Susan Combs

Is Susan Combs Running?

Jul 12, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Is it possible that Susan Combs, having already announced that she will retire from public life after serving out her term as comptroller, is still trying to find a niche for herself in the 2014 primaries? Here’s an article she sent to her mailing list, which…

The office that Bullock made

Jun 6, 2012 By Paul Burka

There has been a lot of criticism, much of it justified, directed at Comptroller Susan Combs, and some observers would say that it is too much for her to move up to higher office. What her critics may not realize, however, is that the comptroller’s office has become something of…

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

Jun 27, 2011 By Paul Burka

How else to characterize Susan Combs’ statement today detailing senior staff changes in the comptroller’s office? She so doesn’t get it. The problem in the comptroller’s is lack of competence. So what does she do to fix it? She hires a political operative. His name is David White. Here are…

Combs a time

Jun 11, 2011 By Paul Burka

The first order of business, after the special session ends and the long interim begins, is for the Legislature to do something it doesn’t do very often: exercise oversight. Oh, it calls in state agencies for budget hearings, but what it doesn’t do is address problems unless they are obvious.

R.G.’s Take: The Nanny State of Texas

May 24, 2011 By R.G. Ratcliffe

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a faraway land called Pennsylvania, a woman named Sarah Palin brought 200 protest cookies to school for children at the Plumstead Christian School - because she had read a report – mistaken as it turns out – that the state was going to ban such sweets from public school parties. Sarah mocked the policy as a “nanny state run amok.” She was there to fight for the freedom of sweet treats. “Who should be making the decisions on what you eat … in school, choices: Should it be government or should it be the parents?” Sarah asked her crowd. “It should be the parents.” Oh, no, said I, if this is true, then Texas has three of the biggest nannies in the land: Susan Combs, Todd Staples and Rick Perry. And the Legislature has been nannying up a storm as of late, seeking to impose government dictates on its citizens for their own good. Let’s start at the beginning, when government was wise, children were wonderful and we all wanted what was best for our future generations.

Sunny skies ahead

Apr 21, 2011 By Paul Burka

From Bloomberg: Texas’s reserve fund may climb to 28 percent more than officially forecast by 2013 as energy prices rally, a gain that might help the second-most populous state avoid some spending cuts, a key senator said. The fund, fed by energy taxes and forecast by the state comptroller to reach $9.4 billion by the end of August 2013, may gain much more by then, Senate Finance Committee chairman Steve Ogden, a Bryan Republican, said yesterday. “That fund could easily rise to $12 billion,” Ogden said at a committee hearing. He based his estimate on revenue increases from taxes on oil and natural-gas production in the state as energy prices climb.... * * * * I reported something similar earlier this month (See "Oil's Well that Ends Well," posted April 14.)  Sales tax receipts are up over the previous year, and the rig count is up by 26% to 30%, depending upon which reporting service you prefer. The sales tax numbers are particularly encouraging:

So predictable

Jan 21, 2009 By Paul Burka

A statement from Talmadge Heflin (who else?) at the Texas Public Policy Foundation: “The first draft of the 2010-11 Texas state budget reinforces the message from Comptroller Susan Combs’ revenue estimate last week. The Texas Legislature needs to get to work on pruning the next state budget back within the…

Revenue Estimate Looms. Make that “Glooms.”

Jan 12, 2009 By Paul Burka

This morning comptroller Susan Combs will release her revenue estimate of the money that will be available for the Legislature to spend in the next biennium. Expectations are that the estimate will come in showing little or no revenue growth. The state treasury does have a surplus of more than…

Susan Combs

Jun 30, 2004 By Evan Smith

“Billy can go to a 7-Eleven and buy a soft drink and must pay sales tax, but Billy goes to school, buys a soft drink, and pays no sales tax.”