coverage and the actual number of people left unprotected. The Texas Miracle in action once more.

  • Indiana Pearl

    @Ms. Grieder: “The poor are ever with us.” Since you are no friend of Medicaid, how would you propose to care for them?

    • Erica Grieder

      Schools

      • biff

        And how are the schools paying for it? Despite cutting everything else to the bone as you say, the local district here still had a $1 million shortfall not covered by the state.

        • WUSRPH

          Oh that is easy…..just listen to the Troll and cut out all the waste, fraud, theft, unnecessary services and duplication and you will have billions left over…….It is magic….

      • donuthin2

        That is a pretty flippant response

        • Jed

          and one that ignores the lack of funding in that area, as well.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Raise taxes.

        • Jed

          replace sales tax and at least some of the property taxes with state income tax. this is so obvious it is tragic.

          • txlakedude

            Save $800 million, on reducing border expenses. Understand most agents just write traffic tickets and hang out. Very few coming across the border.
            Mexico growing middle class is bettering Mexico.
            And Texas, stop the shipments of arms, weapons across the border.

      • Rafer

        “Schools.”

        Now that’s some anhedonic analysis.

        • Jed

          did you get that word out of the erica grieder “big book of fancy words that aren’t quite appropriate for use in context”?

      • Erica, schools are used to indoctrinate not educate ask any dem.

        • txlakedude

          Less science, less education, more distorted fundamentalist dogma.

    • WUSRPH

      In that regard, I really enjoyed the lead an the editorial in the Beaumont Enterprise that said Rick Perry’s use of that verse of scripture was like the “the way a drunk uses a lamppost– for support, not illumination.”

  • Jed

    “In other words, if a feckless lieutenant governor insists that the Senate bring him a budget including more than a billion dollars for a poorly conceived campaign promise, and the Senate Finance chair rubber-stamps the idea, and the governor doesn’t tell either to take a long walk off a short pier, then Texas is going to get serious cuts to schools or Medicaid or both.”

    and: “Nelson, who led the Senate’s effort to pass a budget consistent with Patrick’s stated preferences, even though it was perfectly clear that the children of Texas would be pay the price.”

    IIRC, you endorsed the Senate budget at the time. so when did you start worrying about the children? “something suspicious going on here,” indeed. can we get: a) political news, or (b) political commentary, or (c) both, but without (d) rambling revisionist narratives that try to explain away your own previous writings? turns out, boostering republican doofuses has a downside. own it.

    oh, and i just noticed this: “as well as one of the lowest average tax burdens per capita.”

    does this (fact widely known and previously discussed in this comment section) mean we don’t have to hear any more about how we need property tax relief now, now, now?

    • Erica Grieder

      Uh, I certainly did NOT endorse the Senate budget. Check your facts before you get all high horsey over a flatly wrong premise, son.

      • Jed

        you’re right, my mistake.

        but if you’re going to build an entire career on the idea that government should be smaller, you don’t get a total pass when it turns out that shrinking government means cutting things.

        ps – i’m going to overlook the “son” comment, since you aren’t male and, i think, didn’t grow up in texas (?). any male from texas knows that calling someone “son” who isn’t actually your son usually precipitates a violent response.

        • Erica Grieder

          Sorry to burst your bubble, Jed, but I’m not actually intimidated by self-important bluster from someone who uses his necessarily limited time on this earth to clamber up on the soapbox and attack people based on his inaccurate and invidious assumptions about them.

          • Jed

            well i already admitted my mistake.

            which is more than you seem capable of.

          • Erica Grieder

            I’m sure it seems that way to you, Jed, but that doesn’t tell us much, frankly.

          • Jed

            well at least my nonsense isn’t costing anybody anything.

          • wow….luv it. We need more tough love for the victims here.

        • Rules of Blazon

          ..and your little dog, too!

    • WUSRPH

      As to whether we “need” property tax relief….Need and want are not always the same….but perception is always more important than reality.

  • matthewemal

    Renee Davis, Executive Director of Houston’s Center for Hearing and Speech (a United Way Agency) will testify at today’s hearing that cuts to their speech therapy program will force many of the children with hearing loss they serve to leave their school and enroll in special education at a public school. The result? A BIG INCREASE IN STATE SPENDING.

  • donuthin2

    Are these the same guys who complain so much about ACA being passed without a chance to know what was in the proposed bill?

  • “With more five million children enrolled in Texas public schools, education is the biggest area of state biennial spending.”
    huh…..how many of Mexico’s chillern are we gonna educate?

    I know dems need voters but is the only way for dems to recruit is with entitlements paid for with tax dollars?

  • WUSRPH

    Tells you where their priorities are doesn’t it?
    But then God does not do those things to the children of “worthwhile people”.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Why don’t we raise taxes on the 1%?

  • John Johnson

    That $220 or so that the average Texan is suppose to be able to hold onto after the “Big Tax Cut” won’t come close to even covering water rate increases. The whole tax cut thing was just political posturing.

    The poorest among us need our help. That includes citizens and illegals alike. If we let them in and let them stay, then it is on us to provide for their well being. A starving baby is a starving baby. A special needs child is a special needs child.

    How can any state budget exclude money for these kids while pumping it into so many other questionable rat holes?

    How can Repub conservatives yell, punch, fight and scream for Right to Life only to then allow a child to wallow in poverty without proper food, clothing, housing or special needs care? I just don’t get it.

    I repeat…I am all for closing the borders and changing the Constitution so pregnant women are not rewarded with a citizenship and perpetual care for their child after breaking the law….but once here with the Fed and Texas governments’ blessings (and they are regardless of what we are told) their care is on us.

    • As a businessman you know that cutting expenses adds up

      A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.
      Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/everett_dirksen.html#S1ucqjhTAbG4z7x2.99

      as opposed to “if we just raised taxes and spent more everything would be unicorns farting rainbows.”

    • WUSRPH

      P.S. Please specify the “rat holes” into which the budget pumps so much money. More generalizations without specifics….

      • John Johnson

        Special events fund??? Perry’s slush fund??? The DPS border buildup??? I’m sure there are others.

        • WUSRPH

          But you are all for “closing the border”…just not for paying for it?

          • dave in texas

            In fairness, securing the border is not the job of the DPS; that’s a federal responsibility. One on which the federal government has doubled its efforts in the last several years, by the way.

          • John Johnson

            Thank you. He knows this. He is just being obtuse. His hatred of me makes him take up opposing positions he normally wouldn’t take. Notice this?

          • WUSRPH

            Please stop this “hatred of me” BS. I do not, nor have I ever hated you……wondered about how you can think some things, yes, but hated no……

          • John Johnson

            Well that settles that. I feel so much better now.

          • John Johnson

            I grow weary of this. By law, who is responsible for our border with Mexico? Who should be paying to secure it and enforce the Federal laws? You know the answer so why do you waste my time asking. I have other things to do.

          • WUSRPH

            So we just stand by and watch? I totally disagree with Me&Dan and company about the border situation and I think a lot of what they say and do is pure demagoguery;.but, if one gives them the benefit of the doubt, at leas they are willing to spend money to do what they say needs to be done rather than just pass the buck to Washington.

          • John Johnson

            Now you are just arguing for the sake of arguing. Are we spending money to cover Fed shortcomings that could be going to needy kids? The answer is “yes”. Stop it.

          • Unwound

            “Now you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.”

            pot meet kettle

          • John Johnson

            Thanks for your 2 cents. Your feelings are important to me.

          • Unwound

            im glad to hear that.

          • Unwound

            “Are we spending money to cover Fed shortcomings that could be going to needy kids? The answer is “yes”.”

            honest question- do you really think that if we werent spending money on DPS for the border, that the lege would want to spend it on said children in question? or do you think its more likely that they would be angling for more “relief”?

          • Jed

            the border is done closed.

            thanks obama.

          • WUSRPH

            I agree it is under much better control than probably at any time in our history. That, plus economic conditions have kept the number of illegals either level or have actually reduced it……but the demagogues have raised so much stink about it and exaggerated the reality of the impact that it is impossible to convince probably a majority of the people of those facts. (“where there is smoke….). This may make some politicians feel they have to show they are fighting the evil by taking real action. That is what happened here.

        • WUSRPH

          Those three programs represent less than 2% of the budget at the max Go do your homework.

          • John Johnson

            You go do it. You asked for examples of rat holes; I gave you a few. It will give you something to do this afternoon.

          • WUSRPH

            It is always easier to make “generalizations” than to cite specifics…That way you do not have to even pretend to be correct.

          • John Johnson

            I said we were throwing money down rat holes. Are we or not? Was my statement wrong? A lie? Go away.

          • WUSRPH

            The problem is that your “rate hole” is someone else’s “vital public necessity”. Each of these programs serves a purpose…..Two of them help bring more jobs or business to Texas and support the economy. The third—by keeping illegals out—in theory keeps state costs from rising. (Your 60,000 kids at $8,000 each for example.) As such, all of them can be justified by some. I do not support any of them…..especially the special events fund….but you are making a judgment others do not share. In a representational system, if they get the votes they get the program….

          • John Johnson

            Blah, blah, blah…it is never ending. “Yeah, but” after “yeah, but”. You wear me out. I give! I surrender! Just stop it!

        • Jed

          jerry patterson’s bonus pool?
          wallace hall’s wetland fracking preserves?

          for once, i agree with you. the government is lavishing way too much money on republicans.

    • dave in texas

      I don’t agree with all of this, specifically the part about amending the constitution, but this

      The poorest among us need our help. That includes citizens and illegals alike. If we let them in and let them stay, then it is on us to provide for their well being. A starving baby is a starving baby. A special needs child is a special needs child.

      and this

      How can Repub conservatives yell, punch, fight and scream for Right to Life only to then allow a child to wallow in poverty without proper food, clothing, housing or special needs care? I just don’t get it.

      are spot on. Well said.

      • WUSRPH

        Well, I guess it is finally time to tell the secret…to explain “the purpose of the legislature (and govt. in general)” so that you bleeding hearts will stop giving away all my wealth to the 47%ers. Based on my more than35 years in and around the Capitol Bldg. I can tell you that:

        First, the purpose of the Legislature (and government) is to reward the worthwhile. To show them how much we appreciate what they do for us by giving them tax cuts, special treatments and programs they desire in order to further encourage them to stay “worthwhile”.

        Second, the purpose of the Legislature is to punish the non-worthwhile for their non-worthwhileness and the unjustified demands they try to put on the worthwhile.As such, the Legislature should limit whatever it does for the non-worthwhile to only that sufficient to keep them from revolting and causing problems for the worthwhile (Bread and circuses, anyone?)

        When you understand this, you understand that, for example:

        * There is no need to improve our public schools because worthwhile people do not live in poor schools districts. And, if they do, they either move or send their children to private schools.

        * There is no need to adequately fund mental health care and care for the retarded (see we can use that word) because God does not do that to worthwhile people.

        * There is no need for adequate birth control or abortion programs, because worthwhile people do not need those services as pregnancy is one of the punishments for the non-worthwhiles’ sins.

        * There is no need to guarantee or provide adequate health care because, again, God does not do that to worthwhile people and we know that because, if the need arises, it is clear that the person was non-worthwhile from the very beginning and just “passing” as worthwhile.

        Thus, the way to tell who is “worthwhile” and who is not, is to see how God treats them in this world. If you are worthwhile, he treats you great. If not, watch out!

        Now that you understand the true purpose of government, you can stop worrying about all that trivia.

        • John Johnson

          Wow…that’s what you were part of all those years while working for the most powerful man in Texas at the time? No wonder you show all the tendencies of having a terrible complex. Seek help.

          • WUSRPH

            I worked for Bullock because, despite all this faults, he DID something about each of those problems and more. Never enough…but something and usually all that could be done at the time. Unlike the current “leadership” that is much closer to believing “to reward the worthwhile” than any of those in power while I worked with them.

          • John Johnson

            Overall, I think your take is right on the mark…with a few exceptions. I would add that the middle class is getting it stuck to them, too. This government stuff is all about votes acquired, or held by, money, and the influence accompanying it. The Big’s have the money; they get what they want.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Your “plan” is called Calvinism. “Ye shall know the elect because they are rich.”

      • donuthin2

        agree

    • Indiana Pearl

      I agree with everything except ending birth right citizenship. It makes America great and more stable than other countries with large immigrant populations. This is OUR heritage.

      • John Johnson

        I think you miss the point. We should not award law breakers with a massive reward. You are here on a visa, have a child, welcome aboard…you break the law, no reward.

        • Indiana Pearl

          I disagree. So what else is new? You’re much more of a law-and-order person than I am.

          • Jed

            but your position is the one consistent with the law.

    • Lisa Howell-Lucas

      Amen!!

    • Lisa Howell-Lucas

      Amen!

  • WUSRPH

    Things can get done fairly quickly in the closing days, especially on a budget conference, but I know the LBB well enough to know that it warned them about what would happen….Maybe not to the dollar or the full extent of the impact, but it at least told the conferees: “if you do this it is going to result in substantial cuts to this program..” But that was okay to the conferees under the circumstances. It was necessary to make the bill balance and, if the situation got to hot afterwards they figured that could fall back on interim budget execution and tap some of the unspent surplus….which, I predict, is just what is going to happen.

    • WUSRPH

      P.S. And when Nelson comes up with the great idea of using interim budget authority to solve the problem everyone will proclaim how smart she is…….

  • Why are people moving to Texas? To get away from muni governments run by liberals.

    “Greg Bruen has had enough. This Morristown resident is selling his house and moving out. He’s even painting signs and displaying them on his lawn to tell the world why.

    Illegal immigrants are living 30 to a house in his neighborhood.”

    Liberals who truly believe “if we just raised taxes everything would be fine” say he is just a racist.

    “Part of his frustration, he says, is that he’s paying $10K a year in property taxes and he’s done either way, and will be heading down south to Georgia.”

    http://www.my9nj.com/chasing-news/20908463-story

    Is he a racist for wanting the local officials to enforce laws? Is he a racist for wanting the same treatment as illegals? Is he a racist for refusing to allow liberals to buy votes with his tax dollars?

    • Rules of Blazon

      Morristown, NJ – the subject of your article – is represented by a Republican Congressman, a Republican State Senator, two Republican State Assemblymen (and a Republican Governor and Lt. Governor).

      • WUSRPH

        But it is all Obama’s fault.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Didn’t Obama cause bubonic plague in the middle ages?

          • WUSRPH

            No…That was Clinton…..but Obama is responsible for malaria.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Maybe red tides . . .

      • Are you trying to say New Jersey is a red state? cause it ain’t.

        • WUSRPH

          And the guy is not moving to Texas…..He’s going to Georgia…..

          • Why do you have to have everything explained to you. Aren’t you capable of an abstract thought?

          • WUSRPH

            As is clear to everyone but you, the closest you come to being capable of “abstract thought” is the resemblance between your thoughts and an abstract painting. Both display a total lack of any reality.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Why no state income tax in Texas? Property taxes are rising at an accelerated pace. Sales taxes are regressive and harm the poorest.

    Is it ideological? Some good reason?

    • José

      No good reasons. Only good explanations.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Or just “explanations”?

      • Jed

        plenty of good reasons. all of them have pictures of presidents on them, and they travel between the coffers of the handful of texans who would actually have to pay more under an income tax and the coffers of those who “represent” them.

        also, too, because no one in a position of influence (cough, texas monthly) will make the obvious case.

        • Indiana Pearl

          So just another way to reward the oligarchs?

          • Jed

            well yeah. what else is there in an oligarchy?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Lap dances . . .

          • WUSRPH

            Of course, there are also kinds of “economic arguments” against it……takes money out of the system that could otherwise be used to produce jobs, etc. Makes us less attractive to business investment….will only encourage the growth of government…..but in the end it wins up being that the powers that be have yelled “evil income tax” so much that they have the voters convinced that it is the coming of the devil himself.

            Of course, that would not be the case in Texas since the constitution requires that two-thirds of the revenues must be used for property tax reduction and any remainder for public education. The effect would be to reduce the total taxes paid by about 85% or more of the population, but, as is always the case, perception is more important than reality.

            At one point Bullock talked to the business community about them making the case…they were receptive because they knew that their property taxes would be reduced…but nothing came out of it at the end.

          • Indiana Pearl
          • lemmeseee dems ran the state for over 100 years and they didn’t saee the need to have an income tax. Now the liberals are fleeing other states with an income tax by the thousands and they think Tx needs an income tax?
            Yep thats some real abstract thinking……hahaha

          • WUSRPH

            I might note that California is twice as big as Texas and still growing…and that the largest number of people from any one state who are moving there are Texans…

        • WUSRPH

          No Hamiltons or Franklins…?

      • Jobs are not only a good reason its also not 3 letter word but hay what do dems know?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmoUPtJpEjs

    • Erica Grieder

      Ms Pearl, as a historical matter Texas has no state income tax because the state constitution forbids it. We can of course amend the state constitution–we’ve done so hundreds of times since it was adopted, in 1876–but putting any such proposition on the ballot requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate (followed by a majority of voters approving it). In a fiscally conservative state that’s a dauntingly heavy lift. Even today, you rarely hear Democratic officials talk about a statewide income tax, much less advocate for it.

      • WUSRPH

        That constitutional ban was added—-pushed thru is a better word—by Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock in 1993 after he had disastrously mishandled an effort to pass an income tax in the prior session in 1991. (The story of that mess up is one worth telling some day)..

        The Constitution does not actually prohibit an income tax. It just makes it hard to have one since the public would have to approve any income tax law the Legislature might adopt in a statewide election. Plus it dedicates the revenues—two-thirds to property tax relief, the rest to public education.

        It is not clear whether Bullock adopted it in the hope that it would ultimately make it possible to adopt an income tax or whether he did so because some campaign advisors had told him he was in real trouble for having advocated it in the first place. But, the result is that we can theoretically have one…but it is very, very difficult to get it implemented.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Irrespective of whether it’s a good idea? Whew!

        • I suspect Bullock was saving his azz…..

      • José

        All good explanations for why a state income tax won’t happen any time soon.
        But none of those are good reasons against it.

        • WUSRPH

          There are no “good” reasons against it….but just because something is a good idea economically and socially does not mean it is going to be adopted.

          • José

            Clearly. Still I would dearly love to have an honest discussion on the merits. Maybe there are a few Texans with enough sense and open mindedness to stop and notice that there’s a reason why practically every other state–blue, red, purple–has one.
            If the state government could brag about how it handles its responsibilities fully and fairly with the current revenue system, great. But they can’t.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I noticed Indiana is in the Terrible 10, although it has a state imcome tax.

          • WUSRPH

            Bullock tried to get that discussion started back in 1991 with both a special committee that studied the tax system and an effort to get business/education/labor and others involved in an educational campaign…But then he screwed up by announcing his support long before the preliminary work had been done. Why? Nobody really knows…I asked him directly one time and got a less than helpful answer.

            He used to say Texas would adopt an income tax when the roads were full of holes, the prison doors were open and the schools were closed…..We have come close to all there several times but apparently things have not gotten bad enough.

            In fact, the only time we probably had a real chance at an income tax was in 1969 when the sales tax was still new and resisted. The Senate probably had almost the votes required and a push by the leaders could have gotten it thru…but that never came.

            There could be real pressure for major increases in revenue if the Texas Supreme Court upholds any significant portion of the Dietz decision…but I still do not see an income tax passing either the House or Senate.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I always tell my midwestern friends that living in Texas is like living in a foreign country where the natives are friendly, the food is good, and they speak a foreign language (Hi, y’all!)

          • WUSRPH

            Most languages have a singular and plural “you” which are used when you are speaking to one person or two or more, respectively. .In some areas of the North they use “youse” for that purpose as in “youse guys”. “y’all” is just our version of the plural you.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Tu” or “vous,” as the French say . . .

            I had a college boyfriend from LA who explained it all to me. Makes good sense . . .

          • José

            Folks from Louisiana seem to spell it “yawl”. (It’s a shame that we didn’t secure THAT border.)

          • Jed

            y’all is both singular and plural.

            it’s all in the inflection.

          • donuthin2

            I always wondered why Bullock reacted the way he did making it almost impossible to ever enact a state income tax. I always thought he was just ____ed. I was an officer in a business association at the time which commissioned a study of the best option for the businesses involved comparing state income tax, property tax or sales tax. The study showed overwhelmingly that the members would generally be better off with the income tax. No way would the membership support it. It was poison to bring it up as if it might be worth considering.

          • WUSRPH

            I have talked to many BB-exs who were there at the time. None of us has any real answer. He blew up the whole program we had been working on to gradually develop support for the idea by going to lunch at the governor’s mansion with the governor (Richards) and the speaker (Gib Lewis) where all three were asked what they thought the state should do to raise new needed revenues.

            Lewis and Richards, of course, ducked the question but Bullock blurted out “I think we should adopt an income tax.” BOOOM! The world fell in on us.

            Sometime later as we were all digging out from the wreckage of the plan to gradually “educate” the public, I asked him why he had done that. His answer was, “Because it was the right thing to do.” My feeling, of course, is that it may have been the right thing to do but obviously it was the wrong time and place.

            The next session he pushed through the current constitutional provision….which I, among others, had thought was to be part and parcel of also passing a bill creating an income tax…but he did it without the income tax bill. The result was that many, like you, believe that he probably made it impossible for there ever to be one.

          • dave in texas

            I was never a particularly big fan of Elliot Shapleigh as a senator, but he had a presentation that he’d give on the merits of a state income tax that was great. Concise, didn’t have a ton of jargon, and made it hard to see why it hadn’t already been adopted.

          • you think you could figure it out on your on why dems can’t win in Tx

      • Indiana Pearl

        I understand that the state constitution forbids it. I don’t understand the historical impetus.

        The “Terrible 10” with respect to regressive tax policies – Texas makes the list:

        http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/state-with-no-income-tax-better-or-worse-1.aspx

        • WUSRPH

          It makes little sense but it goes about like this:

          We have never had an income tax.
          Look how good we are going.
          Therefore, It must be because we do not have an income tax.

          Of course, that overlooks states that are doing as well or better that have income taxes but that would be “perspective” and we know how some folks do not care for that.

          P.S. We have yet to really come up against a real imperative. So far we have been able to slip by those bad periods with some cuts and rely on the sales tax to cover our needs. What will happen when that happens….More sales taxes, of course.

          You read with donuthin2 said about the study for his trade group that clearly said they would do best with an income tax….that they refused to even consider. That situation has not changed. When the property tax really, really becomes burdensome, maybe then some people will take a look at Art. VIII, Sec. 24 and have a Eureka! moment….but that is some way off yet.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Maybe Texas has dodged the bullet because there are no elephants here.

      • Jed

        the voters pass virtually any constitutional amendment that makes the ballot. want to get rid of the state department of pelts and hides (or whatever is was called)? constitutional amendment. think angelo state university should be funded under the texas tech system instead of the texas state system? constitutional amendment.

        the initial problem, as you suggest, is the need to get it out of the legislature first. but while the 2/3 requirement is daunting, even a 50%+1 requirement would be impossible to achieve. and why is that? the real point: the *reason* for that difficulty is ignorance on the part of the voters, not ideology. because a *state income tax would lower the tax burden on almost all texans.* would that not be consistent with the texas ideology you so fondly and frequently invoke?

        so the question becomes *why* are the voters ignorant? could it be in part because there are interests in texas that want to keep them that way? (note how i used the TM technique of employing a question mark for something that is not a question.) could it also be because the institutions that should be dispelling this ignorance are too busy lovingly quoting ideological arguments and obfuscating the truth instead of informing the public?

        you want low taxes? then you should *support* a state income tax. you seem to like low taxes, erica. why didn’t you mention any of this in your own comment? it would have furthered your ideology …

        you think i am wasting my time here? at least what i say is internally consistent and i am providing information that would actually help the people of texas. even if i am not getting paid to do so.

        you should try it. any of it.

  • WUSRPH

    Have you seen in the QR where Gov. Abbott is refusing to release his communications with the agency in which he told them what he wanted them to do? Rumor is that he told them to follow the rider as written and implement the cuts…but he does not want to be seen being the “bad guy” in all of this.

  • Unwound

    off topic- but interesting for those who have been posting long enough to remember- banned burkablog commenter alumnus and conspiracy nut Robert Morrow has apparently written a book with Roger Stone, formerly advisor to the Trump campaign, on the Clintons. Stone REALLY doesnt want to be taken seriously anymore.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Publisher?

      • Unwound

        no clue, but i cant stop laughing at the whole thing.

        • Indiana Pearl

          I remember a poster with long, lunatic diatribes about the Kennedys when I first started reading TM four years ago, then POOF! he was gone. Is that the same guy?

          • José

            Yes. Good riddance. If some huckster wants to promote his nutty conspiracy fantasies then he can find a better forum or start his own blog. What he posted here had nothing to do with the topics nor was it of interest to the great majority of contributors. The man was a nuisance, nothing more.

          • Unwound

            i thought most of his material was so ridiculous it was funny, but if i remember burka didnt want him posting it because it was libelous.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Thanks for the info, Jose.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Found the info: Morrow appears to have co-authored a National Enquirer sort of screed with Roger Stone, Trump’s former campaign advisor. The topic is the Clinton’s alleged activities with themes too vulgar for the family- friendly audience at TM.

          Perhaps that’s why Stone and Trump parted ways .

    • exactly Bill’s many victims coming forth like Crosby’s and the dems say its a right wing conspiracy. “Why these republicans have a war on women.”

      • Unwound

        im pleased to know you buy into morrows yammerings hook line and sinker.

  • Manuel Labor

    Patrick and Nelson just needed to tell us that the budget had to pass so we could see what was in it, and the circle would be complete. THEY knew or should’ve known what was in it. “Feckless” is a good word.

  • wessexmom

    Another excellent piece, Ms. Grieder–The latest in your recent OLDER-but-WISER series–but I still must ask you this: What on earth did YOU think Dan Patrick would do once he took office?!?

    Also, I cannot resist chiding you a bit for suggesting that if HHSC doesn’t hold off on implementing these cuts

    “the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, via the Centers for Medicaid and
    Medicare Services, should intervene, as
    US Representatives Joaquin Castro and Gene Green, along with nine other
    Democrats in Texas’s Congressional delegation requested in a letter to
    CMS this weekend.

    Such advice, coming from you, is BEYOND IRONIC–considering how skeptical you’ve been about the federal government in general and President Obama in particular.

    • I arrest my case……jeeeez louweez

      • Unwound

        if you count abbott and paxton as liberals, sure.

        • learn civics 101 their job is to protect me.

          • Unwound

            yes, we can tell youre frightened of everything.

    • Indiana Pearl

      You are a wise woman . . .

  • The purpose of this blog is to throw red meat to the less than informed so they can spend their day bashing republicans.
    But now TM finds itself in a quandary with Carly leading the polls. Obviously they are big Hillary supporters so as the bashing turns to Carly how they can appear to not bash women?
    What a tangled web we weave…..
    Carly or Hillary? as one esteemed TM writer quipped “are those my only two options?”

    • Indiana Pearl

      The purpose of this blog is to have intelligent discussions about state politics.

  • Indiana Pearl

    Some bad boys are being sent to re-education camp in the form of deleted comments. Who will confess?

    • John Johnson

      I did it myself. It is easy to do.

      • But she thinks as a victim the authorities shut you down, don’t spoil her day let her remain clueless.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Violated the truce again . . . undisciplined.

          • John Johnson

            I violated nothing. What truce? As the email I got back stated…the “seven words you can’t say on TV” are banned…and they would like all to remain civil, but are not going to delete snark or pointed comment…but reserve the right to do so if they deem it fit.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Not you. Booksie.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Not you. Booksie.

        • John Johnson

          “Re-education camp”. Hahaha.

          • trust me she’ll make Sgt Watanabe look like a priest.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Booksie has had more comments deleted than all the rest of us combined.

  • txlakedude

    These cruel parasites, now running Texas, will be gone tomorrow, when Democrats get off their b_tts, and realize, voting is too important to make an excuse for it. Voting is as important as a job, and a place to live.
    Long live Democracy.

  • enp1955

    Typical politician behavior. Cut the money, then express surprise that services are cut as a result. Then tell the service provider to “figure it out”. Newsflash: If you want to provide services to the populace, you’ll have to pay for them. If you don’t want to pay for them, at least be honest with the public and say, “sorry, we’re just not going to provide that service.”

    This is why people hate politics.

  • WUSRPH

    There was no question that they did not know that these cuts would “hurt” someone….but a decision was made—apparently by Lt. Gov. Patrick–that it was more important to him to give the image of a property tax cut to middle and upper class suburbanites than it was to provide these services. They could have provide this money by increasing the size of the budget since they had several Billion dollars still available before they would even hit the spending limit…But that would have increased the size of the budget and Patrick had given his supporters the impression that he was going to cut state spending, not increase it. So, someone had to be hurt. Since those who receive these services are primarily the children of lower middle class and working class, who vote less frequently, they were chosen…..The only other easily available group to hit were the elderly, particularly nursing home patients (60% or more of all “welfare spending” in Texas goes for the elderly or the handicapped)…but they have children who vote….as do many of them….That made it simple…Especially since, if the outcry grew to a politically unsustainable level, they could always use interim budget execution to restore at least part of the cut…..That is probably the next stage in this little saga of “cutting” government. When it is all over they will claim that they NEVER intended to cut services to people but expected the “welfare bureaucrats” to cut out the waste, fraud, theft and unnecessary duplication in their programs….

    • Indiana Pearl

      Alice Through the Looking Glass . . .

    • MeNdan cut cut cut
      YouNbob tax tax tax
      I’m starting to see a pattern….

  • Jay Trainor

    So why isn’t anyone holding the fire to Sen. Schwertner and Lt. Gov Patrick’s feet demanding answers to why they are endangering poor kids when they just gave a fat $3.8 billion tax cut mainly helping big business? Schwertner is a doctor. He and Sen. Campbell ought to lose their medical licenses for violating the Hippocratic Oath.

  • Lisa Howell-Lucas

    Oh TEXAS – why do we have to be the armpit of humanity??

    • WUSRPH

      September 17, 2015
      CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES: OVER 4.5 MILLION TEXANS LIVE IN POVERTY, INCLUDING 1.7 MILLION KIDS
      The Texas poverty rate continued its slow improvement to 17.2 percent in 2014 according to Census data released today, but more than 4.5 million Texans still live in poverty.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Calvinism . . .

      • John Johnson
        • Indiana Pearl
          • John Johnson

            Yeah, read it this morning. Hillary, pounding on Wall Street yet lining up behind this guy from WS for her share. Politics emit a rancid odor. Here’s another thing I read this morning. “Sir Winston Churchill said the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Ignorant, apathetic, and passive Americans allow those in the political arena to have their way with us. Those who make their living from the process think it just fine as is

          • WUSRPH

            Did he say that before or after the 1945 elections?

            In either case–before or after he was defeated—the authenticity of the quote is questioned.

            https://richardlangworth.com/democracy

            As you keep telling us, don’t believe everything you read….Check it out, first.

            Here is another Churchill quote worth considering by all of us:

            “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

            Winston Churchill

          • John Johnson

            Thanks, Professor Pedant. Write former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, who writes a weekly column for the FWST, and tell him the quote attributed to Churchill is bogus. It was in his piece in today’s paper. Furthermore, I’ll just say that it is a good one, no matter who first said it.

          • WUSRPH

            Are these the same voters who are following The Donald and who you say are more angry at the way things have been mishandled that attracted by Trump?

          • John Johnson

            Only if you want to call the millions of the people who tune into Fox News most every weekday, like my elderly folks, total morons. Had lunch with them today. As the polls show, people are cooling on him, but not necessarily the message. My 96 yr old Dad said, “There is no way Trump could ever get a wall built, much less get Mexico to pay for it, but I liked the fact he has been adamant about getting the problem on the front burner.”

          • Indiana Pearl

            Your dad is more with it than all the GOP candidates on the debate stage last week.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Churchill certainly fought to keep India from independence.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Why is Jeb! falling in the GOP polls when he’s taking in the most money?

            “Some animals are more equal than others.”

            ——– Georgr Orwell

          • John Johnson

            Establishment money. The Big’s think Bush will be the last man standing after the others have imploded, I guess.

          • Indiana Pearl

            We shall see. Jeb! has been a terrible candidate so far. He may implode as well.

          • John Johnson

            He has shown me nothing. When he tries to get demonstrative, he comes across as a lightweight.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Stupid people have a right to vote. Now only rich people count.

            Notice Bernie wasn’t on the list?

          • John Johnson

            I like Bernie. Lots of points he makes have been hot buttons of me for years. The Scandinavian socialism looks good on paper, too, doesn’t it…but what does that do to innovation and entrepreneurship? How many new ideas and products come out of those countries?

          • Indiana Pearl

            One word: Ikea

          • John Johnson

            Believe it or not, I started to say “…except furniture”. Could have added Volvo.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Supposedly 10% of all Europeans today were conceived on an Ikea product.

            Nokia?

          • John Johnson

            I’ve seen the ad…”We build good F’ing beds”.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Ikea is cheap and accessible. Volvos are pricey.

          • John Johnson

            Just trying to compare socialism to capitalism’s contribution to innovation. I think high tax rates stifle creativity somewhat.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Europeans post WWII – perhaps before – would rather have a safety net than larger homes and cars. Stoves in Europe, for instance, look like studio apartment stoves in the U.S. Housing and cars are smaller and more expensive. Quality of life is more important than possessions.

          • John Johnson

            Spent a lot of time in Europe. Everything is smaller, because they can’t afford larger and have free medicine and other socialized benefits, too. Do Europeans seem happy to you? The. Scandinavian’s are one segment; the rest are totally different and I would not want to live there.

          • Indiana Pearl

            All European countries are different. I would enjoy living in an English-speaking country. More Indians speak English than Europeans.

          • John Johnson

            I’ve been all over. No place like home.

          • Indiana Pearl

            If your children moved to Fargo, you’d probably be there too. Home is where my family is.

          • Jed

            that’s what the wealthy tell you to think.

            do you consult your tax chart before deciding how hard to work?

            did your work ethic change when george hw bush raised taxes?

          • John Johnson

            I appreciate what you are saying. My work ethic did not, because there was a bottomline to be met. The bills needed to be paid. For those who have reached their “comfort level” and don’t have to do anything more to meet outflow demands, there are decisions to be made on what to do with their money. Do I invest it in this new pharm company? A new high tech company….or just put it into a low interest bearing CD? I think the decision would greatly be based on potential ROI and the resulting net after taxes.

            I asked the question about whether or not innovation would be stifled if potential ROI was diminished by a higher tax burden like they have in Europe. I think it would be. Which country produces the most innovative and life changing products and procedures? I think that is us…and I think it has something to do with money. Virtually everything seems to, doesn’t it?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Our investment in basic scientific research has plunged dramatically in recent years. Few scientists are in it for the money.

          • John Johnson

            They don’t work for themselves. They work for universities or corporations that are interested in the money…even if the innovators themselves are altruistic.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Corporations, yes; universities, not so much.

          • John Johnson

            What do you mean? That universities are not interested in the money that is funded by taxpayer dollars or corporations?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Of course they’re interested in the money, but universities are investing in basic research, not a product you’ll find at Walmart in a couple of years. Most basic research is funded by tax payers – NIH, NSF, NIMH, etc. Your business is funded by you and your investors.

            Universities require faculty to sign agreements relinquishing a lot their rights to profits to the university. Remember that universities invest a lot of up front money to young scientists to set up their labs, a major investment. They have six years. If they don’t publish, they perish.

          • John Johnson

            I understand …but regardless of all of that, it is all money driven, and that innovation, hatched at UT or wherever, eventually has a corporate entity investing heavily in its development into a marketable product. The government doesn’t take it to market, nor do the universities. The level of effort would seem to be directly proportionate to amount of perceived ROI. The gamble to invest would seemly decrease with high taxes and diminished returns. That’s the way I view it. Would you jump across that deep chasm for $1M? How about $100?

          • Indiana Pearl

            Neither. I’d find another route.

            Universities gain status from successful faculty research. That status attracts other great faculty, good students, and more research funds. Your tax dollars are supporting research at insitutions that are successful at what they do. It’s a different economic model than running a business.

          • John Johnson

            all connected. It’s all about the money. Again…it goes back to what happens here in the U.S. as opposed to other countries. Why do we turn out more innovative products and procedures than others? What makes our system different from theirs? Smarter people? Certainly not. Reduce it all down, and the answer is money and the ability of to turn it into more.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Not everyone is motivated by money. Americans win the lion’s share of Nobels.

          • John Johnson

            Let’s just say that the vast majority of people are. That fair enough? The introduction of credit cards back in the late ’60’s, I believe, started the drive to “keep up with the Jones’s”. Before that, we did not see the driven desire to trade cars in for new ones with less than 100,000 miles on them, move out of the old neighborhood into a more “upscale” one, or the disappearance of perfectly good jeans with patches on the knees. It was all about the chase for more money and credit.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I am happy not to be poor, but my work choices were driven primarily by my intellectual interests and enthusiasm, not money. Being bored is not acceptable.

          • John Johnson

            I assure you that those chasing money are not bored. “Workers often get bored”; entrepreneurs and corporate heads seldom do”.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Did you just make that up?

          • John Johnson

            I’ve lived it. I worked for a major airline, did not really like my job or chances to get where I wanted to be anytime soon, so went to work for myself at 28.

          • Indiana Pearl

            I’m glad it made you happy. I would jump off the Texas Tower in that kind of job. Both Mr. P. and I worked in the private sector and were bored. There were also some questionable ethics in those corporations at the time.

            Everyone has different interests. Let’s “celebrate diversity” rather than forcing everyone to be an entrepreneur.

          • John Johnson

            I’m not pushing or “forcing” or applauding anything. It is just the way it is here in the U.S. as compared to other countries with a more socialistic system. It would be a screwed up place if everyone liked the same things.

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Socialism” is a word used rather wildly these days.

            How do you propose to care for poor, the sick, the aged, the demented? They are ever with us. Capitalism has no answers for those questions.

          • John Johnson

            You know…you’re right. I don’t think the word “Socialism” fits. I am just talking about sharing of the wealth, not government control of business and production and didtribution for the greater good.

            Here’s what the Bible says about taking care of the needy:

            1 John 3:17 ESV / 53 helpful votes

            But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

            Matthew 19:21 ESV / 44 helpful votes

            Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

            Luke 3:10-11 ESV / 39 helpful votes

            And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

            1 Timothy 6:9-11 ESV / 23 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

            But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.

          • Indiana Pearl

            What are “ESV helpful votes”?

          • John Johnson

            A study Bible.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Try “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt. The human mind has a great capacity to make moral decisions apart from religion.

          • John Johnson

            There are plenty of “moral” people who are not “religious”.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Bingo!

          • José

            Stated differently, money is not the only incentive for anyone. It’s one factor, to be sure, but hardly the only one. If you (or anyone else) say that you’ll do anything for the right price, well I think we have a proper word for such a profession.

          • John Johnson

            Was that necessary? You know where I’m coming from. I have a sound argument. Money is not the only reason, but it is the main one. Tell me the reason a corporation functions. Not a non-profit…a taxed corporation. It is all about the money. Employees be damned; we have to please Wall Street. Since all the “small’s”, who might have a bit of love for what they do, are being bought up by the “Big’s”, it is more and more all about the money. Pull your head out.

          • Indiana Pearl

            The purpose of capitalism is to make money for the investors. Period.

          • John Johnson

            Bingo!

          • Beerman

            Back-room deals, insider trading, rigging markets, skirting the law, etc is over the top greedy capitalism….what ever happen to responsible capitalism?

            “What’s in it for me” seems to have overpowered “What’s good for all of us!” In today’s economics.

            Today’s MBA graduates are only worried about downsizing, offshoring and short term profits, and outrageous bonus packages for themselves. Responsible capitalism includes an equitable and working balance between investors, shareholders, employees, customers and the public at large. In my day, business owners and our key managers realized and knew that our most productive asset were employees that could plan their economic future with reasonable expectations. CEO’s of my day believed that business success and worker’s well-being ran in tandem. That was responsible capitalism and it is fading into history. It brings tears to this old man’s eyes.

          • WUSRPH

            I think someone read Atlas Shrugged in about their sophomore year in college (which is about the time most GOPers seem to discover it) and, like most of them, absorbed a little of its virus into the brain tissue. It shapes their viewpoints from then on. (Most Democrats appear to have read it in high school and had time to mature out of it.)

          • Indiana Pearl

            They also read “Brave New World.”

          • Jed

            this assumes that american prosperity is directly the result of our tax rate, and not anything else, like, say the american character, or our natural resources, or global position, or, or, or …

            the argument you are advancing does not withstand even the slightest scrutiny. worried that the rich will sit on their money rather than invest it? then don’t raise taxes beyond the point where it pays better to not make *any* money. in other words, as long as capital gains taxes or franchise taxes or whatever are less than 100%, you still get a better return by putting your money somewhere other than your mattress.

            also, too, there is empirical evidence. over the past several decades, american GDP has grown more rapidly under higher tax regimes than under lower ones. shouldn’t that be enough to stop the constant repetition of this failed argument?

            and here’s another thought, even putting aside the above: if our tax policies are being dictated by our worry about what a handful of people will do in response, *maybe those people have too much money and influence in the first place.*

          • John Johnson

            It is all about incentive, Jed. The larger the incentive, the harder the effort…the more people get involved. That is human nature…and it applies in this discussion.

            With regards to your last paragraph…I think we all know that too few people are holding too much of the money, and that the system is now rigged so that they will continue to get even richer. As I have said before, we need another Teddy R. to step in with a new Square Deal program. Sounds like Bernie is the only one pushing that type of agenda.

          • WUSRPH

            America’s greatest period of economic expansion and the creation of new products was probably the 1950s….when the top tax rate was 98%….and all rates were higher….Seems to say something about the impact of tax rates on things.
            As to who is advocating things…go read Hillary’s tax plan that encourages long term investment rather than the quick in and out that is used to make quick profits today.

          • John Johnson

            You mean after WWII when the industrial complex that was created during the war turned to producing products for a population that needed same, and the infrastructure that was so sorely needed?

          • José

            Part of that fallacy is the idea that we get nothing back from taxes. That’s obviously wrong. Same thing with regulations. We can debate whether the government is doing its job competently and responsibly, and whether these level of taxation is too heavy or too light, but this idea that you’re rebutting, that taxes are nothing more than a drag on the producers, is simpleminded and deeply flawed.

          • John Johnson

            Simpleminded? Really? The Uber wealthy don’t get a proportional return on the higher taxes they pay so they don’t do so willingly, Rice Boy. Why do you think they pay people to find all the loopholes? Pay to have loopholes created?

          • WUSRPH

            The ubers get roads, hospitals, police an educated work force (we hope), parks, a growing (slowly but otherwise stable economy) and all the other things that society needs to function. They get the training that went into making the heart surgeon on operates on them, etc., etc., etc. They get plenty for their money.

          • John Johnson

            You don’t seem to get it.

            “I’ve got lots of money…Uncle Sam is taking a big chunk of it; Joe Blow has very little money, he pays nothing. Joe gets the same benefits from my contribution as I do. That’s not fair. Just because I worked harder, smarter, was luckier, or had parents who left me a bunch, why am I forced to pay for most, if not all, of other’s benefits?”

            Understand?

          • WUSRPH

            I entirely get it. I just say that Mr. Big Bucks is getting many, many things for his $, some of it directly but most of it indirectly in the form advanced and basically stable society. He pays more because he lives in a political system that believes that to maintain a stable society and insure continued prosperity it must provide a basic level of services to all people…with the decisions made by the elected representatives. That is the cost of civilization and a stable society. Society could not function it if were a “I get only what I pay for” system…nor would that system be able to provide all the indirect things you overlook (That includes all the things listed above—an educated work force, trained surgeons when you need them, health care, etc.).

          • John Johnson

            OK…if a majority of the voters feel that the wealthy need to be paying more and funding things like services to special needs children, then I guess they will elect a new group of representation. This is the way it is supposed to work.

          • WUSRPH

            Basic civics 1.01….representational government….

          • John Johnson

            Does that not make my point for me. The fact that we aren’t giving the needy what they need would seem to suggest that the majority want to keep it for themselves. Maybe the Bible verses I posted should be forwarded to Dan P.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Not for me . . . my congressional rep lives in Dallas.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Nope. Joe pays sales tax, property taxes (usually included in rent).

            Should dumb people be relegated to the garbage heap because they aren’t smart or strong? Neo-Darwinism . . .

          • John Johnson

            I am not advocating…just suggesting how it is…the mindset.

            Someone pointed out on FB a British actress, I had never heard of, who said watching the GOP debate made her want to give up her newly acquired U.S. citizenship and go home. Besides thinking we should just take it away from her, I thought about why she probably applied for it in the first place…to save money…to avoid the high British tax rate. Very few write big checks willingly.

          • Indiana Pearl

            And Joe pays a higher percentage of his meager earnings in sales taxes, property taxes (usually through rent), licenses.

            Just because Joe isn’t as smart as you doesn’t mean he should be treated badly.

          • José

            Scary, isn’t it? A pay-to-play world. A rich man’s paradise and a poor person’s Hades. Follow that principle a little further down the path and what do you get? A mockery of the American concept of equality as the less fortunate formally become second class citizens. They get fewer votes, less protection, less justice. Oh wait, maybe it’s not that different from what we have today.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Just like the caste system in India . . .

          • Indiana Pearl

            Taxes, in a fair system, are reinvested in the citizenry. Money spent on infrastructure, education, health care, and culture is plowed back into the system. More employment, more business, more equitable distribution of resources . . .

          • José

            Absolutely. It’s our money being spent on what we as a group decide what is important. It’s not a hard concept.

          • Beerman

            You are right, there should be nothing wrong with asking companies that benefit from massive profits and tax breaks to pay their fair share.

          • WUSRPH

            It is just that kind of a decision (to go only for the ROI that Hillary’s tax plan is designed to address. It lowers taxes on long-term investments but raises or keeps higher rates for short term in-and-out investments. It is specifically designed to encourage looking at the long-term and not the dividend at the end of this quarter.
            Steve Jobs made a bunch of money from his inventiveness, but I think you will find that most people like him do it for the excitement of doing something new and different, not for the bucks it will produce. The role of the corporative executive is to harness that desire for excitement and make it produce benefits.

          • John Johnson

            My statement about money being the end all and do all, was directed toward corporations. They control the money and money is their very reason for being. Corporations are not altruistic; nor are most who control them. Jobs, the individual, had an idea and drive, and got funded, and made it all work. Even so, money is the ultimate way success is measured. Today, it is all about money at Apple. Gates and Buffett and a few others have turned into big givers, but only after they accumulated more than they, or their heirs could ever spend. Some middleclass work for the love of it. Some weathy folks have, too…but they are the exception. In the big scheme of things in business, and in politics, it’s all about the money.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Let’s run this by again: in academia, success is measured by different parameters.

          • Gunslinger

            I can’t disagree with this post. Though, I’d say that in politics, power is the end goal most of the time…but mostly because it allows you to say where the money goes.

          • Beerman

            I remember an article about when Bank of America, when it was in trouble, during 2007 paying it’s CEO, Ken Lane a $100 million bonus. It made the point that he would have had to buy $273,973 worth of goods and services every day for that year, including weekends. If he spent twelve working hours a day to the task, he would have had to spend $22,831 every hour, $280 every minute. And, he was a “hired hand” and not the owner of the bank. Ridiculous, and then our government bailed B of A out of their problem in 2008. Now, that is the ultimate greedy capitalism.

            PS….How can $100 million compensation to one person help to generate more jobs and more economic growth?

          • John Johnson

            It is a racket. The stock holders are as ignorant as American voters. The appointed Board of Directors check off on these employment contracts. It is stinky. The fact no one went to jail that caused the meltdown is stinky, too.

          • Beerman

            Agree

          • Indiana Pearl

            “Greed is good.”

            —- Gordon Gecko

          • Indiana Pearl

            NOTE: I was not a professor. “Research Associate” was my job title.

          • WUSRPH

            I was referring to MR. Dr. Pearl.

          • WUSRPH

            There used to be a joke around Austin about how you could tell the Democratic Yuppies from the Republican ones—The Democrats drove Volvos or Saabs and the Republicans drove BMWs.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Republicans are more likely to drive American-made SUVs.

          • Jed

            and park in two spots.

          • WUSRPH

            Most of them I know drive foreign companies’ cars…altho some are put together in the US…I particularly like the foreign car covered with all the America is wonderful type bumper stickers….Of course, the dichotomy never crosses their minds as they drive along sending good US dollars oversaes.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Viking social structure was based more on capability than heriditary monarchism.

            http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/society/text/social_classes.htm

          • WUSRPH

            And for many years cell phones….A Finnish firm was an early leader in that industry.

            And some excellent jet fighter aircraft….

          • Indiana Pearl

            Scandanavians are much happier than Americans. Why?

            http://www.businessinsider.com/new-world-happiness-report-2015-2015-4

          • John Johnson

            Uninhibited women???

          • Indiana Pearl

            In your dreams . . .

          • WUSRPH

            To repeat: “The JJ’s will never understand that those who have worked in govt. can be just as disheartened by the ways things are going….probably more since we know how it could and has worked…”

            We just don’t buy half-assed solutions to complex problems are d not believe that you should let your neighborhood plumber perform your open heart surgery…Having someone who knows who to make the system works is always more than useful. Went to the LBJ Library today. It reminded of what one man can accomplish, if he knows what he is doing…

          • John Johnson

            Yeah, Johnson handled Vietnam so well. Ask my buddies who were over there what they think about hid decision making. Wasn’t he the also the one who started raiding the SS account?

            Did you ever speak up and rail against the stinky stuff you saw going on?

          • Indiana Pearl

            We have all benefited from Medicare.

          • WUSRPH

            I worked for “reformers” most of the time I actually worked in the Legislature (“Dirty 30” and “Gang of Four”) and then Bullock…..Got in one of my deepest holes with him for speaking up on a questionable possible appointment—-it wasn’t illegal or unethical…but it would have just “looked bad” and would have hard to explain away the bad impression it would give.

          • John Johnson

            Understand. Will try and lighten up on the personal affronts.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Praise!

  • and the looting continues

    “”It gets more disgusting. Guess who’s paying that $900 million? Not the corporate executives who did this crime, but GM’s shareholders. That may be you. The system is so rigged against you. And Madam Attorney General, wow! You sold us out fast,” said Van Susteren, adding that she feels “hoodwinked” by Lynch.”

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/09/18/what-phony-greta-calls-out-loretta-lynch-over-gm-settlement

  • Lone_Star_Obelisk

    Texas’s Brilliant Plan to Cut Disability Compensation for Disabled Veterans

    Should vets really lose compensation in violation of federal laws, regulations & directives to help pay for welfare and ill-gotten incentive money?

    – See my exposé complete with documentation and video testimony in the comment section of: http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/the-apf-watchers/

    • John Johnson

      Got a brief synopsis of what is going on?

      • WUSRPH

        Don’t open this up…His complaint is that veterans benefits are subject to wage garnishment for child support.

        • Indiana Pearl

          My eyes glazed over.

          How about the $8 million that TX taxpayers will pay to defend the state’s egregious redistricting fiasco?

          Vets and disabled children could have used that money.

        • Indiana Pearl

          As well they should be . . . My father was a deadbeat dad.

  • Dee Moo

    Texas. Pro fetus. Once you’re born, hurry up and get a job.

  • WUSRPH

    The reason for making the cuts out of “welfare” and education is because that is where so much of the budget goes these days….They cannot take it out of highways or other constitutionally dedicated accounts and taking that much out of any other program would effectively shut it down. That leaves those two accounts as the only place to go to in a situation like this.

  • José

    I guess the GOP primary voters just aren’t looking for governors this time. Perry and Walker are now out, Jindal is scraping for crumbs at the kiddie table, Christie is stuck in a rut, Rev. Huckabee doesn’t have a prayer, and some guy named Gilmore says he was once a governor but no one remembers him. Jeb! is still the favorite of establishment types, all money but few votes, and Kasich is the favorite of reporters who like smart wonky candidates but again that excludes most primary voters.

    It’s truly amazing that the top candidates right now have a combined zero years of experience in government. One hates Latinos, one hates Muslims, and…what can we say about Fiorina? That her big claim to fame was being leader of a large nonprofit, which is bad because the stockholders expected it to earn money.

    • WUSRPH

      So whose next to take the long walk off a short pier? Carson, Huckabee and Santorum think god is their campaign manager. Cruz does too, but he also thinks he can pick up their and The Donald’s pieces. Kasich is running for VP as is Fiorina (heard she got caught in a big “mistaken statement”) so they will stay around to kick their names in the papers. Jeb is in the for the long-run. So who goes out next? Of that group I’d say Santorum.

      • José

        I won’t presume to have infallible insight into the thoughts of the good Lord, but I can imagine God with a weary smile, shaking a head at those who claim the divine endorsement.

        Santorum would be a good pick. He’s chasing after the same voters who favor Carson and Huckabee and he’s way behind in last place. Maybe he’s savvy enough to understand that it’s just not going to happen.

        • Beerman

          As I said on this blog before, it shows that God has a great sense of humor with his divine endorsements……

      • José

        Both Rubio and Paul have a potential problem with their candidacies. Their states currently forbid them from simultaneously running for President and for reelection to the Senate. I heard that Kentucky is considering changing the law for Paul but have not heard anything about Florida. It’s possible that Rubio may bow out and concentrate on his Senate seat if he doesn’t see more progress in his Presidential run. He’s a young man with still more opportunities ahead after this election cycle.

        • WUSRPH

          Rubio has already said he will not seek re-election to the Senate. There is a full-fledged Senate race doing on now.

    • Indiana Pearl

      Read in reverb that Cruz’s PAC has funneled about $500,000 to Fiorina. An unholy alliance?

      • Indiana Pearl

        Also confirmed in WaPo . . . pay to play at work.

  • How hilarious reading the atrocious comments about Kim Davis. Yawl did know she was a democrat?…..hahaha

    • JSul

      Yes, a Dixiecrat bigot of the highest order.

      • A democrat

        • JSul

          Davis has held this position over 20 years, her mother for about 40 years before her, so that places her as a bigoted Democrat from the early years…called Dixiecrats, during the CivilRights movment, who likely is not keen on blacks, and interracial narraige ..and now, gay marriage rights.a

  • WUSRPH

    If anyone wonders why you want someone who knows what he is doing as president, this should answer that question quite adequately:

    Landmark Laws of the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration.
    With these acts President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Congress wrote a record of hope and opportunity for America:
    —–1963—–

    College Facilities

    Clean Air

    Vocational Education

    Indian Vocational Training

    Manpower Training

    1964—–

    Inter-American Development Bank

    Kennedy Cultural Center

    Tax Reduction

    Presidential Transition

    Federal Airport Aid

    Farm Program

    Chamizal Convention

    Pesticide Controls

    International Development Association

    Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Campobello International Park

    Urban Mass Transit

    Water Resources Research

    Federal Highway

    Civil Service Pay Raise

    War on Poverty

    Criminal Justice

    Truth-in-Securities

    Medicine Bow National Forest

    Ozark Scenic Riverway

    Administrative Conference

    Fort Bowie Historic Site

    Food StampHousing Act

    Interest Equalization

    Wilderness Areas

    Nurse Training

    Revenues for Recreation

    Fire Island National Seashore

    Library Services

    Federal Employee Health Benefits

    —–1965—–

    Medicare

    Aid to Education

    Higher Education

    Four Year Farm Program

    Department of Housing and Urban Development

    Housing Act

    Social Security Increase

    Voting Rights

    Fair Immigration Law

    —–1966—–

    Food for India

    Child Nutrition

    Department of Transportation

    Truth in Packaging

    Model Cities

    Rent Supplements

    Teachers Corps

    Asian Development Bank

    Clean Rivers

    —–1967—–

    Education Professions

    Education Act

    Air Pollution Control

    Partnership for Health

    Social Security Increases

    Age Discrimination

    Wholesome Meat

    Flammable Fabrics

    Urban Research

    Public Broadcasting

    Outer Space Treaty

    Modern D.C. Government

    Vietnam Veterans Benefits

    Federal Judicial Center

    Civilian-Postal Workers Pay

    Deaf-Blind Center

    College Work Study

    Summer Youth Programs

    Food Stamps

    Rail Strike Settlement

    Selective Service

    Urban Fellowships

    Consular Treaty

    Safety At Sea Treaty

    Narcotics Treaty

    Anti-Racketeering

    Product Safety Commission

    Small Business Aid

    Inter-American Bank

    —–1968—–

    Fair Housing

    Indian Bill of Rights

    Safe Streets

    Wholesome Poultry

    Food for Peace

    Commodity Exchange Rules

    U.S. Grain Standards

    School Breakfasts

    Bank Protection

    Defense Production

    Corporate Takeovers

    Export Program

    Gold Cover Removal

    Truth-in-Lending

    Aircraft Noise Abatement

    Auto Insurance Study

    New Narcotics Bureau

    Gas Pipeline Safety

    Fire Safety

    Sea Grant Colleges

    D.C. School Board

    Tax Surcharge

    Better Housing

    International Monetary Reform

    International Grains Treaty

    Oil Revenues for Recreation

    Virgin Islands Elections

    San Rafael Wilderness

    San Gabriel Wilderness

    Fair Federal Juries

    Candidate Protection

    Juvenile Delinquency Prevention

    Guaranteed Student Loans

    D.C. Visitors Center

    FHA-VA Interest Rate Program

    Health Manpower

    Eisenhower College

    Gun Controls

    Aid-to-Handicapped Children

    Redwoods Park

    Flaming Gorge Recreation Area

    Biscayne ParkHeart, Cancer, and Stroke Programs

    Hazardous Radiation Protection

    Colorado River Reclamation

    Scenic RiversScenic Trails

    National Water Commission

    Federal Magistrates

    Vocational Education

    Veterans Pension Increases

    North Cascades Park

    International Coffee Agreement

    Intergovernmental Manpower

    Dangerous Drugs Control

    Military Justice Code

    Food for Freedom

    Child Safety

    Narcotics Rehabilitation

    Traffic Safety

    Highway Safety

    Mine Safety

    International Education

    Bail Reform

    Tire Safety

    New GI Bill

    Minimum Wage Increase

    Urban Mass Transit

    Civil Procedure Reform

    Federal Highway Aid

    Military Medicare

    Public Health Reorganization

    Cape Lookout Seashore

    Water Research

    Guadalupe National Park

    Revolutionary War Bicentennial

    Fish-Wildlife Preservation

    Water for Peace

    Anti-Inflation Program

    Scientific Knowledge Exchange

    Cultural Materials Exchange

    Foreign Investors Tax

    Parcel Post Reform

    Civil Service Pay Raise

    Stockpile Sales

    Participation Certificates

    Protection for Savings

    Flexible Interest Rates

    Freedom of Information

    Older Americans

    Heart, Cancer, Stroke Program

    Law Enforcement Assistance

    National Crime Commission

    Drug Controls

    Mental Health Facilities

    Health Professions

    Medical Libraries

    Vocational Rehabilitation

    Anti-Poverty Program

    Arts and Humanities Foundation

    Aid to Appalachia

    Highway BeautyClean Air

    Water Pollution Control

    High Speed Transit

    Manpower Training

    Presidential Disability

    Child Health

    Regional Development

    Aid to Small Businesses

    Weather-Predicting Services

    Military Pay Increase

    GI Life Insurance

    Community Health Services

    Water Resources Council

    Water Desalting

    Assateague National Seashore

    Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

    Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area

    Juvenile Delinquency Control

    Arms Control

    Strengthening U.N. Charter

    International Coffee Agreement

    Retirement for Public Servants

    • Read the 10th amendment and see how many of these programs he had the authority to regulate under the US Constitution.
      Amendment X
      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

      • sigh….

        • WUSRPH

          You note that Arthur is referring to the powers of the Executive Branch, not the Congress that enacted these programs. Also, if you read the rest of the Constitution, including Article VIII, the Preamble and the numerous court decisions you will find that your interpretation of the 10th Amendment does not agree with any of them.
          But that is not something I will waste any further time explaining to you since your mind is concreted.

          • yes you will, I know an egotistical blowhard when one pontificates…

          • WUSRPH

            you certainly should know yourself.

          • Have we progressed to the juvenile takes one to know one defense?

          • WUSRPH

            There is no way the word “progress” can be associated or connected to any thing you do or think.

    • Beerman

      I believe that it was LBJ that said to Congress, “We’ve got to look after the poor and lower middle-class people, that’s what we are here for!”

    • JSul

      Bravo

  • Want the straight skinny? Read my posts. Fer starters Cruz’s PAC did not give $500k to Carly. A PAC supporting Cruz funded by Robert Mercer gave money to Carly.

    ” Media-shy hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer is believed to be the main funder behind Keep the Promise I.

    Though Mercer is heavily investing in Cruz’s campaign for president, the financier seems to have also taken a liking to Fiorina — he cut a $2,700 check to Fiorina’s campaign in May.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/31/politics/carly-fiorina-super-pac/

    I believe this is how it works. If we have any money left over after the looters finish looting, we are free to give it to any candidate of our choosing. Some even give to both parties.

    • WUSRPH

      These “looters” you are so fixated on seem to be pretty bad at their job in light of the fact that both income inequality and wealth inequality in the U.S. are at virtually historical highs…..Seems the rich are still getting richer every year. and have plenty of money left over.

      • Indiana Pearl

        To buy politicians . . .

      • Looters and producers….simple and true.

        • WUSRPH

          We know you read Atlas Shrugged. You show you can remember three words from it….And you clearly read the Boss Tweed book….but we are still waiting for evidence that you had even opened a book with any intellectual weight.

          • Rand’s trash?…hahaha spoken like a true 47%er who’s never had a private industry job.

          • WUSRPH

            Again, you know not of what you speak. Had several of them. And, yes, her books are overwritten trash designed to impress the minds of poorly educated teenage children. In your case, I see she was successful.

          • Why thank you at least one of us has an open mind….

          • WUSRPH

            Based on your comments, I suspect you read at “The Fountainhead” (and really enjoyed one scene) and skimmed “Atlas Shrugged”, but skipped over those long sections where the great man was preaching his sermon. I doubt you read “We the Living” (or even know of its existence) since it is her first novel and the only one in which the female character is a victim of or a doormat of the great hero. And I am certain you did not read “The Virtue of Selfishness”, one of her pseudo-philosophy texts since it has neither a great hero or any three-letter word stuff. I, on the other hand, read all of them….That gives me a basis for making a judgment. You, on the other hand, got hung up on three words from Atlas Shrugged. But it is clear that you are neither a Howard Roark or a John Galt.

          • looters vs producers….why do liberal 47%ers hate being exposed?

  • Indiana Pearl

    We have become an oligarchy. When will we wake up?

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/is-america-an-oligarchy

    • WUSRPH

      Read the article…..while I do not totally disagree with some of the conclusions I did note that the author had substantial questions about the methodology used for the study…..Questions that tend to weaken its findings. I also somewhat object to the fact that the authors divided society solely on income grounds…..without taking into account other factors such as educational levels….just a little too dialectic materialism for me.

      • Indiana Pearl

        Primarily the age of the data, although he concludes that matters are worse rather than better since those data were collected.

        • WUSRPH

          My real reaction is: So what is new? It has always been hard to pass major legislation….The system was designed to make it so…(“avoid the momentary passions of the mob”)….plus those with advantages of wealth and education have always had an easier task getting things done and have had more influence on society and government…Remember the structure of our government was created by elitists whose concern was political liberty and the protection of property. These were not men who had much to say for democracy with a “little d”. It was the French revolution that added “equality” and “fraternity” to the political discussion……We picked up the concept of “equality” from them and have been slowly moving towards it every since…as our concept of the purpose of government expanded to add “equality” to “liberty”.

          • Indiana Pearl

            The Putney debates . . .

  • WUSRPH

    Assume you have seen that a Travis County District Judge has blocked the implementation of these new rates. (Let us now hear the attack on those “reds” in Travis County. Maybe next session the Leg. will remove all jurisdiction from the courts here rather than just some of it as it did this time.)

  • george phillips

    this is about par for the very conservitive republicans in this state,doesnt surprise me at all,what does is that they left some funding,ill have to scratch my head and think about that

  • WUSRPH

    where or where is the weekend thread?

  • randalclaw

    Ain’t Texas now a great place to live,all these southern Christian bible people know what is best

  • jillibrown

    So I guess the republicans decided thay disabled kids aren’t suffering enough. Heartless idiots. By all means Patrick fulfill your campaign promises at their expense. God will surely reward you in a very special way.